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✓ Reaching from the Bay of Quinte to
Algonquin Provincial Park
✓ Ontarioʼs Artisan Cheese Region
✓ Double the national average of artists & artisans
✓ One of the top 15 places visited in Ontario (Statcan)
✓ Weʼre “Rurban” - rural with an urban flair
✓ 90 minutes to Toronto, 2 hours to Ottawa
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From the Editor
Welcome to the first issue of 2011. Can you believe we are already
a month into the new year?
Once again we have plenty to offer you in this edition including
the second part of our feature on Multiple Sclerosis and its
connection to CCSVI which has resulted in many people seeking
treatment abroad. We speak with eleven MS’ers who tell their story
of suffering and “Liberation.”
We also start a new series called “Meet the Mayor” in which we
ask Mayors across Canada for their answers to our in-depth
questions such as their favorite movie or their most memorable
holiday. Our aim is to get to know the person behind the politics the
feedback from the Mayors who have taken part so far is good. They
have found our questions to be fun and they have enjoyed the
We also catch up with Toronto singer/songwriter Moonlyn who we
first spoke to back in early 2009. We find out all about her latest
album and video as well as her plans for the future which include a
possible move to LA. When she makes it big, remember where you
first saw her!
Other articles in this issue include taking a look at Ottawa’s culture
and visiting Niagara Falls during the winter. Mark Atkinson our
resident car expert test drives the Dodge Minivan and we spend a
day with a local Realtor to find out what the job entails. We also
learn where best to invest our money curtesy of Investors Group.
Our immigration section includes a real life story from a family
who moved from Argentina to Canada a few years ago as well as
details of a Chinese Club in Smiths Falls. We also explore Greater
Sudbury to see what it can offer potential newcomers.
Well I won’t keep you here, instead I will let you read.
All the best and Happy New Year
Jane Toombes, Editor
Out & About
06! Valentineʼs Day, 5 Canadian hot spots to keep the romance burning
07! Niagara Falls has lots to offer the winter tourist
09! Nova Scotia Eagle Watch
09! Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC
10! Ottawa, Canadaʼs capital of culture
12! Time to choose summer camp kids
14! Careers: 11 job search tips for 2011
15! Careers: Foreign military service in Canadian career search documents
16! Money: Should you contribute to your RRSP, your TFSA, or both?
18! Motoring: Test drive: Dodge minivans
21! Environment: When is green really green?
22! Meet the Mayor of Mississauga: Hazel McCallion
24! An interview with Toronto singer/songwriter Moonlyn
27! Meet the Mayor of Peterborough: Daryl Bennett
28! Meet the Mayor of Halifax, NS: Peter Kelly
30! A day in the life of a Realtor
32! Immigration news
34! Life in the City of Greater Sudbury
38! Real Life: Canada calls Argentinian family
40! Meet the Mayor of Lunenburg, NS:
! Laurence Mawhinney
42! Smiths Falls: A lesson in cultural
! awareness
47! Meet the Mayor of Smiths Falls:
! Dennis Staples
Health & Wellness
48! Part 2: Could a cure for Multiple Scleoris
! be just around the corner?
49! Dr Zamboniʼs findings
50! Eleven Real life stories from MS sufferers


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The holidays are over but valentine's Day is right around the corner. No matter
what you got him or her last month, taking your sweetums to one of these fve
Canadian romance spots will keep you in the
good books for a little while longer...
