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making canada home
issue 28 march 2008
The Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia Canadian International Motor Show Searching for dinosaurs Immigration processing times Skilled worker and business immigration Real life - Nova Scotia 2008 career forecast Graduated driving explained Summer camps for kids Million dollar properties Septic systems explained
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From the Editor.....
Welcome to another issue of Muchmor where we invite you to experience the stunning Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia (page 4), a place you will not regret visiting. Also, have you every wondered what property you could buy with a million dollars? Well on page 52 we show you exactly what your lottery win could buy. Muchmor is also asking the all important question of why immigration processing times are getting longer, read more on page 18. We also wanted to mention the fact that Zoom Airlines may be withdrawing their discount codes, including ours, so book those flights now to take advantage before it’s too late. Speak again soon, Ed
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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.
Canada Experience the Cabot Trail All revved up In search of dinosaurs Best places to live A little something for Easter Immigration Simplify or not Processing times get longer Immigration Q & A Funding for immigration Record numbers leave UK Immigration news Real Life Nova Scotia bound Employment Take charge of your career Canadian employment 2008 job forecast Supersize your job offer Money Those taxing issues
4 8 11 13 14
Motoring Graduated driving explained 34 Kidzone Summer Camps Kids questions Tea Break Feedback Top Canadian Realty House prices double Septic systems explained Million dollar properties Calgary real estate
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45 49 52 58
27 28 30 31
Experience the Cabot Trail
When most people think of Canada they picture the Rockies with Banff and Lake Louise, or perhaps the hustle and bustle of cities such as Vancouver or Toronto, but there is far more to Canada than that. The Cabot Trail in northern Nova Scotia is a stunning drive that takes in some breathtaking scenery.
You can be forgiven for not having heard of the Cabot Trail as most Nova Scotians want to keep the secret to themselves, and you can’t blame them. The trail forms a loop 298 km long at the northern tip of Cape Breton Island and is known as one of the most scenic drives in the world. The island has been named as North America’s most scenic island and the fourth most scenic in the world. The trail is named after John Cabot, an explorer who first landed in Cape Breton back in 1497. After his “discovery” of the Island many Europeans followed to
"I have traveled around the globe. I have seen the Canadian and American Rockies, the Andes, the Alps and the Highlands of Scotland, but for simple beauty, Cape Breton outrivals them all.” Alexander Graham Bell, famous Cape Breton resident
become the first non-native settlers. Many of the current inhabitants of the area can trace their ancestors back to those first settlers. A large majority of the population have Scottish roots after many Scots emigrated to Cape Breton in the 1700’s. Anyone who has visited the Cabot Trail will say that everyone should experience the trail at least once in their lifetime. The only problem is, if you visit
once, you will want to return time and time again, so be warned. The trail can be driven in a day, but if you want to experience all the area has to offer then you would be doing yourself a serious disservice if you were to rush it. The road is open year round and depending when you visit will offer different vistas and experiences. In the spring you can see the sea ice off the shore, the summer makes the beaches a popular destination, the fall brings the stunning foliage colours to life and the winter brings with it skiing and snowboarding opportunities. So, whenever you visit there is sure to be something to make the trip memorable. The trail officially starts in Baddeck and meanders round to Margaree, but you can choose to start or end at either location. The route also incorporates the Cape Breton Highlands National Park which deserves a day of your trip to itself. You will also experience mountains, beaches, rugged coastlines, hiking trails, fishing, lakes, golf and so much more.
So, lets take a look along the route. Baddeck is generally considered the starting point of the trail so we will start there. This town was made famous by Alexander Graham Bell who moved here in 1893 with his wife after falling in love with the area during a visit a few years previously. They build an estate overlooking the Bras d’Or Lakes and called it Beinn Bhreagh (Beautiful Mountain). Today visitors can visit the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site which houses a museum dedicated to the inventors life. If you think that a museum is a bit boring, think again. Did you know that not only is Bell credited with inventing the telephone but he also attempted to invent a device which would turn fog into drinking water and he also worked on hydrofoils and aeronautics towards the end of his life. If you plan to stop overnight in Baddeck there are plenty of rooms available, although you would be advised to book in advance to avoid disappointment, especially if you are traveling in the summer months. The town provides a good location to use as a base as it offers the most amenities and is centrally located. The town also offers boat cruises, cycle routes, sports facilities amongst many other activities. If you are there in August you might get to experience the annual regatta and see all the yachts or go for a sail yourself. Depending on whether you take a clockwise or anti-clockwise route round the trail will depend on which locations you come to next. however, if you travel clockwise you will travel through the Margaree Valley. The Margaree River is a must stop for fishermen. It is regarded as one of the most productive Atlantic salmon rivers in North America. You can also visit the Margaree Salmon Museum which houses antique rods, flies, photos and includes education videos about the salmon life cycle. This area is also the location of some pretty beaches and Margaree Harbor. Further along the trail you will come to the village of Cheticamp which is the location of the western gateway to Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Cheticamp is the largest and oldest Arcadian village in the area and is the centre for the Frenchspeaking culture on Cape Breton. The village is famous for its hooked rugs, an ancient craft which is featured at the Elizabeth LeFort Gallery and Museum. The village is also a good place to pick up a whale-watching cruise or go deep sea fishing. Pilot whales and minkes can often be spotted in the local waters. A third of the Cabot Trail runs through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park and it is just north of Cheticamp that you will enter the park. If you are just going to drive through the park you will not need to pay any fees. However, if you plan to stop off and explore the park or use any of the parks facilities you will need to purchase a permit. For a daily entry fee of just $6.80 for adults and $3.40 for children it is a inexpensive way to spend a day, or just a few hours if time is tight. The park covers an area of 950 sq km and can be seen in the map on page 4, depicted by the green area. The park encompasses stunning ocean scenery, highlands, cliffs, plateaus and river canyons. Stop off at the visitors centre to get maps and advice to help you best enjoy the park. There are twenty-five hiking trails in the park ranging from gentle strolls to challenging climbs. If you are up for a challenge then trails such as L’Acadien will suit you. This trail involves steep climbs over 8 km and will take around 4 hours to complete. At the other end of the scale the Lone Shieling Trail which is a gentle 15 minute stroll. Wildlife is extensive in the park and you are likely to spot moose, bears, eagles, hares, owls etc. Moose should be given a wide berth and needless to say bears are best viewed at the end of a very long camera lens. There are numerous beaches within the park offering swimming and water activities. Ingonish Beach is the only beach to offer both fresh and saltwater swimming. Amazingly the sandy beach is washed away every winter and re-deposited by the tides each spring. Many of the beaches have picnic areas, washrooms, playgrounds, cafes and some have surf guards on duty. If you like fishing the park will not disappoint. There are numerous opportunities to fish in the lakes and rivers in season.
Fall foliage The coastal route Cheticamp Beach from above
Golf is also a favorite pastime for many park visitors with Highlands Links being voted one of the best courses in Canada. The scenery will certainly be stunning as the links are surrounded by mountains and coastline. If you want to truly experience the park then you can camp here. There are eight campgrounds, six front country, one back country and one group. Each campground has its own facilities and each varies, so check out which is best for you. All except one are on a first come first served basis, so no pre-booking available. The Cheticamp campground is the only one which allows prebooking ,but make sure you book well in advance to secure your spot. To reserve a campsite visit the 24-hour Internet service at www.pccamping.ca or dial toll free 1-877-737-3783, TTY: 1-866-787-6221. If you are calling from abroad, the international number is 1-514-335-4813. If you visit the park during the winter, you will still be able to enjoy it for completely different reasons. The park has seven groomed trails for skiing.
Back on the road and you will soon realize why people love to drive the Cabot Trail. From Cheticamp the road starts to resemble a roller-coaster ride. The assent up French Mountain will take you to a height of 455 metres and you will come back down to earth on the other side. Next comes MacKenzie Mountain with a height of 372 metres and then a descent to Pleasant Bay. Stop off at Fishing Cove Lookoff as the views here are simply spectacular and should not be missed. Pleasant Bay is a picturesque fishing village where you can catch a whale cruise or pop into the Whale Interpretive Centre for an insight into this area and the local whale populations. The road from Pleasant Bay will the take you to the North Mountains. The top of the mountain is 445 metres above sea level after which you descend to the Aspy River valley. This is a lovely place to stop and relax and take in the scenery. At this point you should head off to Cabot’s Landing where you will find a beautiful 11 km long sandy beach and picnic park. Follow the road to Capstick
where you will find a dirt road which winds its way to Meat Cove. Now when we say winding and dirt, we really mean it. The road is bumpy, dirty and within inches of perilous steep cliffs, but when you get to Meat Cove you will thank us for making you drive down it, honest! The views from this point are truly unbeatable and if you fancy it there is a great campground located here too. There isn’t much to do here other than take in the vista, but what a vista. After this little excursion get back on the Cabot Trail and head towards Ingonish. This area is famous for its beaches and is the eastern entrance to Cape Breton Highlands National Park. You may see pilot and minke whales here and this is another spot where you can take advantage of whale watching cruises. After Ingonish the Cabot Trail makes its way over Cape Smokey for more spectacular views. This area is a favorite for those who like to shop for local arts and crafts. You will find shops selling glassware, wood and leather products.
You will now find yourself in St Anns Bay. Here you can take a short detour via ferry to Englishtown. You might want to visit the Giant MacAskill Museum which is dedicated to the memory of Angus MacAskill who lived in the 1800’s and was 7ft 9in tall and weighed 193 kg. You will be able to see items of his clothing, furniture and even visit his burial site if that is what takes your fancy. If you don’t fancy this detour keep on the trail towards St Anns Harbor where you can take kayaking tours. By now you are on the final leg of the trail which will end where we started back in Baddeck. On the way to Baddeck you might want to stop off at the nearby Uisge Ban Falls (pronounced ash-ka-ban). You can take the trails in the park, one the River Trail leads alongside the North Branch River. You will cross pretty wooden bridges and see beautiful scenery and remember to look out for the many birds. The second trail, The Falls Trail will take you to the falls which give the park its name. You will hear the roar of the water long before you see the fifty foot falls themselves. Once out of the park you are back in Baddeck. So there you have it, the Cabot Trail. A place not to be missed and definitely one for the “Places to visit before you die”
list. If you are feeling particularly energetic you can of course always cycle the trail. Once you have been here, we promise you will want to return, you might
even have dreams of living here. Either way, you will never regret the time spent here.
Exit Realty Metro 2055-1658 Bedford Highway, Bedford Nova Soctia, B4A 2X9. Cell: 902-222-4937 Fax: 902-835-4539 email: email@example.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.halifaxdartmouthrealestate.com
Moving to Nova Scotia ? Lots of Questions? For Information meet me at Emigrate 2008 March 1 & 2 - 2008 Stand 118 Sandown Racecourse Esher, Surrey
All revved up
In February the Canadian International Auto Show was in Toronto and Muchmor paid a visit to see what the show was all about, well vehicles obviously, but was it good, bad or somewhere in between?
Obviously the main reason to go to the auto show is to see the vehicles. Either you are a car buff or you are in the market for a new vehicle. There is no better place to see all the major manufacturers together and be able to see several possible new vehicle contenders in one location. Most of the manufacturers had at least one version of each model on show and of these, most could be accessed by the public. So, if you wanted to get in and have a play you could. Some of the more prestigious brands obviously thought that most of the visitors were not worthy of sitting in their cars as they were locked and you either had to ask for access, or it wasn’t an option at all. The show is located in three different venues: North Convention Centre, South Convention Centre and the Rogers Centre, all connected by walkways and shuttle buses. Although there were location maps in different areas and you could purchases an auto show guide ($5.00) with maps inside they simply told you that manufacturer X could be found in location 2. The problem we found was finding how to get from one location to another as it wasn’t clearly defined. This could definitely be improved. Once you found your way around there was plenty to see. Obviously many of the manufacturers had their top models on show, but many also had base models so you could see what you could actually afford, rather than one you can only dream of.
Concept cars are always interesting as you get to see what you might be driving in the future, even if many never reach the forecourt. Some are purely some geek car designers dream whilst others are more likely to go into production. Mazda had the Furai on show which looked quite spectacular on its revolving stage and would be fueled by pure ethanol (this is good apparently!). The name means “sound of the wind” in Japanese and with a 450 horsepower engine it will probably live up to its name. Then there was the Ford Airstream which was very futuristic, with bright orange interior and swivel bucket seats. It is hard to see this going into production any time soon and would look more fitting in an episode of The Jetsons. The vehicle is battery powered with plug-in capability and can travel 40 km in all electric mode, so rather limiting, so unlikely ever to go into production.
Toyota Hydrid X
Another eye-catcher was Toyota’s Hybrid X which is perhaps more likely to become a production vehicle, although not anytime soon. It is probably one of the most conventional looking concepts on show and in a rather stunning shade of blue. Another Ford concept was the Interceptor which apparently stands a better than average chance of becoming a production model. It is based on the Mustang and resembles a sedan on steroids with its imposing front grill and large proportions. The engine will be a 5liter V8 able to run on ethanol. Other notable concepts were the Volvo XC60, the Mitsubishi concept-CX and the BMW X6. We will just have to wait an see if any make it to the showrooms.
As well as being able to glance into the future you can turn back the clock too. In the classics section of the show you can see some beautiful old cars, some with quite magnificent paint jobs. You stroll around to the sounds of the Beach Boys, Beetles and other nostalgic groups looking back on times when cars were simply cars. They had an engine, seats and got you (sometimes) from a to b, nothing more, nothing less.
Everyone is seduced by a little sporty number now and again (we are still talking about cars!) This show certainly had its fare share on offer. The simply stunning bright green Dodge viper SRT10 was the first we came across when entering the show and it was certainly getting some admiring glances. Another car with its fare share of admirers was the new Audi R8. This car has been voted Car of the Year by Canadian auto journalists and I for one have no objections to their choice. A North American firm favorite has to be the Ford Mustang. The one on show here was the Shelby Cobra GT500KR version which has a 550 horsepower engine and is unmistakable with the distinctive stripes over the hood.
Did I mention that amongst the concept cars, the classics, hotrods and sporty numbers there were some “normal” vehicles. In a perfect world we would all have a vehicle for every occasion, An Audi R8 for those times when you want to drive for shear pleasure, a vintage hotrod for those head-turning summer jaunts, a top of the range Range Rover for those times when nothing else will do and of course for those special occasions an Aston Martin tucked in the garage. Unfortunately the vast majority of us cannot afford such luxuries and have to make do with one or possibly two vehicles per household. So what do you choose? Well there are the very popular SUV’s which are great if you have kids and need that extra bit of space, but they do tend to be gas-guzzlers. Perhaps you just want a modest runaround such as a Ford Focus, or perhaps the lure of the new crossovers is pulling you. Whatever your taste and needs there are sure to be a few to choose from at the show. One car familiar to European drivers is the new Saturn Astra. Known in Europe as the Vauxhall or Opal Astra very little has been changed in the North American version. The version on show in toronto was truly stunning with chameleon paint work changing from purple, to green to bronze. You can never go far wrong in North America with a Ford F150. Voted North American truck of the year time and time again, Ford unveiled the 2009 version at the show. At the other end of the scale Mini unveiled their new clubman, which I have to say I though pretty ugly, especially compared to the delightful Mini Cooper. For those of you who think this article has simply been an excuse to look at some really stunning cars and print some great picture, you are right and we make no apologies.
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In search of dinosaurs
There is nowhere quite like Alberta for those searching for dinosaurs. Sure, you won’t come across any live ones, well we don’t think so anyway, but what you will find is 75 million years of dinosaur history.
Dinosaur Provincial Park is located two hours southeast of Calgary and is the location of some of the best fossil discoveries ever made. Over 35 species of dinosaur have been found here dating back over 75 million years. In total over 300 dinosaur skeletons have been located and many more are still undiscovered in this vast wilderness. Museums all over the world house skeletons originally found in this area making it one of the most important archeological sites in the world. So revered is the site that it was named a United Nations World Heritage Site in 1979. The park is situated in the Red Deer Valley and you could be forgiven in thinking that you had entered another world when you arrive. The area is famous for its hoodoos (pictured right) which tower majestically from the ground. You can travel from neighboring towns and spend the day in the park, but why not spend a couple of days here and use the campground facilities. There are many tours available and numbers are limited, so many people find that they simply don’t have the time to take advantage of the whole park if they are only here for a day. If you plan to stay in one of the campgrounds, reservations are recommended, especially in the summer as places get booked very quickly. As well as the guided tours, there are five self-guided tours available, two of which are accessible for physically disabled visitors. If you visit in the summer make sure you have plenty of water with you as well as sunscreen and a hat as temperatures
here can get very hot (35°C) and the sun is unforgiving. Some of the tours only take place in the mornings because of the heat, so make sure you research this beforehand so as not to miss them. Many of the tours are escorted as they take you into areas that are being excavated and are therefore protected. If you are really lucky you may visit as something is discovered. Some of the areas where the tours venture can also be dangerous with local wildlife such as rattlesnakes on the prowl. The landscape can also be very bewildering and it would be easy to get lost on your own. One of the best tours to take in order to get a good overview of the park is the Badlands Bus tour. This is a two-hour bus ride during which time an experienced guide will point out all the local landmarks and give you details of the dinosaurs found.
If you don’t want to be confined to a bus, then one of the hiking tours may be for you. There are several guided tours to choose from and include gentle wheelchair accessible routes such as the Cottonwood Flats Trail as well as those requiring some physical stamina. If you want to go it alone, then you can hike some of the public trails which are generally pretty easy going and offer great vistas over the badlands. The Fossil Hunters Trail is one of the best trails which passes by areas where dinosaurs have been excavated in the past and you may still see bones here and there. If you have a little more energy then the Coulee Viewpoint Trail is for you. This trail is only half a kilometer long but climbs steadily to give you great views of the valley below. The Badlands Trail is a great trail to really appreciate the hoodoos up close and personal.
The fees for the park are very reasonable with family tickets for bus and hiking tours being only $25.00. Whilst in the area your trip is not complete if you don’t travel north to Drumheller and visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum. The entrance for adults is $10 and $6 for children, or you can buy a family ticket for $30. You will know you have reached the museum as you are confronted by a huge Tyrannosaurs Rex at the entrance. Once inside there are hundreds of exhibits to view. See what Alberta looked like 70 million years ago in the Cretaceous Alberta exhibit. In the Dinosaur Hall you will see over 40 mounted skeletons and thousands of fossil specimens. Visit the Ice Age exhibit and see sabre-toothed tigers and wooly mammoths. You can even venture underwater, well a recreation of a prehistoric ocean bed where you will come across creatures that will blow your mind. Kids will love the Nexen Science Hall where they can interact by pushing levers, buttons and learn about geology, fossils and dinosaurs. To spend a few days in the Badlands area of Alberta will never be wasted, there is so much to see and do and you will never get this type of experience anywhere else in the world. So if you plan
a visit to Alberta, or you already live there, you really must set aside a couple of days to go back 75 million years, you won’t regret it.
Free assistance on • Accommodation • Real Estate • Insurance • Mortgages • Airport meet and greet • Serving Calgary and South Alberta
Contact Helen Parnell a property relocation specialist who has helped many expats settle here after making the move herself.
MOVING 2 ALBERTA
Tel: 001 403 932 5670 Email: Helenparnell@shaw.ca www.moving2alberta.com
The best places in Canada
If you asked people where the best place to live in Canada was you would get lots of different replies. Where one person considers good another might think is the worst possible place to live. It all depends on you own personal requirements. So we have taken a look at the different surveys and polls to give you an overview.
MoneySense conducted their survey regarding the best places to live in Canada. Their criteria included economy, weather, amenities, real estate and attractions. From this they came up with the following top ten. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Ottawa-Gateneau, ON Halifax, NS Quebec, QC Guelph, ON Fredericton, NB Kingston, ON Moncton, NB London, ON Victoria, BC Gander, NL
Their criteria included cost of living, real estate prices, climate, transportation, health care and scenery.
For the weather
Again we look to MoneySense to provide the answers and in their survey the top places for the best weather overall were. Leamington, ON Kitchener, ON Ottawa-Gatineau, ON Rimouski, QC Windsor, ON
Today’s Parent magazine have decided that their top 10 locations in Canada for families are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Quebec City, QC Ottawa-Hull, ON Halifax, NS Winnipeg, MB Calgary, AB St.John's, NL Saskatoon, SK Edmonton, AB Victoria, BC Toronto, ON
To retire to
California State University surveyed cities across North America which were considered best to retire to. Of those the following five Canadian cities came up tops. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Victoria, BC London, ON Halifax, NS Stratford, ON Kingston, ON
For real estate
When looking at real estate prices MoneySense took into account the median family income of the area compared to the average house prices. The following locations were the most affordable. Timmins, ON Terrace, BC Thompson, MB Yorkton, SK Kitimat, BC
There choices were based on criteria such as the best schools, health care, low crime rate, clean air etc.
A little something for Easter
1 lb. minced pork (ground) 1 small onion 1 small clove garlic, minced ! tsp. salt ! tsp. sage " tsp. celery pepper " tsp. ground cloves ! cup water " to ! cup bread crumbs Place all ingredients in a sauce pan except bread crumbs. Bring to a boil and cook 20 minutes uncovered over medium heat, stirring often to break up meat - remove from heat. Add a few bread crumbs, let stand 10 minutes. If fat is sufficiently absorbed by the bread crumbs, do not add more. If not, continue adding bread crumbs. Cool and pour into pastry lined pie pan. Cover with pastry. Bake in a 400° oven until crust is brown. Serve Hot.
Classic Baked Ham with MapleMustard Glaze
1 cooked, bone-in half ham (about 7 to 8 lbs.) 15 whole cloves 1/4 cup dark brown sugar 1/4 cup maple syrup 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard Preheat oven to 325°. Cut off the tough, leatherlike skin from ham (if it has it; some hams will not), and score the fat in a crosshatch pattern. Stud ham all over with cloves, put in a large roasting pan, and loosely tent with foil. Bake until a thermometer inserted in center of thickest part (not touching the bone) registers 135°, about 20 minutes per lb. or 2 to 2 1/2 hours total, basting occasionally with any accumulated juices. While ham is baking, make the glaze: In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, maple syrup, and mustard. Whisk until smooth. When ham has about 40 minutes left to bake (internal temperature will be 120° to 125°), brush generously on all sides with glaze. Continue baking until ham reaches 135° and glaze is well browned.
2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 cup butter 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk 1 large egg 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind 1 cup blueberries Cooking spray 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup powdered sugar Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through nutmeg) in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Combine buttermilk, egg, and rind; stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist. Gently fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until the muffins spring back when lightly touched. Remove muffins from pans immediately, and place on a wire rack to cool. Combine lemon juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze evenly over cooled muffins.
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To simplify, or not to simplify, that is the question
Last year Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) introduced a new simplified application process. The majority of people now applying for permanent residency either through the skilled worker or business routes will use this method, but for some it is not an option and the regular route must be used.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada Citoyenneté et Immigration Canada
APPLICATION FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE FEDERAL SKILLED WORKER CLASS SIMPLIFIED APPLICATION PROCESS
THIS FORM MUST BE COMPLETED BY THE PRINCIPAL APPLICANT ONLY
proficiency, relatives in Canada and work • You have been lawfully admitted How many family members (including yourself) are included into the United States for a period of at experience details. in this application for permanent residence? least one year and are submitting your Page 3: Family member details and First, lets clarify what is meant by the Language you prefer for: application through the Buffalo visa your signature. simplified process. Prior to introducing this office Correspondence: You will not be required to send any English French You must m method anyone applying for residency supporting documentation at thisat the time you su time. • You are applying using one of the thorough the skilled worker or business Interview: English French Other If you are using a representative to provincial nominee routes routes needed to complete lots of submit your application you will also need • You are applying through the paperwork and present all related 1. Your full Quebec route name (as shown in your passport or travel document) the form IMM12. Your residential address (incl to complete 5476 - Use of a supporting documentation at the time of Family name Representative. • You are eligible for points through application. This meant than many people arranged employment You will then need to send your Given name(s) were sending in literally hundreds of If you cannot use the simplified application form, along with your 2. Your sex Male Female sheets of paper with everything from their process you must use the regular processing fees to the relevant visa office. Day Month Year employment references to qualifications. application process. Everyone else should Some visa offices have additional address, if differ 13. Your mailing 3. Your date of birth Not only was this very time consuming for use the simplified application process. instructions that you should use. This link 4. Your place of birth Town/City the applicant it also meant that CIC had to will give you details of this. stockpile tons of paperwork until the time You can find which visa office you Skilled Worker Country the applications were assessed. should use by clicking on this link. 5. Your country All The new simplified process allows of citizenship After you have mailed yourcorrespondence will go to thi If you qualify for the simplified address below, thereby authoriz 6. Your country the applicant to complete just a couple of application to the correct visapersonal information to be provi office you process you will need to complete form of residence sheets of paperwork and only send in the will Month receive Year Acknowledgment of an 14. Your e-mail address, if applica IMM 0008SW - Application for Permanent Day Since when? supporting documents when requested at Receipt (AOR). The AOR does not in any Residence. The form is quite easy to the time their application is assessed. way confirm your application status it completeYour native language following and asks for the 7. Remember that you must meet the simply confirms they have15. Your telephone numbers received your information: Country code required selection criteria for the 8. Your height cm OR ft in At home ( application. ) Page 1: Number of applicants immigration route you are using in order You will not normally need to contact Alternative included, Colour of your eyes preferred language for ( ) 9. to apply via either route. the visa office again until they contact you correspondence, your personal details: 10. Your current marital status 16. Details only for supporting documentation. The from your passport name, sex, date of birth, place of birth, Never Legally Passport number Married Widowed So, who can use the time you separated to notify them of any will need married country of citizenship, country of Annulled changes to your application is for a Divorced simplified process? residency, native language, height, eye Common-law marriage Country of issue change of address. An update of your If you are marriedprevious or in a common-law Day Month Year colour, marital status, relationship, provide the date on which information will automatically be marriages orwere married or entered into the you common-law relationships, You cannot use the simplified Day Month common-law relationship requested before the visa office is ready Date of expiry address, email address, phone number, application process if; 11. Have you previously been married or in a common-law relationship? to assess your application. • You have been lawfully admitted to passport details, city you intent to live in details for each previous Give the following No Yes 17. Your identity card number, if a spouse or partner. If you do At the time you will be asked to not have enough Canada for a period of at least one year Canada and occupation. space, provide details on a separate sheet of provide updated information relating to Page 2: Details of work or study in paper. and are submitting your application Name of previous your application such as employmentyou intend to live in Canada, level of education, language 18. Where do through the Buffalo visa office spouse or partner
City/Town Date of birth Type of relationship From
Day Month Day Month Year
Common-law union to
Day Month Year
19. Your current occupation
history since application, marital status changes etc. You will also be asked to provide supporting documentation such as police certificates, passport details, proof of education and employment, language skills etc. You will be asked to undergo a medical examination, along with all other family members and details of how to do this will be provided. Once you have submitted all the requested information your application will be assessed and a decision will be made based on your details. You may be asked to provide additional information and you may also be asked to attend an interview Business: Application for Permanent Residence IMM 0008 Schedule 1: Background Declaration IMM 0008 Schedule 1 Business Immigrants - IMM 0008 Schedule 6 Additional Family Information - IMM 5406, and What if I don’t qualify for the IMM 5476 - Use of a Representative if using a representative to process your simplified process? application. You will have to submit all the If you have to use the regular process required supporting documentation at the you will need to complete the following time of your application. forms: Once submitted to the correct visa Skilled Worker: office you will receive an Acknowledgment Application for Permanent Residence of Receipt (AOR) which informs you that Business Applicants IMM 0008 the office have received your application. Schedule 1: Background Declaration At the time your application is If you are applying as an investor, IMM 0008 Schedule 1 processed you may be asked for entrepreneur or self-employed you Additional Family Information - IMM 5406 additional information and will have to cannot use the simplified process if: Skilled Workers Schedule 3 - IMM 0008 undergo medical examinations. A decision • You have been selected by Quebec Schedule 3 and will then be made based on all your and intend to settle there IMM 5476 - Use of a Representative if information. • You have been lawfully admitted to using a representative to process your Canada for a period of at least one year application. and you are submitting your application via the visa office in Buffalo • You have been lawfully admitted into the United States for a period of at least one year and you are submitting your application via the visa office in Buffalo All other applicants may use the simplified process as long as all other selection criteria are met, You will need to complete the form IMM 0008BU - Application for Permanent Residency, Business Immigration. Pages 1 and 3 are the same as the skilled worker application. Page 2: Relatives in Canada, level of education, language proficiency, work and study in Canada (self-employed only), exploration visits to Canada, net worth (investors and entrepreneurs only). If you are using a representative to submit your application you will also need to complete the form IMM 5476 - Use of a Representative. You will not be required to send any supporting documentation at this time. mymuchmor - social networking brought to You will then need to send your you by muchmor - connecting canada application form, along with your processing fees to the relevant visa office. Some visa offices have additional instructions that you should use. This link will give you details of this, along with the application forms to download. You can find which visa office you should use by clicking on this link. Once submitted the process is exactly the same as that of skilled worker.
Muchmor asks why processing times are getting longer?
New figures reveal that the average time immigrants wait for admission into canada has increase over 20% since 2004. The figures also highlight the huge differences between one country and another.
We have often reported on the average wait times from various countries around the world and this latest report reveals that some people wait 2,300% longer than others, depending on their immigration category. If we look at the skilled worker category which is the most used category you can expect to be processed within 14 months in Lima, Peru but will have to wait a staggering 71 months in Kyiv, Ukraine. Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis who obtained the figures says, “ There's no excuse for discrimination. Why are we not looking at people as people? Things should move at the same length of time whether it's from Greece, from Europe, from south Asia, or from China." Karygiannis, a Toronto MP calculated the figures and found that overall the processing time had increased more than 20% between 2004 and 2006, a fact the Conservative government did not dispute. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) spokesperson, Karen ShaddEvelyn, said no country is prioritized over another but local conditions, like mail service, play a factor in determining how long an applicant must wait. Muchmor has to ask at this point, “how bad can the Kyiv postal system be that it takes an additional 57 months for applications to be processed? Are we expected to believe that this is a major factor in the processing times” Shadd-Evelyn also added that they had inherited a large 800,000 backlog when they took office in early 2006 and
that they had responded by putting money and time into priority categories such as family reunification. This resulted in wait times being reduced by several months for spouses and children. A specific example is dependent children where in 2004, 50% of their cases were completed within seven months and 80% were completed within 18 months. By the end of 2006, 80% of cases had been processed within 11 months. Karygiannis agreed the immigration system has been in need of repair for many years. But he called the government's excuse unacceptable. Karygiannis found that although as CIC suggested 80% of cases for family reunification were processed within 11 months, geographic location played a huge factor. People in London, United Kingdom could expect to be processed within 8 months whilst those in Haiti or Guatemala would wait 19 months. At the other end of the scale people in Vienna would only wait on average three months. Parents and grandparents could expect their processing time to be around 11 months in London, UK, 34 months in Beijing, China and 45 months in New Delhi, India.