Toñno, BC: You can opt to watch the
storms from your porch at the Wickaninnish
Inn-voted one of the Best Places to Kiss in
the Northwest-while sipping on champagne
and nibbling house-made truffes. Prefer to
take your love outdoors? Tofno is one of the
world's surfng meccas and nothing says, °l
love you" like walking the beach or riding the
waves with the one you
Québec C|ty, QC: Montréal will do in a
pinch, but Québec City is the spot for
connoisseurs of French romance, thanks to
cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriage
rides and walks under old-fashioned lamplight. Add bistros to eat in, cafés to watch from and
boutique hotels (like the Relais & Chateaux-branded Auberge Saint-Antoine) that are as luxurious
to sleep in as they are interesting to look at. Bring your camera and ask a stranger to snap a
photo of you and your partner amid backdrops that provide an unparalleled setting for romance,
then dine by candlelight on fne French-Canadian cuisine before a night out on the
Peggy's Cove, NS: Buy him a fsherman's
sweater, pack her a shawl, grab a blanket
and head out to °The Cove" for a weekend
of quiet, simple living and fresh seafood
you'll remember for years to come. Stand
on the rocky shores near the lighthouse
and watch the sun set after a day walking
the tiny village and getting to know the
Muskoka, ON: The region is crowded with
sun seekers in the summer, but come
winter, it's all yours. Whether you prefer
your time outdoors-walking or skiing the
trails-or indoors in front of a roaring fre,
Muskoka hotels and resorts mean never
having to choose. At Taste Restaurant
in Touchstone resort, you'll fnd (along with stunning views of Lake Muskoka) a farm-to-table
philosophy in the kitchen and locally produced ingredients on the menu. Spend the night and take
full advantage of the spa's two-bedroom suite.
Stratford, ON: The plays, including some by the Bard of Love himself, William Shakespeare,
will draw you here, but with a lakeside trail to hold hands along and now the Stratford Chocolate
Trail, Stratford is a top choice for romantics. Buy a $20 Chocolate Trail Pass at the Stratford
Tourism Alliance and visit eight stops of your choosing on the 16-stop self-guided tour. Sample
the cocoa fares and speak with the chocolate makers. You can even take a chocolate mint bath
soak. How sweet.
Heather Greenwood Davis is a freelance writer and travel columnist based in Toronto, ON. Always on the
|oo|oµt fo| a new adventµ|e, s|e's often |n an a||oo|t w|t| noteooo| |n |and, came|a ove| |e| s|oµ|de| and
children in tow. Her twice-monthly 7o|onto Sta| co|µmn, "A|te|nate A||angements," featµ|es |nte|est|ng
oeoo|e, o|aces and t||ngs ac|oss t|e o|anet. /ea|n mo|e at www.g|eenwooddav|
The holidays are over but valentine's Day is right around the corner. No matter
W|ckan|nn|sh Inn
Peggy's Cove
Niagara Falls is one of the best known attractions in
Canada but of course the name doesn’t just refer to the
majestic waterfall, but to the city itself. The city of Niagara
Falls is located right on the border with the United States
and indeed its twin city, also named Niagara Falls sits on
the US side.
The actual falls is divided into two: The Horseshoe Falls
located on the Canadian side and the American Falls, yes
you’ve guessed it, on the American side. Together these
two falls make up one of the greatest natural wonders of
the world.
We have all seen the stunning photos of the falls in the
summer with the sun beating down, but is this a place
worth visiting in the cold winter months? The answer is,
most definitely yes. Because you see, there is far more to
Niagara Falls than just the waterfalls.
The area surrounding the falls has been a tourist mecca
for many years, but in the last few years many more
attractions have opened their doors making it a great place
to spend a few days. Even if you can only spend a day here
you can still enjoy many of the things Niagara has to offer.
You will find that the majority of the attractions are open
year round and a lot are inside, so no need to worry too
much about the weather. So what exactly can you do in
Niagara in the winter?
Well, the first and most obvious thing to do here is view
the falls of course. Fortunately Canadians get the best deal
out of the falls. From the Canadian side we can see the full
extent of the falls including magnificent views of both the
Horseshoe and American Falls, along with the smaller
Bridal Veil Falls located between the two. There is a large
observation deck known as Table Rock located above the
Horseshoe Falls where you are so close to the rushing
water you can almost touch it. Be prepared to get wet here
though, so wrap up warm. You can view the falls all along
the Canadian side of the river, so make sure you pack your
The one attraction you will not be able to experience in
the winter is a ride on the famous Maid of the Mist. These
boat rides which take you under the falls themselves can
only operate when the river is free of ice and snow, so
unfortunately you will have to visit again in the summer
months to appreciate this great experience.
One attraction you will be able to take advantage of is
the Journey Behind the Falls. This is open year round and
allows you to actually walk behind and below the
Horseshoe Falls. You will travel down in an elevator to get
to the base of the falls and walk along tunnels behind the
water. Observation areas allow you to literally stand behind
the falls and watch the water flowing, the noise alone
makes this worth doing. One observation area which allows
you to view the falls from the bottom and side may be
closed during a winter visit. This is because the platform
can get very icy and slippery and no one wants you to fall
in! You will still be able to see the side view of the falls from
this vantage point, but without walking out onto the
platform itself.