Across all countries skilled worker processing times averaged 62 months for 80% of cases, however those in Paris, France could wait 15 months, London, UK 54 months and as we mentioned before Kyiv, Ukraine, 71 months. Spouses and partners is one of the quickest routes but even so discrepancies still arose with Buffalo, USA seeing processing times of 13 months whilst Taipei applicants could be processed in as little as 5 months. Muchmor echoes what Karygiannis says in that more personnel need to be recruited or moved around so that resources are spread more evenly and every immigration office can process their applicants in a speedy and efficient manner. We also suggest that thought be given to the number of countries that each office is responsible for. London, UK for example not only processes applicants from the UK, but also from Denmark, Faroe islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The Manila office in the Philippines also processes Guam, Japan, Johnston Atoll, Kosrae, Marinas, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Midway Island, Northern Mariana Island, Pacific Islands, Palau (Belau), Ponape,
Truk Island, Wake Island,Yap Island. If some of the visa offices were to concentrate on their own applicants and not those from other countries the processing times could be reduced drastically. Although it is perhaps too much to ask that each country be responsible for its own applicants, a better managed system would certainly help matters. Offices that have high numbers of applicants need to be able to concentrate on them and not worry about others. Likewise perhaps those countries who have only a few applicants can be grouped more responsibly. The bottom line is Canada is crying out for skilled workers, skilled workers are desperate to move to Canada. It doesn’t take a genius to see that a perfect fit exists, it just needs the Canadian government to see what everyone else can see and make the system work.
On February 26th the Canadian government announced the 2008 Budget. As part of many initiatives they announced that they would be modernizing the immigration system with a $22-million investment over two years, growing to $37 million per year, including legislation to speed up the processing of permanent resident applications, ensuring shorter wait times and making Canada’s immigration system more competitive. We will wait and see!
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) produces historical processing times for each visa office, however these times can and do differ from current wait times and more importantly future wait times. The following charts give examples of published processing times from various locations. Each class is depicted in the following order - Skilled Worker, Business, Family, Provincial Nominee
30% OF CASES FINALIZED IN: (MONTHS) 40, 40, 5, 5 23, n/a, 3, 4 53, 29, 2, 8 25, 28, 5, 4 58, n/a, 4, 6 68, 66, 2, 6 27, n/a, 3, 3 22, 15, 6, 7 31, n/a,10, 13 31, 28, 3, 5 31, 54, 5, 3 11, n/a, 2, 2 16, 25, 3, 5 17, n/a, 4, n/a 20, n/a, 5, n/a
50% OF CASES FINALIZED IN: (MONTHS) 42, 47, 5, 6 29, n/a, 4, 5 64, 53, 3, 10 29, 33, 6, 5 61, n/a, 4, 8 70, 67, 4, 9 29, n/a, 5, 4 24, 18, 8, 8 46, n/a, 11, 16 33, 33, 4, 6 52, 58, 6, 5 14, n/a, 2, 3 19, 46, 5, 6 19, n/a, 6, n/a 21, n/a, 6, n/a
70% OF CASES FINALIZED IN: (MONTHS) 44, 56, 7, 11 63, n/a, 6, 7 67, 65, 4, 13 65, 60, 7, 7 64, n/a, 6, 10 72, 69, 6, 14 31, n/a, 6, 5 27, 22, 10, 10 68, n/a, 13, 19 35, 42, 7, 8 58, 62, 7, 6 17, n/a, 4, 5 22, 51, 7, 7 22, n/a, 8, n/a 24, n/a, 8, n/a
80% OF CASES FINALIZED IN: (MONTHS) 47, 74, 8, 22 64, n/a, 7, 8 68, 67, 4, 13 68, 68, 8, 8 65, n/a, 6, 11 73, 70, 6, 16 32, n/a, 7, 6 29, 25, 13, 11 77, n/a, 14, 23 38, 61, 9, 9 62, 64, 9, 9 19, n/a, 6, 6 25, 56, 9, 8 25, n/a, 11, n/a 26, n/a, 9, n/a
CAIRO, EGYPT TEL AVIV, ISRAEL BEIJING, CHINA HONG KONG MANILA, PHILIPPINES NEW DELHI, INDIA SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA BERLIN, GERMANY KYIV, UKRAINE LONDON, UK PARIS, FRANCE VIENNA, AUSTRIA BUFFALO, USA KINGSTON, JAMAICA MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
Immigration Q & A
Roberta Campbell-Chudoba answers your questions regarding Canadian immigration. Roberta is an immigration consultant from Canadian Relocation Solutions and is a member of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants. You can contact Canadian Relocation Solutions on 1-306-373-4686 (Canada), 01753 362217 (Windsor UK) or 01904 236182 (York UK) or just click on the advert below.
If I take additional educational courses whilst I wait for PR to be processed can this be included in my application to boost my potential to be accepted? First of all, you must meet all requirements and criteria at the time of application. Before the visa office is ready to process your application, you will be requested to update your situation. According to Operating Manual 6 - Federal Skilled Workers, if an applicant completes further study between application and assessment and submits the necessary documentation of that study, points must be awarded accordingly. Do not contact the visa office with updates of your situation including educational courses, other than a change in address, before being asked to do so. (Information of a change in address should be submitted immediately to the visa office by mail, email or fax.)
Canadian Immigration Visa Office will decide based upon ‘program integrity’ whether or not to transfer the application. As part of program integrity considerations, officers are instructed to be mindful that visa applications are reviewed by offices with the local knowledge and expertise necessary to conduct an effective case review. The Office may decide on its own to transfer your file to a different more appropriate Canadian Immigration Visa Office without a request, based on the your updated address submission. The onus is on you, the applicant to
demonstrate that the transfer of the file would not compromise the application evaluation process. Please note that for assessment purposes, Visa Offices receiving a transferred file must respect the original date on which the application was received as the “lock-in” date. That means that a file received in London in July 2006 and transferred to Buffalo, USA in March 2007, will enter the Buffalo queue as of July 2006. Will my processing fee be refunded if I decide to cancel my application?
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I am a British citizen and eighteen months ago I applied for Permanent Residency in the Skilled Worker class at the London High Commission. I have now been offered a job in the USA. I still want to move to Canada but will I need to move my application from the UK to USA and if so will it slow down my processing time? You are not required to move your file as you have applied to the visa office responsible for your country of citizenship. However, a request to transfer your application to another Canadian Immigration Visa Office may be made to the London Visa Office when you are in the USA for over one year. The
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RELOCATION/IMMIGRATION/LEGAL REPRESENTATION/RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE/MORTGAGES/TRANSPORTATION/FINANCIALCONSULTATIONS/BANKING/BUSINESSES/ INSURANCE/EDUCATION/EMPLOYMENT PLACEMENT
The cost recovery fee charged to process the Skilled Worker category Application for Permanent Residence, paid at the time application is made is refundable any time before the initial screening of the application by a visa office. An applicant may request and receive a refund of the cost recovery fee up to that time. Once an application has gone through initial screening, the cost recovery fee is not refundable. I am French but live in the UK. Do I submit my application to Paris or London and in English or French? You must submit your Application for Permanent Residence in Canada to the Canadian Immigration Visa Office responsible for the country of your citizenship or to the visa office responsible for the country you are currently residing in if you have been legally admitted to that country for at least one year. Canadian immigration policy puts aside an applicant's foreign immigration status as long as the applicant meets the requirements of being legally admitted to the country of current residence. But an immigration application may be refused on the grounds of criminal inadmissibility if one has knowingly violated the immigration laws of a foreign jurisdiction. You may submit your application in French or English depending on your preference to any Canadian Immigration Visa Office.
New funding to attract francophone immigrants to New Brunswick
Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, announced funding for the Société des Acadiens et Acadiennes du Nouveau-Brunswick (SAANB) to help attract and settle French-speaking immigrants into francophone communities across the province. “Our government is committed to helping ensure francophone minority communities across Canada have a solid future,” said Minister Finley. “This funding will help attract French-speaking newcomers to New Brunswick, and will help ensure they succeed with their new lives in Canada.” The funding, which totals $50,000, is provided through the Government of Canada’s Official Languages Action Plan. It will be used by the SAANB for a number of activities, including training and cultural awareness events, to help integrate immigrants into francophone and Acadian communities across the province of New Brunswick.
During February the government of Canada announced a number of funding initiative to help communities across Canada integrate newcomers better. The communities receiving the funding include: Lethbridge, Toronto, St John’s, Brantford and North Bay.
“The Government of Canada is committed to helping newcomers succeed,” said Minister Finley. “ With this funding, thousands of new immigrants, particularly internationally trained immigrants, will have access to language training, community services, and help with finding a job. Their success is good for Canada as a whole.”
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Record numbers leave Britain
HIFX reveals emigration trends as the number of people leaving Britain grows to record levels Ten Pound Poms!
After World War II many Britons were sold the dream of a new life in Australia, seduced by a fare of just £10. Sixty years on, the desire to join the original ‘Ten Pound Poms’ shows no signs of abating. As record numbers of Brits are leaving the UK for a new life abroad, currency specialists HiFX released its first Annual Global Emigration Hotspots Report. The study reveals migration trends in 2007 and predicts where Brits will be moving to this year. Australia remains the top get away destination but Canada is moving up the rankings to become an emigration favorite too. Latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show a record 400,000 Brits leaving Britain each year or nearly one in every 120 of the adult population. This figure, up from 359,000 the previous year and was the highest estimate since ONS introduced the method to calculate Total International Migration 1991. The Emigration Hot Spots Report, based on analysis of enquiries received by HiFX, shows the number of enquiries from Brits looking to emigrate across all destinations was up by 22% in 2007 compared to the previous year. Australia remained the top destination last year followed by Spain, New Zealand, Canada, the US and France. Mark Bodega, Director of currency specialists HiFX, who help over 30,000 people emigrate and buy property abroard each year explains, “A strong pound, rising house prices and good job opportunities abroad tend to be the main reasons for Brits to emigrate. However different destinations hold different appeal and changes to the migration process in certain countries is really affecting the numbers of people choosing to move there” Australia still the favourite destination but its popularity has slowed in recent months following changes to the emigration system : Australia remains the most popular destination for expats and according to HiFX, the number of Brits emigrating down under has increased by 15%. However, in comparison to other destinations, the total percentage of people emigrating to Australia has decreased by 5% from 2006 to 2007. This shows that recent changes to the Australian immigration rules are already impacting emigration trends. Bodega comments, “In September 2007, the Australian government introduced changes to the skills assessment process for tradespeople. The changes have already had a significant impact on the numbers of visa applications being lodged from the UK; in particular among applicants who have no formal qualifications. We expect this decrease to continue throughout 2008 unless the Australian government reviews its system.” Paul Arthur, Director of the Emigration Group agrees: “The new process requires certain trade occupations to have a technical interview and practical assessment. This makes the whole process more costly and time consuming. Never the less, the majority of occupations remain unaffected and enquiries are greater than ever.” experience. Australia’s loss can be New Zealand’s gain with their expanding economy, close ties to the UK and trades people equally in demand.” adds Arthur.
Canada soaring in popularity:
HiFX has seen numbers of Brits emigrating to Canada almost double in 2007. However, waiting times for Canadian Visas continue to put UK migrants off so it is unlikely to catch up with Australia in terms of overall popularity.
Permanent emigration is a big step resulting in an increasing number of Brits buying an overseas property in order to test the water as to whether they are suited to a life abroad. HiFX suggest that the high numbers of people emigrating to France and Spain have previously purchased properties there as a precursor to migrating full time. A separate HiFX customer survey revealed that 30% of people buying a holiday home planned to relocate or retire there in the future.
Don’t let the banks cash in!
On average, a UK family emigrates abroad with assets of £250,000 from the sale of a house, car and some savings. While they carefully plan their new lives in minute detail, what many overlook is the potential cost of leaving their currency exchange in the wrong hands. By New Zealand to benefit in transferring their worldly goods to their 2008: new country via a high street bank, the Neighboring New Zealand is also average family risks losing up to a decreasing in popularity with enquiries staggering £10,000 of their assets. dropping by 7% 2006 to 2007. However According to research from HiFX, banks HiFX predict the numbers moving to the typically charge 4% more than currency country will pick up as those who have specialists in unfavourable exchange failed the new eligibility criteria in Australia rates. make visa applications for New Zealand Use this link to get currency instead. exchange advice from HiFX the “Immigration New Zealand recognises relevant work experience and specialists in foreign exchange. awards points for ‘on-the-job’ work
Temporary foreign worker services expanded
The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced an expansion of services to help employers in Ontario and Atlantic Canada meet their labour market needs with temporary foreign workers. Two units are being established in Toronto and Moncton to serve as main points of contact for companies wishing to hire foreign workers in the two regions. These are in addition to three already established in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal. “The addition of these two new temporary foreign worker units means that employers across Canada now have a dedicated point of service where they can get help getting the workers they need,” said Minister Finley. “The units will help make the process easier for employers, and will help strengthen local and regional economies.” Like the units in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal, the units in Toronto and Moncton will, among other things: * provide advice to employers who plan to hire temporary foreign workers; * facilitate the entry of workers in certain professions who do not require a visa and verification that there are no Canadians available; * make the entry process smoother and more efficient by providing employers with accurate and up-to-date information; * pre-screen supporting documents from employers to streamline the application process for such workers; and * work with provinces to better meet regional needs. Requests for temporary foreign workers for whom visas are required or who are in other professions would still be directed to Service Canada. “Temporary foreign workers help support Canada’s economic growth and prosperity, and I’m pleased that all regions of Canada will benefit from the exceptional service the units provide,” added Minister Finley.
The units are one aspect of the Government of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which allows employers to hire foreign workers to meet their human resources needs when sufficient numbers of Canadian workers are not readily available. Recently, the government has taken a number of steps to improve the program. The 2007 budget provided $50.5 million toward measures to further reduce processing delays and to establish mechanisms to monitor employer compliance with the terms and conditions of the program and address non-compliance.
are the skilled individuals Ontario’s employers need.” Furthermore, since international students eligible for the nomination program must have completed their degree at a Canadian post-secondary institution, they “are familiar with Canadian life and will enhance multiculturalism in Ontario. In a rapidly globalizing world, international students will be the bridges between Ontario and the world.” In addition, Minister Chan spoke of Ontario’s reputation across the world as a melting pot of cultures, adding that international students have the opportunity to strengthen the province’s social and economic foundations. That is why, he added, “attracting and retaining international students makes sense,” and giving them another option after graduation would be another reason for them to choose Ontario for their Ontario Minister of Citizenship and education. Immigration Michael Chan announced the Minister Chan was joined by Minister inclusion of international students under of Training, Colleges and Universities the Provincial Nominee Program, a step John Milloy, and Kitchener-Conestoga that would “fast-track” their residency if Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) they have a job offer relating to their area Leeanna Pendergast, in making the of study. announcement. International students who are offered MPP Pendergast said that adding jobs relevant to their area of study will international students under the Pilot have their application for permanent Provincial Nominee Program would have residency “fast-tracked” by Citizenship a “positive impact on the Kitchenerand Immigration Canada, as explained in Waterloo region and on the province of a news release accompanying the Ontario.” She added that the K-W region minister’s address. has become a hotspot for new Canadians Minister Chan explained that and that over the past six years it has Ontario’s universities attract some of the welcomed over 15,000 newcomers. She world’s best and brightest and that many says, “It is expected that the population of of them want to stay on after they Waterloo region will increase by over graduate. He added that the Ontario 200,000 in the course of the next 25 government “wanted them to stay.” years.” Previously, only graduates of Ontario “The Pilot Provincial Nominee colleges and universities were allowed to Program is helping to spread the benefits nominate themselves for the program, but of immigration in this region and across the current change would allow the province,” said Pendergast. international students from across Canada UW VP: Academic and Provost Dr. to apply to become permanent residents Amit Chakma, previously an international of Ontario. With more than 35,000 student, explained that when he was at international students in Ontario alone, university in Vancouver, he “made every this initiative aims to tap into the skills and attempt to stay in this country and make experiences international students this country my home, but all those present. attempts were met with numerous Minister Chan added that “they are obstacles.” He added that this program is hard-working, talented and bright … these welcome news and will serve the province very well.
Ontario PNP to include visa students
24 Real Life
Nova Scotia bound
The Ottewell family are hoping to make their dream of living in Nova Scotia a reality. They are using the Provincial Nominee Program to hopefully secure a job for Steve as a truck driver. In this, the first part of their story we look at the background to their move and what made them decide on Canada and Nova Scotia in particular. In the coming months we will follow their story as Vanessa writes about their trials and tribulations in an ongoing blog for our readers. My husband Steve and I started thinking about emigrating around June 2007. Our friend Mike, worked for the same company as Steve as a truck driver and they had found out that Canada is short of truck drivers so appointed an immigration attorney to help them through the process.
Mike was using the Provincial Nominee Programme (PNP). This is where a company will sponsor you for a minimum of two years. Their Attorney had arranged for them to attend job interviews in May 2007 in Nova Scotia, their chosen location. They kept sending photos back to us of Canada and various houses they had looked at via e-mail, which got us seriously thinking about looking at doing the move ourselves. We saw our friends regularly and kept up to date with everything they were doing and got more and more excited about the prospect of doing it ourselves. We checked out other parts of Canada, but kept coming back to Nova Scotia. It was the closest you could get to the UK (6! hours flight) and the weather was the warmest out of the whole of Canada overall. Our friends ended up emigrating in August 2007, around the same time that we went on a family holiday to Spain. They had only begun the whole emigration process in February 2007 themselves (they actually appointed the Attorney in February 2007), and by the beginning of August 2007 were living in Nova Scotia, and by September 2007
Steve (35), Vanessa (37), Connor (11) and Lauren (5)
Bedhampton, Havant, (near Portsmouth) Hampshire
were living in their own house! Whilst on holiday all we could think about and talk about was moving to Canada. So much so that on our return we booked up to see the same Immigration Attorney. They were based in Montreal, but were over in the UK attending the Emigration Expo’s. We arranged to meet with one of them on October 12th in London. To be honest, we had already made up our minds, so this was really just a formality. We met up with one of the Immigration Consultants from the company, and she went through the whole process. She explained the procedure and the services they provided. We also discussed the payment, which although not cheap, we felt was a necessary thing for us to do. At this point we decided that we had to be sure it was what we really wanted. We had a family holiday to Nova Scotia
Real Life 25
booked for May 2008, but Steve felt that we should go sooner than this. Due to lack of funds we decided that Steve would visit on his own and would stay with Mike and his family in Nova Scotia. We decided not to appoint the attorneys until after the trip as we obviously didn’t want to waste money if we decided it wasn’t for us. Before he went we had made contact with Mike & Orla from www.uk2novascotia.com. They were relocation experts who had originated from the UK, and had set up their own company to help other people with emigrating. Steve met up with Mike whilst out in Canada, and he gave Steve lots of information relating to living and moving out there. It proved very informative, and we keep in contact with them via e-mail now, just to check on things as and when they crop up. MIke also referred Steve to a local realtor who agreed to show him around some houses we had seen on the internet. We had chosen about eight, and after giving him our “wish-list” he threw in a couple of his own for us to look at. The realtor spent a couple of days showing Steve round the houses, despite knowing that we wouldn’t actually be buying anything for potentially another year! It was very useful to actually see areas that we had seen on the internet and check them out for ourselves. Most places look lovely on the computer, but not actually so great in reality! Looking at houses whilst on the “fact-finding” trip was invaluable, as it gave us a great insight as to what is out there, and what you can get for your money. Your money certainly goes a long way. On Steve’s return we decided the very next day to go ahead with appointing the attorney and rang them the same day. We paid the first installment and they went away
Connor practicing his snowboarding skills
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26 Real Life
The Ottewell family prepare for their new life in Canada with Lauren waving the trusty Maple Leaf
and sorted out application forms, CV and made up Steve’s Labour Market Report. This is a report that lets you know the way life will be in Canada; like how much unemployment, how much the taxes are, cost of living, house prices - seventy-six pages of stuff relating to Steve, work and Canada. It tells them how long Steve has been driving etc and what type of driving jobs he would like to do whilst out in Canada. Our Labour Market Report arrived about two weeks after we paid the first payment. I have to say at this point that in the beginning we were not going to use an attorney and just apply ourselves, but when we saw the application form it just looked scary. So far I think we have signed about six documents and spent a total of about an hour filling out the application process. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t spend the time doing it, but if you don’t need to then why waste the time. The whole process could be done a lot quicker with an attorney, probably about half the time. The next step for us now is to go out on holiday in May 2008 (the earliest realistically that we can afford to go) and for Steve to attend interviews, which is one of the requirements of the attorney. You need to have a holiday of two weeks
in which they can organise interviews for you to attend. Once you have attended your interviews you will receive job offers, at which point you have some choices to make. At our initial meeting they had requested that we choose three different locations (as we were looking at Nova Scotia our choices were Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island). This was because they didn’t want you to have tunnel vision - they wanted to make sure you had seen as much of Canada as possible before deciding on a destination. We decided that we would only look at 2 locations - Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The attorneys will now liaise with various companies and set Steve up with about 10 interviews. We have specified that we ideally want Nova Scotia, so they are focusing their job search on there more so than New Brunswick. So that’s it really until May 2008. We are waiting for our Police checks to come back, which is something that the Canadian Government require from everyone. We believe that at this point that is it until we come back from Canada. The house is on the market, the kids are whipped up into a frenzy, and we can’t wait to go! I will keep you posted each month regarding our trials and tribulations.
Last month’s story update
We featured the story of Sue and Barry last month and the problems they had with an immigration company who were not providing the service they had promised. We have since heard back from the couple and the company have now backed down and have agreed to give them a full refund as they agree that they did not provide an adequate service. This is great news and a good victory, however it still means the family are no closer to realising their dream to live in Canada. We will keep in touch with them and if there are any developments in the future we will let you all know. We wish Sue, Barry and children the best of luck in pursuing their dream.
Check out other real life stories on our website
How to Take Charge of Your Career in 2008
by Daisy Wright
According to a survey by Careerbuilder.ca (see page 30) of 281 hiring managers and human resources professionals, 46 per cent of Canadian employers plan to boost the number of full-time permanent employees in 2008. There is even better news if you fall into the professional, technical, administrative or clerical worker categories. And, for those baby boomers who often feel unwanted in the workplace, your skills will be in high demand. If the experts are correct, now is the time to start thinking of ways to position yourself to take advantage of these impending opportunities. The days when employers used to be responsible for the careers of their employees are long gone. That responsibility now falls squarely on the shoulders of employees. As such, you can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines. Here are some thoughts to mull over while you devise your plans to take charge of your career in 2008: who wait until the last minute then hurry and string together a list of your job description statements, or are you the proactive kind who has been meticulously taking note of projects you have worked on and the work you have accomplished? 9. Make it a habit of tapping into and nurturing your network. What information can you share with people in your network? Have you read an article or found a website that could benefit someone in your group? Networking is not a one-shot event and must be constantly nurtured. That's how you'll be kept on someone's radar for the next opportunity. Daisy Wright is a career transition coach, professional resume writer and author of No Canadian Experience, Eh? A Career Survival Guide for New Immigrants. She can be reached by phone at (905) 840-7039, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her websites: www.thewrightcareer.com and www.nocanadianexperience-eh.com. CareerBuilder is one of Canada’s top job sites and states its mission “to be the leader in the internet job awareness business in the Canadian marketplace.” They have partnered with Muchmor to offer you, our readers the best and most up-to-date employment information available. The muchmor JOB SEARCH includes jobs from the Canada Job Bank, the largest web-based network of job postings available to Canadians as well as jobs from some of Canada’s top employers. Mymuchmor is a social network for Canadians and would-be Canadians and is an idea place to get to know people, publicize your job needs and interact with others. Join for free here.
informal means. It’s easier than ever these days for you to enroll in relevant courses, attend seminars, read inspiring books and contribute to discussions that will educate and inform. Take advantage of your employer’s tuition reimbursement programs 6. Commit to your job 110%. If you cannot do that, it might be time to look for another job or to change career. If you are underperforming, the employer will notice and when it's time to downsize, the 1. Revisit your core values. What employer will look first at is important to you in a job or career other underperformers. Remember, mediocre than the pay cheque? What do you enjoy performance breeds mediocre results. doing? 7. Retool your skills. Find 2. Determine your preferences. opportunities to update your skills or learn Do you like working within a group or new ones. In an ever-evolving workplace, alone? Does the idea of sitting behind a you will need to demonstrate that you're desk appeal to you, or would you prefer a comfortable with the latest technology and job working in the outdoors? you are willing to experiment with new 3. Research companies that share things. your values. Is the company eco-friendly 8. Brush up on your job search or family-friendly, and are those values skills Even if you are not thinking of important to you? leaving your company, you should brush 4. Be prepared for lateral moves up on your skills. When last have you in your company. Climbing the corporate done an interview? Are you familiar with ladder may sometimes mean that you current interview practices? If called on to have to go sideways in preparation for re-interview for your current position, how moving up. confident are you that you would get your 5. Expand your knowledge base. job back? What about your résumé? Is it Become more literate by formal or current? Are you one of those individuals
Immigrant v’s Canadian-born employment
A recent report by Statistics Canada took a look at how well immigrants faired in the labour market after landing in Canada compared to their Canadian-born counterparts.
The study looked a three groups of immigrants. 1. Established: those who had been in Canada for more than 10 years 2. Recent: those who had landed in Canada between 1996 and 2001 3. New: those who had landed between 2001 and 2006 The study looked at differences between where immigrants originated as well as where they settled to see if there were any major differences. The age group studied was between 25 and 54 years. The first thing the study noticed was that new immigrants had a harder time finding employment than their Canadian born counterparts. However, of those in this group the ones originating from Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, had employment and unemployment rates on par with Canadians. People from other Asian countries, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and Africa all had higher unemployment and lower employment than Canadian-born. All established immigrants, regardless of where they were born or where they settled had unemployment levels in 2006 that were the same or lower than those of Canadian-born.
Although numbers of immigrants from Europe is declining it still represents the second largest source of immigration with the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland and Romania making up the major numbers. Generally European immigrants had higher unemployment (8.4%) and lower employment levels than those born in Canada (4.9%). However, established European immigrants had a much better rate of employment with 83.9% being employed, slightly higher than those of Canadian nationality. Established male immigrants had a better unemployment level than Canadians regardless of where they lived in Canada. However, established females were less likely to be working. Unemployment was high for all new female immigrants to Canada, regardless
Unemployment rate of immigrants by region and landing period
0% Latin America Europe Africa Asia
of their origin and place of settlement. The unemployment levels for this group of women was nearly three times that of Canadian-born females.
The employment rate of new immigrants from Asia was well below that of Canadians at only 63.8% compared to 83.1% of Canadian-born. Of the new immigrants those originating from the Philippines fared much better than any other originating country. Indeed their unemployment rates were only slightly higher than their Canadian counterparts at 5.4% compared to 4.9%. The study showed that this is true regardless of where Filipino’s settled in Canada.
settled tended to see much higher unemployment levels that other originating countries. Immigrants from Africa had the highest unemployment rates in 2006 with a rate of 20.8%, four times the Canadian average.
Latin America immigrants
Unemployment rates amongst new immigrants from Latin America was twice that of Canadian-born equivalents. This figure is much lower for recent and established Latin Americans where the rate is almost on par with Canadians.
The vast majority of immigrants choose to settle in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. In Ontario, Asian and African born immigrants, regardless of time since landing, had higher unemployment rates
and lower employment rates than Canadian-born. Recent and established immigrants born in Europe and Latin America had labour market outcomes similar to those of Canadian-born workers in Ontario. In British Columbia, Asian-born and European-born recent and established immigrants had 2006 labour market outcomes that were comparable to those of Canadian-born British Columbians. In Quebec, new and recent immigrants born in Latin America, Asia and Africa had 2006 unemployment rates two to four times higher than that of Canadian-born Quebeckers. Recent and established immigrants born in Europe had unemployment rates that were not much different from that of their Canadianborn counterparts.
Immigrants from Africa, regardless of when they immigrated or where they
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2008 Canadian job forecast
by: Remy Piazza, Managing Director of CareerBuilder.ca
At the start of a new year, many workers pledge to find a new job. So what should you expect? Smooth sailing and a fast and easy job search? Or long months of applying to countless jobs and waiting for just an interview? The employment market of 2007, fueled by a stable economy and strong consumer confidence, produced on average more than 35,000 new jobs per month, according to the Labour Force Survey. Looking ahead to 2008, recruitment trends are expected to continue at a slightly higher pace, according to CareerBuilder.ca’s “2008 Canadian Job Forecast” (conducted by Harris Interactive). Forty-six percent of employers told CareerBuilder.ca they plan to increase their number of full-time, permanent employees in 2008, up from 42 percent at this time last year. Recruitment and retention efforts are becoming increasingly competitive and job seekers are likely to benefit in terms of higher paycheques, more allowances for flexible work arrangements, and better career advancement opportunities. What does this mean for you, the job seeker? We’ve analyzed the data to give you seven ways employers are trying to make sure they attract and retain qualified employees – that is, ways they can find you (the qualified candidate), get you to accept a job offer, and grow you into a dedicated, hard-working employee who will be an asset for the long-term. 1. Bigger Paycheques Continuing an existing trend designed to attract and keep top talent, employers plan to offer more lucrative compensation packages in the coming year. Eighty-four percent of employers report their companies will increase salaries for existing employees in 2008, similar to last year; and 65 percent of employers expect
to increase salaries on initial offers to new employees, up from 48 percent in 2007. What you can do: Do your homework and brush up your negotiation skills when you are ready to talk salary. 2. More Flexible Work Arrangements Sixty-six percent of employers report they currently offer flexible schedules to employees and 46 percent plan to provide more flexible work arrangements in 2008 such as: alternate schedules (come in early and leave early or come in later and leave later); compressed workweeks (work the same hours, but in fewer days); telecommuting options; summer hours; job sharing; and sabbaticals. What you can do: If your salary offer isn’t as high as you hoped or your employer can’t give you a raise, perhaps you can negotiate a flexible schedule, saving you commuting time and transportation costs.