Niagara’s Fury is one of the newest attractions which
allows you to experience the falls first-hand. Located on
Table Rock at this indoor attraction you stand on a
specially constructed platform that tilts and trembles
allowing you to experience the fury of Niagara yourself. You
will be surrounded by incredible 4D imagery and fantastic
sound in the 360 degree theatre. The show lasts six
minutes, but is preceded with another show explaining how
Niagara Falls was formed millions of years ago.
If you want a really good view of the falls then you will
want to experience the Skylon Tower. There is an
observation deck located at 233 metres (775 feet). To get
to the deck you ride the Yellow Bug elevators which travel
Niagara Falls has a
lot to offer the
winter tourist
Journey Behind the Falls
By Jane Toombes
externally up the tower, like little bugs running up a flower
stem. From the deck you can see over 8,000 square miles
of both Canada and the USA.
The tower is also home to the Revolving Dining Room
where again at a height of 233 metres you can enjoy
award-winning continental cuisine for lunch or dinner with
spectacular views. If you prefer more casual dining then
you should consider the Summit Suite Buffet which is more
catered to families and slightly smaller budgets.
There are other things to experience at the Skylon apart
from the food and the views. You can also watch the 3D/4D
movie "Legends of Niagara Falls" with amazing special
effects. If you are visiting with children then you might want
to visit Niagara Falls largest indoor entertainment centre
offering rides for all ages. If you want to leave the kids there
and catch up on some retail therapy then the shopping
concourse is the place to be. You will find everything from
souvenirs to discount shopping as well as several speciality
If you love wildlife, especially birds, then one place you
must visit whilst at Niagara is Bird Kingdom. This is located
close to Rainbow Bridge and is great for bird lovers all year,
but offers a tropical escape during the winter months. You
will be able to walk amongst the birds, yes most are free to
fly and wander round so you never know what will be
swooping above your head or walking across your path.
You will see everything from the smallest finches to large
macaws and everything in between. There is also a
nocturnal section where you can see owls and other
creatures such as bats and insects.
Another great wildlife attraction is the Butterfly
Conservatory. Because this is located about ten minutes
north of Niagara Falls you will have to either drive or catch
one of the buses which travel between the two locations.
You will go on a self-guided tour where over 2,000
butterflies are free to fly around the tropical rainforest
setting. You can also watch butterflies emerging from their
pupae and flying for the first time. Be aware that they may
land on you and you need to be careful where you tread.
You absolutely must have your camera here, but be warned
that tripods are not allowed, only monopods.
Clifton Hill is another location you will want to visit. This
is the main tourist and shopping area at Niagara Falls. Here
you will find places such as Ripley’s Museum and 4D Ride,
wax museums, haunted houses, Niagara SkyWheel,
arcades, restaurants, hotels and lots more.
If gambling is for you then you will not be disappointed
in Niagara. Places such as Casino Niagara, Fallsview
Casino and the Ontario Casino Hotel will allow you to
indulge in your passion.
The Winter Festival of Lights is another good reason to
visit Niagara in the winter. Between November and the end
of January the whole of Niagara Falls is festooned with
lights, attracting thousands of visitors every year. Most
Fridays, weather pending, there are firework displays over
the falls during the festival as well as the illumination of the
falls themselves.
So as you can see, there is no good reason why you
should not visit Niagara Falls during the winter, in fact there
are lots of good reasons why you should.
Butterfly Conservatory
Bird Kingdom
American Falls
Nova Scotia Eagle Watch
In winter, the deciduous trees of the Annapolis Valley lose their
leaves, odd pieces of fruit still frozen on the trees; the harvest festivals
are over and the bulk of tourists are gone. Most, but not all.!!For two
weekends in winter some thousand visitors come to line the fields
around the farming village or hamlet of Sheffield Mills to join in a festival
unlike any other. As the site of the largest colony of wintering eagles in
eastern North America, Sheffield Mills is the perfect location to host
Eagle Watch when visitors are invited to see these extraordinary birds in
their natural hibernal habitat. And what a sight: some 500 eagles soar
above the snow-covered fields and settle, looming white-headed
sentinels, on the branches of leafless elms and apple trees.!!