3. Screening Candidates via the Internet To ensure they are recruiting the right talent, more employers are leveraging the Internet as a vehicle for screening potential employees. Forty-four percent of employers report they use online search engines and social networking sites to research job candidates and 19 percent say they are likely to start using or increase their use of these resources to research job candidates in 2008. What you can do: Make sure there’s nothing in cyberspace you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see. Do an online search of your name. Check your pictures on Facebook, MySpace and mymuchmor 4. Rehiring Retirees More than one-third (36 percent) of employers say they are concerned over the loss of intellectual capital at their organizations as a large number of Baby Boomers approach retirement age. Twentytwo percent say they are likely to rehire retirees from other companies in 2008. Another 23 percent plan to provide incentives for workers at or approaching
retirement age to stay on with the company longer. What you can do: If you are nearing or at retirement age but want to keep working, make sure your skills are up-todate and learn which skills are easily transferred to different roles. Know your market value to negotiate the best package possible. 5. Diversity Recruitment When asked if there is a particular segment of diverse workers they plan to target more aggressively in 2008, employers pointed to mature workers, women, native Americans and disabled workers. Eighty-five percent of employers report they will be placing the same or greater amount of emphasis on recruiting bilingual candidates in the next 12 months; 37 percent said, in addition to English, French is the most important language for bilingual hiring. What you can do: Make sure to highlight your diversity or language fluency. Search sites tailored to diversity hiring. 6. Freelance or Contract Hiring Employers are turning to freelance or contract workers to help support business initiatives as they monitor their pace in recruiting permanent employees. Thirtyfive percent of employers anticipate working with freelancers or contractors in 2008. What you can do: Search job boards using keywords like “freelance” and “contract.” Put your résumé on freelancespecific sites like Sologig.com. 7. Career Advancement Employers are taking action to carve out career paths for employees. Thirtyone percent plan to provide more promotions and career advancement opportunities in 2008. What you can do: Ask about tuition reimbursement and training opportunities. Ask the hiring manager how he or she sees where role will lead in five, 10 and 20 years.
Supersize Your Job Offer: Five Tips from CareerBuilder
1. Assess your market value Research salary ranges for those working in your industry, occupation and location. Check out online salary sites such as CBSalary.com, industry Web sites and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to find specific salary information. Make sure to bring copies with you to the meeting. 2. Prove your worth Companies pay for results. Arm yourself with a list of your professional accomplishments - quantifying results when possible - to showcase how you put your skills into action. Employers are more likely to increase compensation levels if they have a better understanding of what you will contribute to their organizations.
3. Don't discuss money too soon Wait to be offered the job before you discuss your desired pay. If an employer asks you directly about your salary requirements, turn the question around and ask what salary range the company typically offers someone with your job type, experience and expertise. 4. Consider the whole package If the employer is not able to offer a higher salary, there may be room to negotiate other perks like a flexible schedule, extra vacation days, ongoing training, etc. Also, remember there is more to a job than money. Take into consideration experience gained on the job, career advancement opportunities, work/life balance and other important factors to help determine the true value of the offer. 5. Leverage other offers Showing an offer from another company and a willingness to walk away is an effective way to negotiate. But be careful with this tactic. It has serious potential to backfire and cost you the job completely.
CareerBuilder have partnered with Muchmor to offer you, our readers 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.
Even if you are a long way off searching for a job in Canada, by signing up for this free service you can keep in touch with jobs that become available in your industry and keep track of salary scales and benefits so you are better placed to negotiate employment when you are ready.
Those taxing issues
Last month we took a look at Income Tax in Canada and the forms and allowances etc that you need to be aware of when filing your tax returns. Here Heather Lang of Cedarlane Financial Consulting gives us a bit more of an insight.
Its Spring and as the snow melts and the ice thaws Canadian minds turn to preparing for those great hazy summer days spent in the yard or on the beach. Just one minor hurdle before we jump into the pool or the hammock, its also Income Tax time! The price we pay for living in a society where government is expected to provide many of the services so integral to our lives. Canadian income tax payments are divided between Federal and Provincial amounts and in all cases (save for Quebec) the Federal government collects both. You can see the 2008 tax rates in last months magazine. The amount you pay is the result of many different calculations and it can become quite complicated. For most however it is very basic. Total income (the money you make from most income producing activities) minus the allowable and other deductions (for example child care expenses or your Registered Retirement Savings Plan contribution) gives you a taxable income amount. Federal tax is calculated from this amount using a formula supplied in each years income tax form. Provincial taxes are calculated as a percentage of the basic Federal tax. Once various surtaxes are added you then get a figure for the amount of tax you owe for that year. See tax rates in last months issue. Rates, brackets, deductions, credits and surtaxes can all change according to the political climate at the time so its best to check with Canadian Customs and Revenue Agency www. cra-adrc.gc.ca for the most up to date information, better yet Canadian shares. The lowest rate is for capital gains which can often be offset by capital losses as well. A capital gain can be triggered by profits on the sale of some assets such as a home, bonds or similar securities. It is important for many new Canadians to note that foreign bank accounts, government bonds, corporate bonds, money market funds and securities are considered as interest from Canadian sources and taxed at the interest or highest rate. One of the ways many Canadians help their tax situation is to participate in a government retirement incentive plan called an RRSP. A Registered Retirement Savings Plan allows investment growth to be tax exempt and provide the contributor with a tax refund for that year. The Federal government created RRSPs in 1957 to encourage people to save for retirement. These are ideal vehicles for those without pension plans or those who want a higher retirement income than their seek professional advice until you become pensions would normally provide. Be aware there are a few rules to familiar with the Canadian tax system then consider and like the tax rules they may you can do it yourself with ease in the change over time so its best to check with future. the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on Each resident has a marginal tax rate. It is the amount of tax you will pay on what the present contribution limits and deadlines and other factors are before your last dollar of income. There are starting a plan. different marginal tax rates that apply to So now all your paper work is done different types of income so it is important get out there and tune up that lawnmower! to be aware of the type of investment income you may be receiving as it can Heather Lang is an independent help or hurt your present tax situation. financial advisor located in the Quinte Investment income is classed in three Region, On, Canada. She holds a categories: interest, dividend and capital Canadian Securities and a provincial life gains. The highest tax rate of all types is for insurance license. The information provided is based on interest. Sources of interest income can be from Canadian bank accounts, treasury material believed to be reliable but not guaranteed to be accurate or complete. It bills, term deposits, Short-Term is not intended to provide tax, legal, Guaranteed Investment (GICs), Canada Savings bond, corporate bonds or money investment or financial advice and is for information purposes only. Particular tax, market funds. legal and investment strategies should be The next rate is for dividend income evaluated on an individual basis. For more which can come from shares held in publicly traded or privately held Canadian information please see www.cra-arc.gc.ca/ corporation or equity mutual funds holding tax.
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Learning to drive in Canada
When you learn to drive in Canada you will need to enter into the Graduated Driver’s Licensing program for your province or territory. The Graduated Driver’s Licensing (GDL) is designed to give new drivers the experience they need over a period of time allowing them to become fully qualified and safe drivers.
Each province and territory runs its own GDL with individual rules and regulations in two or three stages.
In Ontario the GDL is in two stages called G1 and G2 and takes a minimum of 20 months to complete. In order to start the GDL you need to be at least 16 years of age, pass a vision and road knowledge test at which point you will receive a G1 driving licence. You have to hold a G1 licence for a minimum of 12 months before you can take the G1 road test. However, if you choose to take (and pass) an approved driver education course this can be reduced to 8 months. As a G1 driver you have to abide by certain rules: • maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving • be accompanied by a fully licensed driver with at least four years experience and a blood alcohol level of less that .05%. • accompanying driver must sit in the front passenger seat and be the only other person in the front • the number of passengers must not exceed the number of working seat belts • must not drive on 400-series highways or high-speed expressways** • must not drive between midnight and five am
**If the accompanying driver is a licensed driving instructor you may drive on any road. Once you have held a G1 licence for 12 months you may take the G1 road test and upon passing will be given a G2 licence. You must hold the G2 licence for a minimum of 12 months before taking the G2 road test. With a G2 licence you can now drive without an accompanying driver on any Ontario road at any time. You will however, still need to maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving and restrict the number of passengers to the number of working seat belts. There are also passenger restrictions between the hours of midnight and 5 am. If the G2 driver is 19 years old or younger they may only have one passenger under 19 years of age in the car during the first six months. After six months and until a full G licence is earned or the driver turns 20 years of age they can only carry three passengers under 19 years of age during these times. If the driver is accompanied by a fully licensed driver with at least four years experience these restrictions do not apply.
Once you have held a G2 licence for 12 months you may take the G2 road test. Upon successful completion of the test you will be awarded a full G licence. Full details can be found at this website.
The Alberta GDL is in two stages called Learner and Probationary. You will need to be at least 14 years of age to apply for a licence with parental consent if under 17 years. You will also need to pass a vision and knowledge test. It will take a minimum of 3 years to obtain a full Class 5 licence. The Learner Licence must be held for at least 12 months before the road test can be attempted. Certain conditions apply to this licence: • must be accompanied by a fully licensed driver of at least 18 years of age • accompanying driver must sit in the front passenger seat. • the number of passengers must not exceed the number of working seat belts
• must not drive between midnight and five am • maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving • will be suspended if more than 8 demerit points gained. After 12 months you can take the Learner road test and upon completion will be granted a Probationary Licence. In order to hold a Probationary licence you must be 16 years or older. You will need to hold a Probationary licence for at least two years before completing the advanced road test. Whilst holding a Probationary licence you must adhere to certain conditions: • the number of passengers must not exceed the number of working seat belts • will be suspended if more than 8 demerit points gained • maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving You can now however drive without an accompanying licensed driver. Once you have completed two years as a Probationary driver you can take the advanced road test in order to get the full Class 5 licence. You must have been suspension free for the last year. If this is not the case you will need to stay at the Probationary level until a full year of no suspensions is gained before taking the advanced road test. Full details of the Alberta GDL can be found on this website. • the number of passengers must not exceed the number of working seat belts • maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving • between the hours of midnight and 5 am can only drive if accompanied by an immediate family member who is fully licensed (spouse, child, parent, step-parent, sibling or grand-parent) After completing nine months of practice driving and the required in-class and in-car training you can take a road test which upon successful completion will move you to Novice 1 stage. Novice 1 stage takes six months to complete and although you no longer require an accompanying driver certain restrictions apply: • only one passenger who is not immediate family is allowed • all other passengers must be immediate family • the number of passengers must not exceed the number of working seat belts • maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving After successful completion of Novice 1 you will move onto Novice 2 stage. This stage takes a minimum of 12 months to complete and you must be interruption, at-fault collision, conviction and suspension free during this time. In the event of any of the above you will be required to restart the Novice 2 period again. Restrictions are limited at this level to • the number of passengers must not exceed the number of working seat belts • maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving Full details of the Saskatchewan GDL can be found at this website.
There are three stages to the Saskatchewan GDL: Learner, Novice 1 and Novice 2. It will take a minimum of 25 months to obtain a full Class 5 licence. You will need to be 16 years of age to get a licence and pass a knowledge test before embarking on the Learner stage. The Learner stage takes nine months to complete and includes 30 hours of inclass and six hours in-car training. Certain criteria need to be met including: • must have fully licensed driver as a front seat passenger at all times
There are two stages to the British Columbia GDL: Learner and Novice. You will need to be at least 16 years of age and have parental consent if under 19 and pass a knowledge and vision test. The Learner stage will take a minimum of 12 months to complete and
comes with restrictions: • must be accompanied by a fully licensed driver over 25 years of age • accompanying driver must sit in the front seat. • may carry a maximum of two passengers including your accompanying driver • must not drive between midnight and 5 am • must display a red “L” sign on the car whilst driving • must maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving When ready, after 12 months you can take the road test and upon successful completion move to the Novice stage. You must hold a Novice licence for a minimum of 24 months before attempting the road test. The licence is valid for a maximum of five years. During the Novice stage you must: • display a “N” sign on the car whilst driving • must maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving • only one passenger who is not immediate family is allowed • all other passengers must be immediate family • if a fully licensed supervisor is present, aged over 25 years the restriction on passenger number is lifted. After the minimum 24 months at this level you can take the road test and be awarded a full Class 5 license. If during the Novice stage your licence is cancelled, suspended, surrendered or expired you must start the Novice stage from the beginning after the suspension etc period has ended. Details can be found here. The Learner Licence is valid for one year and you need to pass the road test before its expiry otherwise you will need to apply for a new Learner Licence. Certain restrictions apply under this class of licence: • must be accompanied by a fully licensed driver who has held a licence for at least two years • accompanying driver must sit in the front seat • no additional passengers are allowed • must maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving Within the year of licence validity you must pass the road test which will enable you to hold a Newly Licensed Driver (5N) licence. You must hold this licence for a minimum of two years during which time you must adhere to the restrictions: • must maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving • the number of passengers must not exceed the number of working seat belts • must not drive between midnight and 5 am unless accompanied by a fully licensed driver with at least two years experience Exemptions to the night driving rule can be granted if you are required to drive to or from work during these times. After two years you can take the full road and knowledge test and upon successful completion be granted a full Class 5 licence. Full details of the Nova Scotia GDL can be found at this website. • must be accompanied by a fully licensed driver with at least three years experience • accompanying driver must sit in the front seat • accompanying driver must have a blood alcohol level of 0.05 or less • the number of passengers must not exceed the number of working seat belts At the end of this stage you may pass a road test to enable you to move onto the next stage of Intermediate Class. This stage will take a minimum of 15 months and during this time you must follow the conditions: • must maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving • between 5 am and midnight the number of passengers must not exceed the number of working seat belts. • between midnight and 5 am only one passenger allowed unless accompanied by a fully licensed driver with at least three years experience in which case passengers must not exceed the number of working seat belts. After the minimum 15 months at this stage you may proceed to the Class 5 full licence, however you must maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving for the first three years. Full details of the Manitoba GDL can be found at this website.
Newfoundland and Labrador
There are two stages to the Newfoundland and Labrador GDL program: Novice 1 and Novice 2. You will need to be at least 16 years of age to apply for a licence and pass a vision and knowledge test. Parental consent is required if under 19 years of age. The Novice 1 licence is valid for two years and you must spend a minimum of 12 months at this stage before taking the road test. This time may be reduced to 8 months with successful completion of an approved Driver Education Program. Restrictions at this level include: • must be accompanied by a fully licensed driver with at least four years experience
In manitoba there are three stages to the GDL: Learner, Intermediate and Full (with restrictions). It will take a minimum of two years to get to full licence stage. The Learner stage will take a minimum of 9 months to complete and in order to be granted a licence you need to be at least 16 years of age (15! if in high school driver program). Parental consent is required if under 18 years old. You must also pass a knowledge test and keep to the following conditions: • must maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving
The Nova Scotia GDL consists of two stages before a full licence can be granted. The first stage is Learner Licence or Class 7 and the second is a Newly Licensed Driver or Class 5N. In order to obtain a licence you will need to be at least 16 years of age with parental consent if under 18. You will need to take a knowledge and vision test and upon passing will receive the Learner Licence.
• must maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving • accompanying driver must have a blood alcohol level of 0.05 or less • no passengers other than the accompanying driver who must sit in the front passenger seat • if learner is enrolled in a Driver Education Program and accompanied by a licensed instructor, parents and/or guardians may be passengers • must not drive between midnight and 5 am • a “Novice Driver” sign must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle whilst driving After a minimum of 12 months the learner driver may take the road test in order to proceed to the Novice 2 level. Once a Novice 2 licence is issued restrictions are as follows: • must maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving • the number of passengers must not exceed the number of working seat belts • must not drive between midnight and 5 am unless accompanied by a fully licensed driver with at least four years experience (exemption for work purposes allowed) After spending a minimum of 12 months at level two you may take the road test to obtain a full class 5 licence. Find full details here. • must be accompanied by a fully licensed driver with at least two years experience If you are between the ages of 16 and 24 you will then be required to enter the probationary Licence stage. This licence is valid for 2 years or until your 25th birthday whichever is first. You must maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving. If you are over 25 years of age you do not need a Probationary licence, but will instead take the full road test in order to be granted a full driving licence. Full licensing details can be found here • only one non-family member passenger • the number of passengers must not exceed the number of working seat belts • a “Graduated” sign must be displayed on the vehicle whilst driving • must not drive between 1 am and 5 am unless over 21 years of age or accompanied by a fully licensed driver with at least four years experience You must spend at least one year at this level before moving onto stage 3. Stage 3 lasts for one year and comes with the following restrictions: • the number of passengers must not exceed the number of working seat belts • must maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving • must not use hand-held devices (cell phones, MP3 players etc) whilst driving • a “Graduated” sign must be displayed on the vehicle whilst driving Once this stage is successfully completed you will receive a full licence. Full details can be found at this link.
Prince Edward Island
There are three stages to the Prince Edward Island GDL. You need to be 16 years or over to apply for an Instruction Permit which is the first stage of the process. You will also have to take vision and knowledge tests and have parental consent if under 18 years of age. You must remain at this level for a minimum of 365 days if not enrolled in a driver education program or 275 days if in a program before taking the road test Restrictions apply: • must maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving • must be accompanied by a fully licensed driver with at least four years experience who must sit in the front seat • accompanying driver must have a blood alcohol level of 0.05 or less • only passengers allowed are immediate family members of the accompanying driver • a yellow “L” sign must be displayed on the vehicle whilst driving • must not drive between 1 am and 5 am unless over 21 years of age • must not use hand-held devices (cell phones, MP3 players etc) whilst driving After the required duration the learner may take a road test and pass onto stage 2. You can now drive unsupervised but must still meet strict regulations: • must maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving
There are two stages to the New Brunswick GDL called Level 1 and 2. It will take a minimum of 24 months to complete the course. You must be at least 16 years of age and have parental consent if under 18. You must pass a vision and knowledge test in order to get a stage 1 licence. You must stay at this level for a minimum of 12 months before taking the road test (reduced to 4 months if graduating from approved driving school) Regulations include: • must be accompanied by a fully licensed driver who must sit in the front seat • must maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving Upon completion of a road test you may progress to stage 2 during which time you can drive alone but must maintain a zero blood alcohol level. Full details can be found here.
Quebec does not have a GDL program, however the principals of obtaining a full licence are very similar, they are just not referred to as a GDL. The first stage is to obtain a Learner Licence which is valid for 18 months. You must remain at this level for a minimum of 12 months although this can be reduced to 8 months if you successfully complete an accredited driving school course. You need to be at least 16 years of age with parental consent if under 18 and pass a vision and knowledge test. During this period you are restricted by certain rules: • must maintain a zero blood alcohol level whilst driving
In Canada many children attend summer camps during the long summer holidays. Every province in Canada has summer camps and there are literally hundreds to choose from.
The idea of sumer camps may be new to you, but they are a very popular event in Canadian children's lives. In fact they are so popular many are fully booked even before the year starts, so it is best to do lots of research to find the camp you want to go to to make sure you book your place in time. Children of all ages can take part in summer camps as some are just day events whilst others can be a week or even a month or more. Each one offers different activities so you should be able to find one which caters to your interests. There are groups just for boys, or just for girls, but many are mixed. There are also camps for people with special needs, so no one has to miss out on the opportunity. You do have to pay for camps so you will need to do the research with your parents to make sure they can afford the ones you pick!
How to choose a summer camp
Sit down with your parents and write a list of things that you want from the camp, be it fun stuff, learning skills, your hobbies etc. Your parents should also write a list of what they want you to get from the camp. This might be different to yours but you will probably find that the things you want and the things your parents want can be found at more than one camp. For example you might want to learn to skateboard and your parents want you to gain more self confidence. By selecting the right camp there is no reason why both these things cannot be achieved at the same time. Once you have decided what you and your parents want from the camp you will need to decide which type of camp you want to attend. Location: Although you might be restricted by the location, some camps do offer transportation, so look into this if distance could be a problem for you.
Facilities: Your parents might be more concerned about facilities than you, but you need to know what things you expect at the camp. What is the security like, what medical facilities are there, what are the qualifications of the camp supervisors, what type of sleeping arrangements are there, can the camp cater to special needs if required. What type of accommodation is provided i.e. cabins, tents etc? Some camps are operated by religious bodies, so if this is important to you make sure you are able to practice your religion whilst at camp. Size: Camps vary in size from tens of people to over 500. Do you want to be part of a large camp or prefer a smaller camp environment? Even the largest camps tend to split children into smaller groups so you still get the individual support you would receive at a smaller camp. Cost: Of course cost can be a major issue especially if you want to attend several camps or you have brothers and sisters who also need to attend camp. This can mean that your parents are
spending a lot of money so you need to be aware of this and not be too selfish in your needs, after all there will still be next year to try something different. You also need to be aware of what is included in the cost such as equipment, trips, transport as these items can add considerably to the overall cost if not included. Costs vary greatly from camp to camp from around $200 for a day camp to several thousand dollars for a month long camp. Fortunately there are lots to choose from so hopefully you will find one in your parents budget. climbing, sports, crafts etc, whilst others offer a wide variety of activities. Do you want to take part in team sports or more singular activities such as tennis? Do you want the whole camp to revolve around water sports or would you prefer something more sedate such as craft activities or performing arts? Do you need to learn a particular skill from scratch or are you more advanced? Check the skill levels of each camp to make sure it meets your skill needs. • Can the camp meet any special needs requirements i.e. diet, accessibility, supervision etc? • What provisions do they have for medical emergencies?
As we have mentioned there are many camps offering many different activities, these include the following examples, although there are many more. Team Sports: Hockey, basketball, baseball, martial arts, football, volleyball etc. Individual Sports: Golf, biking, skateboarding, archery, go-karts, track and field, horse riding etc. Water Sports: Canoeing, diving, windsurfing, jet skiing, swimming, sailing, kayaking, water-skiing, rafting etc. Adventure: Rock climbing, orienteering, mountaineering, dog sledding, backpacking, bungee jumping, hiking, biking, driving range, wilderness camps etc. Performing Arts: Acting, writing, costuming, dance, music, circus arts, makeup etc Creative Arts: Drawing, crafts, painting, photography, cooking, stained glass, sculpture, woodwork, sewing, ceramics etc. Academics: reading, languages, journalism, computing, science etc. Other: This can include any number of activities such as gardening, archaeology, astronomy, farming, geology, marine biology etc. Basically if you can think of a subject, you will more than likely find a camp to fit.
One for the parents - check it out first: Once you choose a camp make sure it is everything you expect it to be. Duration: Camps can last anything • Can you get references from people from a few hours to several weeks. You who have used it before? and your parents need to be sure that you • How long has it been in operation? are prepared to be away from home for • What are the goals of the camp? the length of your trip. Some children love • How many staff are on duty to how being away from home and enjoy the many children? freedom, but others may get very • What are the qualifications of the staff? homesick and want to go back home after • What staff training is provided? a day or two. • What is the food like? Check to see if there is an option • What are the sleeping arrangements? available to cut the duration sort if you find What toilet and shower facilities are you want to go home early. Is there a available? refund policy in this case? • What facilities are available for contact with home (phone, letter etc)? Activities: This is the most important • What provisions are there for bad decision as far as the children are weather? concerned because it is what you will be • What insurance coverage is there? doing whilst away at camp. • What items can your child take with Some camps specialize in certain them? areas such as horse riding, mountain
Although most children choose to attend camps in Canada there are options to choose camps overseas or in North America. There may be age restrictions
for this type of camp, but you might find yourself in China, Mexico, United States or any other location in the world. Obviously the cost of these camps are much higher than Canadian camps so this must be taken into consideration when choosing a foreign camp. www.ccamping.org - Canadian Camping Association www.kidsofcanada.com - Kids of Canada summer camps www.ccca.org - Christian Camp and Conference Association www.campkirk.com - Ontario camp for children with learning disabilities
Just because you have a special need doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun. There are lots of camps that can accommodate children with special needs and many more who specialize in such needs. It doesn’t matter if you have a chronic illness, a disability or any other physical or mental limitation there will be a camp suitable for you. Some camps specialize such as providing activities for the deaf, blind or wheelchair bound children. They still offer all the major activities such as canoeing, swimming, gymnastics, performing arts etc. They of course also offer specially trained staff and 24 hour medical facilities and specialist equipment. Some other camps specialize in helping people with learning difficulties such as dyslexia, so there really is no need to feel left out what ever your needs and requirements. Camp Fairs: There are a number of camp fairs held all over Canada. They are held in large halls and lots of different camp organizers attend so you can visit with your parents to see which might be the best one for you. You will be able to pick up lots of advice and information and can sign up there and then or take away leaflets, brochures and quite often gifts so you can decide later.
Summer camps are a great way to get away and experience exciting new activities or expand on the ones you already enjoy. They also give you a chance to do things without your parents being around (parents also get a break from you!) If you think it all sounds like great fun, you are right. Check out the weblinks we have provided and see what is on offer in your location or where you will eventually be settling. After all if you can do some research now, you will be better prepared for when you land for good. Camps are an excellent way to meet new people and make new friends, especially if you are new to the area, or indeed Canada. In case you are wondering there are also winter camps available which usually include winter sports and activities. The duration of these camps is not usually as long because the winter holidays are not as long as the summer ones. But you still get to have great fun and lots of adventures whether you choose a summer or winter camp.
There are a number of ways to find out about summer camps including: Internet: Lots of websites are available these days giving lots of information about summer camps. Some are search sites in which you can find different camps in different provinces. Others are the websites of the actual camps giving you full details of their activities, costs etc. Some useful search sites include: www.campsearch.com www.camppage.com www.mysummercamps.com/ www.allensguide.com/Canada/ www.kidscamps.com www.campresource.com Specific website include: www.actua.ca - science, technology and engineering camps
I am 12 years old and my family will be moving to Vancouver sometime next year. I am excited about this but also scared and worry that I will miss my friends and won’t be able to make new ones. Can you help? Anon, UK We know moving to a new country can be scary, not just for kids but for adults too and I bet your parents are worried about exactly the same things as you. The best way to ensure you do not miss your UK friends too much is to make sure you have all their contact details to take with you, and make sure they have yours. You will be able to keep in contact by phone, letter, email, text etc. As for making new friends, this will be easier that you think. Remember as a foreigner with a British accent you will become a celebrity at your new school and will probably be fending off potential friends. We are going to Canada later this year and I am only allowed to take one box of stuff with me. I can’t fit everything I want to take into this box and wonder if taking my Playstation 2 will be a waste of time? I know some things don’t work in Canada. Mum has said she will buy me a new one in Canada if I can’t take it but should I still take my games as I have loads? Adam, Kent, UK Because the UK has a different TV system than Canada (PAL v’’s NTSC) you cannot use the games from the UK in Canada without a UK TV to play them on. You can get convertors, but if your mum is prepared to pay for a new PS when you get here we suggest you take advantage of her generous offer and buy a Playstation 3. The PS3 is multi-region and will therefore play your UK games, so you can take these with you and save your mum some money by not having to replace them. Please be aware that not all PS2 games will play correctly on a PS3 but you can check compatibility here. I am 14 years old and my family will be moving from the Philippines to Toronto, Canada soon. What school level will I be in as I know it is different to here. Depending on when we travel, I may be 15 by the time we arrive. My English is excellent as my dad is English born so I hope to integrate well into my new Canadian school. Diwata, Manilla, Philippines Firstly Diwata we want to congratulate you on your positive outlook to you new life in Canada. As for your question, you would enter secondary school at Grade 9 or 10 (age depending). Although most of the country has similar grading systems, some do vary but generally the following grades relate to the listed ages. Grade 1 (6-7 years) Grade 2 (7-8 years) Grade 3 (8-9 years) Grade 4 (9-10 years Grade 5 (10-11 years) Grade 6 (11-12 years) Grade 7 (12-13 years) Grade 8 (13-14 years) Grade 9 (14-15 years) Grade 10 (15-16 years Grade 11 (16-17 years) Grade 12 (17-18 years)
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42 Tea Break
I came across your magazine a couple of months ago and have spend the time since, reading all the back issues. I felt I had to write to congratulate you on an excellent publication in which I have learnt a lot about Canada. This may seem odd as I am a born and bred Canadian having lived all my life on Vancouver Island. Your magazine has inspired me to visit more places and discover the Canada I have taken for granted far too much. Thank you. Terry, Vancouver Island, British Columbia Thank you for your kind words Terry and we are pleased that we have been able to open your eyes a little. It is surprising how much we take for granted about our own countries.
I was born in Sudbury Ontario and lived there most of my life, but moved to the Yukon a few years ago. So often the Territories are forgotten by magazines and websites as it is assumed that people simply do not live there. Well, I do and I love it and I was so pleased to read the real life story of Jaime and Jeff who moved to Nunavut in your December issue. I also wanted to thank you for including the three territories in various issues of your publication. Judith, Whitehorse, Yukon Thanks Judith, we try to cover as much about Canada as a whole as we can. (Muchmor has been in touch with Judith to get her real life story for a future issue). My husband and I have just returned from a winter skiing trip to British Columbia and loved it so much we are now considering moving to Canada. I realize we have based this
decision on a single trip, but are none the less positive it is the right thing to do. Would you suggest we hand in our application now or wait for a few years as we want our kids to be a little older before we make the move. Abigail, Manchester, UK Well, Abigail as the processing time is currently around 4 years for applications for skilled workers from the UK, you need to base you decision on this time factor. Will your kids be the ages you want them to be in four years time? We would also suggest you make more trips to Canada and research the country far more before making such a big decision. You can do this whilst your application is being processed or research first then apply. Hopefully with the governments new money, immigration processing times will get less and less. (page 19).
When I moved to Ontario with my husband who was in the forces over twenty years ago, I simply moved here and started a new life. Having read your magazine I see that these days things are not as easy and I feel very sorry for people who are having to wait years before coming to this wonderful country I now call home. I just wanted to say that the wait will be worth it as Canada is a fantastic country and I have never regretted moving here. I wish everyone waiting for immigration the best of luck and hope to see you here soon. Mary, London, Ontario
I have helped many newcomers ﬁnd a home in the Prince Edward County, Quinte area and now offer my services to Muchmor readers - give me a call today! Carol Brough
102 Main Street Picton Ontario K0K 2T0
Lanthorn Real Estate Ltd.