Nova Scotians are hospitable by nature. The 20th Annual Sheffield
Mills Eagle Watch (January 29-30 and February 5-6, 2011) welcomes
visitors to the Community Hall for a pancake and sausage breakfast or
cinnamon bun alternative, plus homemade bread and baked beans
afterwards. !There’s live music too. This year, the “polymetric folk-jazz”
duo of Arianne and Andy, country singer Laura Roy,!harpist Johanne
McInnis and Celtic musician, Dusty Keleher, are among Eagle Watch’s
several performers.
Noah Richler is a CBC radio documentary maker and the prize-winning author of This is My Country, What’s Yours? A Literary Atlas
of Canada. He is a regular contributor to the Globe and Mail, the National Post, The Walrus magazine and the BBC World Service.


Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC
Long recognized as one of the great parks of the world, Stanley Park is one of the crown jewels of Vancouver.
Stanley Park is Vancouver's first park and one of the city's main tourist attractions and is an evergreen oasis of 400
hectares (1,000 acres) close to the downtown core. Its natural west coast and First Nations atmosphere offers a back
drop of majestic cedar, hemlock and fir trees which greets visitors from all over the globe and transports them to an
environment rich in tranquility. The park also is home to various wildlife and its features appeal to the naturalist, the
plant lover or one who would do nothing more than relax in beautiful surroundings.
Stanley Park was opened in 1888 by the British Lord Stanley of Preston who later became the Earl of Derby. The
largest city-owned park in Canada and the third largest in North America, Stanley Park is more than ten percent
larger than New York City's Central Park and almost half the size of London's Richmond Park.
Each year the park attracts an estimated eight million visitors, locals and tourists alike, who come for its
recreational facilities, gardens, seawall and ocean views. The famous seawall path which circles the park is used by
more than 2.5 million pedestrians, sight-seers, cyclists, and inline skaters every year. Most of the park is forested
with old growth forest and an estimated half million trees that can be as tall as 76 metres (250 ft) and hundreds of
years old. There are also approximately 125 miles of trails and roads throughout the park, which are patrolled by the
Vancouver City Police horse mounted squad. The Project for Public Spaces has ranked Stanley Park as the sixteenth
best park in the world and sixth best in North America.
A great number of quality recreational facilities are also
available in Stanley Park, including a pitch and putt golf course
bordered by the spring-blooming Ted and Mary Greig
Rhododendron Garden. At the Park's heart is the formal Rose
Garden surrounded by mass perennial plantings looking their
very best from April through September.
If you are planning a trip to Vancouver, British Columbia,
Canada, beautiful Stanley Park is a must see destination. With
its beautiful rose gardens, scenery and world class facilities
and restaurants, Stanley Park will be a memorable experience.
Vancouver, BC, Canada tourist information
When thinking of somewhere to visit in Canada, what better place to start
than the capital city, Ottawa. Located in eastern Ontario, close to the border
with Quebec, Ottawa offers a little bit of everything and so should meet the
needs of all kinds of tourists.
Don’t think that because Ottawa is Canada’s capital city that it is going
to be a large, built-up, unfriendly city, it is not. In fact Ottawa is more rural
than any other city in Canada and has some stunning architecture to
explore. This along with fine dining, shopping, parks, museums and
galleries makes it a great place to spend some time at any time of the
Ottawa has some major landmarks you will want to explore. One of
the most visited locations is Parliament Hill which can be found along
Wellington Street overlooking the Ottawa River. There are three main
buildings you will want to see, the first is known as the centre block
and this is where you will see the familiar clock tower and stunning
architecture dating back to the mid 1800’s. There are two other blocks
known as east and west which have equally stunning architecture.
You can take tours of the buildings which are free of charge.
Booking in advance is not required for groups of ten or less and the
tours last between 20 and 60 minutes. Tour times vary depending on
the day and time of year so you should visit the following website for
full details:
Whilst in this area you should look for the “Cat Man of Parliament
Hill.” This gentleman has build a cat shelter to the west of the centre
block where he looks after and feeds feral cats.