Thank you for taking the time to write to us. Indeed, things have changed a lot over the years. I’m sure many of our readers will take comfort in your words.
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In celebration of International Women's Day 2008 6th Annual Power of Women Conference March 8 2008
International Women's Day is observed all over the world on March 8th, 2008 in which women of all races, ﬁnancial status and ages come together to celebrate all that women have done and all that women are and do. Durham Region will be the host the prestigious 6th Annual Power of Women Conference. "We believe that there are so many amazing women in Ontario, that they deserve a special event that celebrates them in style." says founder and CEO, Tina Dezsi. Produced by the Power of Women Exchange, a group for women entrepreneurs, executives, and business professionals, the conference is an extraordinary way to celebrate being a woman on IWD 2008. This year's theme of empowering yourself to ﬁnd your "Fearless Power to Fly Higher" is achieved through a unique formula that combines education, networking and pleasure. Every woman is invited to attend this wonderful day and enjoy the amazing format that offers workshops, keynote speakers, prizes, rafﬂes, continental breakfast, lunch and a goody bag full of free giveaways along with the abundance of energy only a group of women can provide! “The upbeat energy and true desire to help each other both professionally and personally is what makes The Power of Women Conference so contagiously successful." says founder and CEOD Lia Bandola. Along with fabulous Keynote speakers Marianne Ford, Tricia Hasenclever and Glenda Brindle the morning will offer the attendees a choice between 6 different and truly unique workshops with speakers that bring the best of their expertise in both personal and professional information. Sponsorship is available at the corporate level for businesses. Tickets are available at the early bird price ON SALE NOW! Don't be left out, tickets are limited CALL NOW. Event Information Place: Tosca Banquet & Conference Centre, 800 Champlain Avenue, Oshawa, Ontario Date: Saturday, March 8th, 2008 Time: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Cost: Early bird price $125.00 including GST until February 8th, then price goes to $150.00 including GST until March 1st or sold out! Contact: Tina Dezsi, 905.429.4040 or email@example.com or Lia Bandola 905.619.3792 or firstname.lastname@example.org For more information or to register please call 905.429.4040 or visit www.powe.ca
44 Tea Break
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. H.N.I.C. Game 1 - 1.34 Another Woman (film) - 1.28 Law & Order - 1.27 CTV Weekend News - 1.26 Jeopardy - 1.23 Law & Order: SVU - 1.23 Celebrity Apprentice - 1.20 C.S.I. Miami - 1.16 Prison Break - 1.13 C.S.I. - 1.09
American Idol 7 (Wed) - 2.69 Survivor - 2.54 American Idol 7 (Tue) - 2.43 House - 2.01 C.S.I. New York - 1.80 Lost - 1.70 Grammy Awards - 1.65 CTV Evening News - 1.55 The Moment of Truth - 1.50 Corner Gas - 1.41
1. Sleep Through the Static, Jack Johnson 2. Detours, Sheryl Crow 3. Watershed, K.D. Lang 4. 2008 Grammy Nominees, Various 5. It’s Time for a Love Revolution, Lenny Kravitz 6. Juno Soutndtrack, Various 7. Step Up 2 the Streets, Various 8. Reminder, Feist 9. Call me Irresponsible, Michael Buble 10. Symphony, Sarah Brightman
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Beowulf 30 Days of Night The Darjeeling Limited We Own the Night American Gangster Michael Clayton 7. The Brave One 8. Gone Baby Gone 9. No Reservations 10. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
1. The Gathering, Anne Enright 2. Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen 3. The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett 4. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini 5. Atonement, Ian McEwan 6. The Curious Incident of the Dog and the Night-time, Mark Haddon 7. The Overlook, Michael Connelly 8. Memory Keepers Daughter, Kim Edwards 9. Sisters, Danielle Steel 10. Death Comes for the Fat Man, Reginald Hill
Fiction hard cover
1. The Appeal, John Grisham 2. Late Nights on Air, Elizabeth Hay 3. Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini 4. World Without End, Ken Follett 5. Duma Key, Stephen King 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 7th Heaven, James Patterson Divisadero, Michael Ondaatji For One More Day, Mitch Albom Confessor, Terry Goodkind Playing for Pizza, John Grisham
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Canada’s house prices double in last decade
The past decade has been one of the best on record for residential real estate in the Toronto area. While the question remains whether the next decade will even come close, historically, home buyers have never had such a prolonged period of rising home prices, according to a study released yesterday by ReMax. Prices of resale homes from 1997 to 2007 increased by 78 per cent for a 5.9 per cent compounded annual rate of return, according to the real estate firm. Unit sales were also 61 per cent higher in 2007 over 1997. "The Canadian real estate market has surprised a lot of people, especially given the challenges we've faced from a hightech meltdown, the 9/11 crisis, SARS and a credit crunch south of the border," says ReMax spokeperson Christine Martysiewicz. "Over the past 10 years, real estate has shown incredible resilience." The run-up in prices is the longest sustained increase in house prices in recent history, the realtor says. The average price of a home sold in Toronto in 1997 was $211,307. That has risen steadily every year, reaching $376,236 at the end of 2007. ReMax says good economic growth and consumer confidence, fuelled by low interest rates, created the buoyant conditions. Immigration has also played a major role, with the Toronto census metropolitan area increasing by 20 per cent over that period to more than 5 million. But the impact of increased property taxes and a slowdown of the economy could have a significant impact this year. "You may get some decent returns moving forward, but you don't have the same conditions moving into the next decade as the last," says Derek Holt, an economist at the Royal Bank of Canada. "We are past the peak in terms of expectations and the drivers behind them." Holt says pent up demand from early this decade has been largely satisfied as the market moves to "the cooling side of the slope. We will revert closer back to long-term averages." The last up-cycle in the '80s was actually more dramatic, with prices rising from an average of $76,762 in 1983 to $146,965 in 1989 – a 93 per cent gain – before crashing. Prices fell by 28 per cent over a six-year period before turning around in 1997. Few predicted the length or depth of the current cycle. One clear difference over the past decade is at the upper end of the market. In 1997, million-dollar homes were extremely rare, with only 175 homes exchanging hands for $1 million or more. Last year 2,309 such homes were sold. ReMax says many of those homes are in non-traditional neighbourhoods. For instance, a detached home in the modest community of Leaside that sold for $470,000 in 1997 sold again (after renovations) in 2007 for $1.55 million. The past 10 years has also seen a rise, to 35 per cent from 30 per cent, in condominiums as a percentage of the resale market.
Still, to put things into perspective, Toronto didn't even make it in the top 10 markets nationally in terms of price appreciation over the past decade. Edmonton was the hottest market, with a 203 per cent increase in prices – or 11.7 per cent compounded annually. Next was Calgary, with an increase of 189 per cent, for an 11.1 per cent annual return. Canada-wide, house prices were up 98.7 per cent, or 7.1 per cent annually, which put Toronto below the national level. However, ReMax doesn't factor in inflation, which averaged 2.3 per cent over that 10-year period, which would have substantially eaten into returns. ReMax, the most bullish forecaster, sees houses rising by 5 per cent this year. But other analysts are forecasting anywhere from a 3 to 5 per cent increase. The big unknown is how much of an impact the slowdown in the U.S. economy, which buys 80 per cent of Canadian exports, will have on our domestic economy. House prices in the U.S. have tanked spectacularly. Economists are now nervously looking south to see what kind of an impact that may have on the Canadian real estate market. Building permits in the U.S. dropped 3 per cent in January, and housing starts likely have further to fall. The first two weeks of February have also been harsh on the Toronto market with a 14 per cent drop in sales.
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MLS: C3305603 City: Cochrane Price: $297,500 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. There are two good size bedrooms with the master having a walk though closet and 4 piece ensuite. 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. The price includes one underground parking stall on a separate title. You have views through to the mountains and a good size deck to sit out on in the summer evenings.
MLS: C3297692 City: Cochrane
Price: $279,500 Bedrooms: 3
Province: Alberta Bathrooms: 2
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
MLS: c3302604 City: Cochrane
Price: $562,500 Bedrooms: 5
Province: Alberta Bathrooms: 3
This 5 bedroom 3 bathroom walkout bungalow in the sought after community of Riverview Circle.Enter the main floor family room and admire the rich Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors throughout. The main floor also contains the Master bedroom with 5 piece en-suite, 2nd bedroom/ flex room, re-modeled kitchen with granite worktops and brand new appliances, mudroom and 4 piece guest bathroom. Access the deck from the privacy of the Master bedroom or the dining area. Panoramic views of the golf course can be enjoyed on those long sunny evenings whilst cooking on the gas line BBQ.
MLS: c3306249 City: Cochrane
Price: $449,000 Bedrooms: 5
Province: Alberta Bathrooms: 3
This great 5-bedroom bi-level is great for any growing family. The house has over 2300 sq ft developed space and thus feels very spacious. New carpets are throughout the main floor where you have a good size kitchen with oak cabinets. The dining area leads on to the massive (33'x10') deck with a great view. There are three bedrooms up, two with newer laminate flooring. The basement has been developed to a high standard with a family room, two more bedrooms, 4-peice washroom and walkout to the yard.
MLS: C3307045 City: Cochrane
Price: $599,000 Bedrooms: 3
Province: Alberta Bathrooms: 3
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. At the front is a huge 36' deck with doors off the master and family room and partial mountain views.
MLS: 2076970 City: Prince Edward
Price: $169,900 Bedrooms: 2
Province: Ontario Bathrooms: 1
2 Bedroom Bungalow in great Sub-division. Open concept Kitchen - Living room, Hallway to bedrooms and one bedroom door wider for wheelchair access. Single car detached garage built approx. 2 years ago. Storage room with access to 4'crawl space off of kitchen. Good sized kitchen with plenty of cabinets. Lot size to be verified.
MLS: 2075898 City: Prince Edward
Price: $375,900 Bedrooms: 5
Province: Ontario Bathrooms: 2
Grand Century Home situated on a 12 acre parcel of land with great Privacy! Large barn in good condition. This home boasts many original features, 9 1/2 foot ceilings, extra wide baseboards, original trim and most doors. Over 3400 sq. ft. with great potential. Spacious 4 bedrooms upstairs, original wood bannister. Large room on main floor could be master bedroom or Parlour. This all brick home is set back from Road with long driveway going into property, offers a wonderful Privacy!
MLS: 2080320 City: Prince Edward
Price: $425,000 Bedrooms: 3
Province: Ontario Bathrooms: 1
Well established Pub/Diner - Buy your Family a Living!!! This successful Pub/Diner includes the building and business. Very GOOD SALES! Same owner for 18 years, wishes to retire! Licensed for 60 people, main floor 2500 sq. ft with 1100 sq. ft. 3 bedroom apartment upstairs. Excellent downtown location within minutes to Provincial Sandbanks! Owner will hold Mortgage. Financial statements available to serious offers. List of chattels and inclusions available on offers.
MLS: 2080554 City: Prince Edward
Price: $198,000 Bedrooms: 4
Province: Ontario Bathrooms: 2
Solid Brick/Stucco Century Home - on large lot. 4 bedrooms, spacious kitchen with newer cabinetry , main floor laundry, 200 amp service. Basement has been insulated. Ultra Violet light/water filter, water softener. Single Detached garage.
Buying a house with a septic system
To many people the idea of buying a house with a septic system fills them with horror and fear, especially if you come from the United Kingdom where such things are quite rare. Most people would not purchase a house with a septic system but in Canada they are very common and perfectly normal. In fact a quarter of all homes in Canada have a septic system.
If you purchase a property in a city or town it will more than likely have municipal sewage pipes and you will not have to deal with septic systems, however most rural properties an indeed those on the edges of towns will have a septic system in place, so what are they all about.
What is a septic system?
Put simply a septic system is your own private sewage treatment system. There are different types depending on where you live, but all work in a similar way. The system is made up of two main components, a septic tank and a leaching bed. Septic tank: All household waste is sent through pipes into an underground septic tank located in the grounds of the property. The tank is a large watertight container that can be made from concrete, polyethylene or fiberglass. The size is dependent upon the size of the house and the number of occupants. Solid waste settles at the bottom of the tank where it decomposes forming a sludge layer. Light solids such as soap suds, fat etc float to the top and form a scum layer. This layer remains in the tank until emptied just like the solids. Liquid waste flows through pipes to a leaching bed.
Leaching Bed: This is a system of perforated pipes lying in a bed of gravel under the ground. The liquid waste seeps into the pipes where it is filtered and seeps back into the ground. The location of the septic tank and leaching bed are laid out in regulations set by each province and territory. Generally the leaching bed needs to be at least 1.5 metres from the property line, 3-11 metres from the house and 15-30 metres from a well. All septic tanks need to be emptied every few years. The timing of this depends on the size of your tank and the number of property occupants. Generally speaking they should be emptied every three to five years. TIP: Having septic tanks emptied in the winter costs more than in the summer as there are strict guidelines regarding disposal of waste. This means the cost to the disposal company is much greater in the winter and this extra cost will be passed onto you. So, if possible have the tank emptied in the summer or fall.
You can also get it a condition of sale that the previous owner has the septic emptied before you move in so you know exactly when it will need emptying again. However, it is important that you get all inspections and tests done before the tank is emptied as a proper test cannot be carried out once the tank is pumped and you might miss an important problem. The inspector will check all components of the system and will make sure the system is the right size for the house and occupants. He will also do an internal inspection on taps, toilets etc to check drainage. Make sure you obtain a copy of the septic system permit from the homeowner or public health office and get hold of any maintenance records. If, as a result of the inspection any repairs or indeed the replacement of the system is required you should negotiate the cost from the sale price as a new system can cost anything up to $25,000.
If you buy a house with a septic system you should get it inspected and tested as one of the conditions of sale.
Does the system look different?
Obviously the actual septic system itself is different to a municipal sewage system, but you as a property owner do not see any of this. All you will see in the
garden is an inspection lid which is used to gain access to the septic tank. Never, never open this lid as the fumes inside are highly toxic. You will not see the pipe-work or the leaching bed, although your grass might be greener in the vicinity of the leaching bed as it is basically fertilizing the surrounding soil. Inside the house your toilet, sinks, baths, washing machines etc will look and work no differently to any other appliance or equipment working from a municipal system. • Do not park vehicles over the leaching bed as the weight can damage it. • Avoid gutters and pumps from draining near the leaching bed to stop contamination. It is advisable to items such as low flow showerheads and toilets as they cut down on the amount of water flowing into the system. This can lead to overflowing or clogging of the system.
Are there problems with septic systems?
Like any system including municipal systems you can encounter problems. If your system is not working properly you may notice some of the following signs. As we mentioned before you will • Sewage backing up in toilets, showers need to get the septic tank emptied every etc three to five years. The cost of this very • Soggy areas or surface sewage near much depends on your location and the the leaching bed time of year. • Grass over the leaching bed becoming It is advisable to have your system patchy inspected regularly, usually every three • A well test indicates high levels of years. bacteria, contaminants or nitrates Tanks and leaching beds last an • If you have a dosing pump it may run average of 20-25 years, so make sure you continuously know how old yours is so you know If you have any of the above signs or roughly when it might need replacing. are at all concerned about the system you You will also need to take a little extra should call an inspector out immediately. care of what goes into your septic system. • Avoid putting things like paint, grease, Summary solvents, antifreeze etc into the system as this may then seep into groundwater As long as you have a septic system contaminating it. inspected before you buy a property and • Avoid using bleach, disinfectants, maintain it once it’s yours you should have cleaners etc that are not recommended no problems. for septic systems. In Canada it is easy As we have said previously, a septic to find products made for septic system in Canada is nothing unusual and systems, usually they are phosphate you should have no hesitation in looking free and cost no more than other at properties with septic systems or wells. products. • Do not flush feminine hygiene products, Next month dental floss, condoms, cat litter etc into you system as they can clog the Next month we will take a look at leaching bed pipes. wells as this can be another daunting item Take care of the outdoor on the home-buyers list. components; • Do not plant anything but grass over your leaching bed Check out our real • Keep trees and shrubs away from the estate listings at leaching bed as roots can damage the Muchmor realty system. • Do not use manure or fertilizers near the leaching bed
Do I need to do anything different?
1. Septic tank inspection cover 2. Septic tank being installed 3. Leaching bed being constructed 4. System being emptied
MLS: 260658 Price: $309,900 Province: Saskatchewan City: Saskatoon Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 2
This 3 bedroom 2 storey fits right into the charming Buena Vista area. It has a quaint veranda on the front to sit and watch the evening sunsets. The livingroom has natural maple hardwood floors and the kitchen has an abundance of Ginger maple cabinets. The kitchen also has an island counter and a walk in pantry. The garden door takes you to the deck and a huge back yard that has plenty of room for a double garage. The lot is 155' deep! Ready to move into..
MLS: 257535 Price: $1,049,000 Province: Saskatchewan City: Saskatoon Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 3
This amazing 'to be built' two storey walkout will boast over 4100 sqft on all 3. Four car garage, 9' ceilings, custom kitchen and baths anc closets, possible 4th bedroom. Custom moulding pkg, central air, central vac, heated basement floor. Too many extras to list.
MLS: 262140 City: Saskatoon
Price: $474,900 Province: Saskatchewan Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 1
A classic two storey in a great University drive location! This beautifully maintained home features large living and dining areas, oak and maple hardwoods, a main floor family room with patio doors to the deck and an updated maple kitchen. Extras and upgrades include a gas fireplace, central air, five appliances plus recent exterior paint and shingles. Ideally located within easy walking distance of Broadway Avenue and the river with great access to the University of Saskatchewan.
MLS: 261922 Price: $489,900 Province: Saskatchewan City: Saskatoon Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 3
Impressive "Showhome Quality" Two storey Executive home. Immaculate,top to bottom. Over 2600 sq.ft. developed with attention to detail. 3 + 1 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, extra tall vault in living room. Spindle rail & bridge walk overlook livingroom. Maple Kitchen w/ island.Cent./air central vac, 18" porcelain tile, laminate flooring, beautiful trim & decor. 14' ceiling in garage, large concrete driveway allows RV, large treated deck, fully landscaped, fenced and wedge-shaped lot, close to K-8 and high school. Great Location! Just move in and enjoy!
MLS: Various lots Price: $60,900 - $139,900 Province: Saskatchewan City: Prince albert
These beautiful lake lots come in a variety of dimensions and elevations and are conveniently located just 10 minutes west of the town of Big River on highway 55. Power & phone service to be run upon completion of roads. Marina to be located on the south west corner in the phase one of the development. This is your chance to get in at phase one prices. Lots being sold first come first serve. Investor package available..
Imagine you won the lottery
what does a million dollars buy you? Vancouver Island, British Columbia
This stunning three bedroom, three bathroom property with ocean and mountain views will set you back $1,049,000. It offers nearly 3,000 sq ft of living space and was built in 1998. The decor is contemporary and the property includes a self-contained guest suite with private entrance for all those visitors you will have if you live here!
For $1,095,900 you will get this brand new home with lake access. It has four bedrooms and 2.5 baths. Grand entrance has curved staircase with wrought iron railing and landing. Main floor enjoys very open and spacious kitchen with centre island, granite, hardwood and stainless steel appliances. Call Stef Lukas of Lukas Group Realty for details 1-403-256-0002
York Point, Prince Edward Island
This property is just ten minutes to Charlottetown but is set in 15 acres of private property on the waterfront. It is a bargain too at only $990,000. It has three bedrooms, one bathroom and you can watch the ships coming in.
Riverside, country residence in headingley. Simply spectacular very west coast, with timber frame beams throughout home. Massive great room, with free-standing, double sided, stone fireplace dividing it from the dining room. On the market now for $994,000 with four bedrooms, five bathrooms and 6,680 sq ft of living space.
Fall River, Nova Scotia
A majestic country estate situated in a private forested setting that offers all of the features of a new luxury resort in a sought after location. Pamper yourself everyday with a swim in the 18' x 36' indoor pool, followed by a sauna and hot tub. All this along with six bedrooms, five bathrooms and over 5,000 sq ft of living space for $998,000.
We had a hard job finding properties in this price range in Saskatchewan , but you can buy this to-be-built property with over 4,100 sq ft of space for $1,049,000. It will have 9 ft ceilings, four car garage, three bedrooms, three bathrooms with full basement with a possible fourth bedroom. Contact Mike Chudoba of Hallmark Realty for details: Tel 1-306-222-5784.
We met our match in Yukon as we simply could not find any properties listed anywhere near $1 million. So we had to go for the most expensive on on the market which is this 160 acre plot with 6 buildings: a mobile on a basement with water holding tank & septic; a 2 storey frame building with guest suite on the main; a side by side guest accommodation with each side boasting a lovely kitchenette suite style room with 3/4 bath and wraparound deck with hot tub overlooking the Yukon River. All for $799,000
Picton Bay, Ontario
This stunning five bedroom, four bathroom waterfront property with over 3,000 sq ft of living space will set you back $975,000. The property overlooks Picton Bay in Prince Edward County and boasts a hot tub and saltwater swimming pool as well as a private dock, 1,200 sq ft of decking and stunning gardens. Contact Carol Brough on 1-613-476-8039 for details.
Moncton, New Brunswick
This stunning climate controlled, five bedroom, 6 bath contemporary design with 18 ceilings spectacular staircase, great room and large kitchen with solarium effect in breakfast area, craft room and upper level family room is located on .78 acres and boasts over 5,283 sq ft. plus finished lower level office/media room, games room and storage.It also boasts a 18’ x 30’ indoor pool, triple garage and landscaped gardens all for $995,000.
Humber Village, Newfoundland
Quality built with 277' Humber River frontage & over 2 1/2 acres of superbly landscaped grounds. Excellent condition,describes this 4 bedroom,2 1/2 bath, 2 storey home with attached garage. A very private Humber Village location. Close to Marble Mountain Ski Resort & the scenic Humber Resort Golf Course. All in a quiet peaceful setting costing $1,100,000.
Matane, l'Est du Québec, Québec
For exactly $1 million you can have this amazing house with four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms as well as an above ground pool, landscaped gardens and great views of river with a brook running through the grounds. If you love nature then you will love this property.
The most expensive property currently for sale in Canada
Simply stated this is the finest oceanfront estate property in the Pacific Northwest, namely Victoria, Vancouver Island. Strategically nestled on a magnificent 2.4-acre gated property with over 1,400 feet of ocean frontage, the dramatic 15,800 square-foot residence blends artfully into its seaside landscape. And the price - a whopping $29,000,000, yes we did say 29 million dollars!
MLS: C3293558 Province: Alberta Bedrooms: 2
Price: $365,000 City: Calgary Bathrooms: 2
***PRICE BELOW MARKET VALUE FOR QUICK SALE...LOWEST PRICED UNIT IN COMPLEX***beautiful 2 story-WALKOUT-townhouse. Several recent upgrades include stained maple hardwood flooring, new carpet for upper level and fresh paint. Walk into 9ft ceilings Main floor features large living room with fireplace and bay window, 2 piece bath,huge kitchen with custom designed ceramic tile flooring with back splash, dining area with patio doors open to sunny deck. Upper level boasts two large bedrooms, EACH with walk in closets and 4 piece en suites, laundry area!!! WALK OUT lower level in bright, open and updated. Insulated & drywalled double garage ( 21"x 19" ) completes this package.
MLS: C3304411 Province: Alberta Bedrooms: 3
Price: $444,000 City: Calgary Bathrooms: 2
Xciting,modern, 3 bed, 2.5 bath, has over $40,000 in upgrades and is situated on a quiet and safe street next to the green space in family oriented community. Close to schools, park, community centre & private club with skating in the winter and a water park in the summer. Practical open layout on the main floor with fantastic kitchen, living room, dining room, main floor laundry. Location, location, location. A must see home, this is value for your dollar.
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. An elegant double sided fireplace keeps you warm.
MLS: 2077125 Price: $139,900 Province: Ontario City: Wellington, Prince Edward Lot Size: 141' x 145'
Level, easily developed waterfront lot on a channel leading to West Lake and the famous Sand Dunes. Only minutes from the village of Wellington.
MLS: 2075613 City: Prince Edward
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: 2076824 City: Prince Edward
Price: $229,000 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.
MLS: 2077012 City: Prince Edward
Price: $339,000 Vacant Land
Beautiful waterfront lot overlooking the sand dunes at West Lake. Great swimming and boating. Lot size is irregular with 127 feet being the shoreline. Build the house of your dreams here and view the fantastic sunsets.
Donna McNeil Exit Realty Metro Tel: (01) 902-222-4937
Exit Realty Metro 2055-1658 Bedford Highway Bedford NS B4A 2X9
MLS: 00570739 City: Wellington
Price: $269,900 Province: Nova Scotia Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 1
If a park like property and privacy is what you are looking for, well take a closer look. This one of a kind gem has one of the most private settings available in the area. Beds of perennials fill the property and line the paved driveway. The home sit on professionally landscape lot that measures almost an acre in size and backs on over 7 acres of unused HRM Parkland. Inside you will be equally impressed with new hardwood floors, fully finished basement with walkout, 3 bedrooms and open kitchen. Truly a pleasure to view!
MLS: 40867764 Price: $299,900 Province: Nova Scotia City: Hammonds Plains Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 2
Gorgeous 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: 41116138 City: Halifax
Price: $374,900 Province: Nova Scotia Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 4
This absolutely stunning 2 storey cape cod home has a very unique layout and is situated in desirable St. Andrew’s Village; one of Metro’s most popular subdivisions! You will be impressed by the cozy and yet elegant styling which includes walnut stained birch floors, mushroom glazed kitchen cabinets with center island, and the brick wood burning fireplace. The 3216 sq ft of finished living space offers 4 bedrooms, 4 full bathrooms, home office, den, media room, and more.
MLS: 41115593 City: Fall River
Price: $339,900 Province: Nova Scotia Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 3
Stunning 4 bedroom home has everything you’re looking for. Sunken family room with stone propane fireplace, eat in gourmet kitchen that’s great for entertaining. Double French doors to formal living room. Double doors that leads through to master bedroom with walk in closet, 5 piece en-suite, bay window seat with storage. Main bath with laundry. 10 year New Home Warranty. HST rebate back to builder. Please note that the listing agent is related to the vendor. Commission payable on sale price minus HST.
MLS: 40841470 Price: $344,900 Province: Nova Scotia City: Hammonds Plains Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 3
This exceptional three bedroom home with 2500 sq ft of living space is located on quiet, friendly, sought after Carmel Cres., in Highland Park Subdivision. The home is brand new using quality materials. Built with extreme thought and care at every stage of construction. The home features a huge double car garage, private 22x10 pressure treated rear deck, maple kitchen cabinets with island, desk, pantry and garden doors to the deck.
Inside Calgary real estate
by Stef Lukas - Lukas Group Realty, Calgary
Calgary Real Estate Board web site has median price at $422,500, actually its only $381,587. They forgot to mention that 23 sales in January where over $1mil, which they count into their price, and that 82% of all sales where under $410,000. Here is why for the Buyers: Inventory at this time of the year is extremely high, more property's for sale then this town has ever seen, thus more choice's for the buyers and bargains galore. As of this writing there are 4,316 single detached home's for sale and 2,224 condominiums and townhome's. Last year at the same time, these numbers are lower by 45%. Furthermore, these numbers will increase as we come into spring ( I still don't know why sellers wait for spring to list their property's?? They must believe in some self proclaimed real estate expert who tells them about " curb appeal". Folks, its all about affordability and location, nothing more and nothing else!! Advice: check with your bank or mortgage broker what you can afford and buy, buy, buy. Its not going to get cheaper come June or July, builders new construction has already dropped by over 50% this year, which will ultimately put pressure on re sale property prices and you will say once again: should have. For the Sellers: Above numbers apply to sellers as well, if you think that completion is strong now, wait 'till you see how many property's you will compete with come April?? If you price it right and don't get greedy, you will sell, there is a buyer for every property. Most importantly, sell first before you buy. You can always negotiate possession date to suite you ( 60-90 days), plenty of time to find your next home with all the choice's outer there today.
Calgary resale housing prices decline
period. Briar Hill had the highest-priced average in Zone A, with four sales averaging $1.177 million and a median of $875,000, while Coventry Hills had the most sales with 106. In Zone B, there were 594 sales If you put your home on the market averaging $338,848 (median $330,000), late last year and compared it to 2006, it with all but three of the 30 communities would look like you were about to make experiencing sale averaging less than plenty of money - but that statistic doesn't $400,000 - and nine with averages under tell the whole story, says agent with Re/ $300,000. Max Real Estate Central. Of those, Dover, with 10 sales, was "Prices of single-detached homes the most affordable at an average price of peaked in June of last year, but now we've $266,650. seen them falling for eight straight Taradale and Martindale had the most months," says Gary MacLean. sales in Zone B at 66 each. "In the northwest, for example, the Zone C, which traditionally contains median price of a single-detached home in the highest-priced neighbourhoods, had July 2007 was $465,000. It ended up at eight communities with average sales over the end of the year at $427,750, which is $1 million. The average sale price for 841 almost as big a drop as how much it homes sold in that zone reached climbed. It started the year at $418,000." $520,685. The time it took to sell that home The most expensive home sold from almost doubled compared to the same October to December was in Zone C in the period the year before. From Oct. 1 to Dec. community of Bel-Aire at $1.8 million. 31, 2006, average days on the market Bridlewood was the most active varied between 21 and 23 for the four community in the zone with 95 sales, while zones in the city, compared to the last one home in Connaught bucked the trend three months of 2007 when homes took 43 for longer list times, selling in just nine to 48 days on average to sell, says the days for $975,000. Calgary Real Estate Board. Also coming in with 95 sales was "I don't think a lot of people are losing McKenzie Towne in Zone D, making that money," says MacLean. "They're just not southeast community the busiest in the making as much." zone over the last three months of 2007. Even so, he says, 'it's still the best Lake Bonavista Estates had the real estate market in the city." highest-average for sales at $932,375, The busiest zone in the city from followed by Willow Park Estates with three October to December 2007 was Zone A, sales averaging $910,333. which includes many northwest Deer Ridge in the same zone was the communities. A total of 1,049 homes most affordable in that area, with six sales changed hands, with the average sale averaging $308,500. The community also price of $476,035. had the lowest median price for its zone at The average median price for that $285,000. The average sale price in Zone area was $435,000. The median price is D was $434,260, with a median price of the mid-point between the most-expensive $398,000. and least-expensive house sold during that