Close by you can also visit the Supreme Court, a unique Art-Deco
By Jane Toombes
Ottawa: Canada’s
Capital of Culture
style building which has a huge front lawn often used in the
summer months by Ultimate Frisbee players. You can take
guided tours of the court itself or simply enjoy the
entertainment outside.
Within walking distance of Parliament Hill is the Notre
Damn Basilica which is a stunning gothic cathedral dating
back to 1841. Between May and October you can take
tours of the cathedral which last approximately 45 minutes,
fees are applicable.
As you are wandering around this area you cannot fail to
notice the other great landmark of Ottawa, the Rideau
Canal. At the point where it meets the Ottawa River, next to
Parliament Hill you will see the 8 locks which allow boats
to navigate the different heights of the canal and river.
During the winter months the canal is turned into the
world’s longest ice skating rink.
Although not open to the public you might also want to
visit 24 Sussex Drive which is the home of the Prime
Minister of Canada. You can park in neighbouring streets
and may be able to get a quick photo opportunity but be
aware the area is patrolled by security so you may be
asked to move on.
As you are in Sussex Drive you should also take a look
at Rideau Hall, opposite 24 Sussex which is the home of
the Governor General. The gardens to this home are open
to the public and are well worth a visit. There are 79 acres
of beautiful landscaping including trees planted by visiting
dignitaries including Nelson Mandela and Diana, Princess
of Wales.
One of the most vibrant neighbourhoods in Ottawa is
ByWard Market. Here you will find a variety of restaurants
from fine dining to fast food outlets. There is also ample
shopping opportunity with lots of eclectic shops as well as
the market square which offers everything from fruit and
vegetables to arts and crafts. There are also horse-drawn
carriages and rickshaws offering tours and buskers to
entertain you.
Adjacent to ByWard Market you will also find ample
shopping opportunities at the Rideau Centre. This is a large
mall, with parking and over 180 stores and restaurants.
If you like museums and galleries you will not be
disappointed. Located just off Sussex Drive you will find
the National Gallery of Canada. This impressive glass
structure is a work of art in itself and definitely worth
photographing. Also worth a photo is the huge 9.25 meter
high bronze spider located in the plaza. Photo
opportunities inside the building are limited.
The Canadian War Museum opened in 2005, not only
contains a fascinating insight into Canadian military history
but is also a building of great architectural interest. The
floors and walls are built on slight angles making you feel
slightly disorientated.
Another place worth visiting is the Canadian Museum of
Civilization. This is Canada’s most visited museum and is
home to the world’s largest collection of totem poles
amongst many other exhibits. From outside the museum
don’t miss the wonderful views of Parliament Hill, Rideau
Canal and Ottawa River.
Ottawa also offers many parks and recreational areas
where you can relax and have a picnic. If you plan you visit
during May 2011, be sure to check out the Canadian Tulip
Festival. Over one million tulips of over 50 varieties are on
display throughout the city during this time. Make sure you
bring your camera for this one.
If you like cycling you can take one of the many cycle
paths found throughout the city including those along the
banks of the Rideau Canal or Ottawa River. Bicycles can
be rented at various locations across the city.
Ottawa is a picturesque and relaxed city to visit and has
something for just about everyone. You can visit the main
Ottawa Tourism website at
Notre Damn Basilica
Library Building
Parliament Hill
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 and they are very popular. 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, so start now!
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
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.
Duration: Camps can last anything from a few hours to
several weeks. You and your parents need to be sure that
you are prepared to be away from home for the length of
your trip. Some children love being away from home and
enjoy the freedom, but others may get very homesick and
want to go back home after a day or two.
Check to see if there is an option available to cut the
duration short if you find you want to go home early. Is there
a refund policy in this case?
Activities: This is the most important decision as far as
the children are concerned because it is what you will be
doing whilst away at camp. Some camps specialize in
certain areas such as horse riding, mountain climbing,
sports, crafts etc, whilst others offer a wide variety of
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.
One for the parents - check it out first:
Once you choose a camp make sure it is everything you
expect it to be.
Can you get references from people who have used it
How long has it been in operation?
What are the goals of the camp?
How many staff are on duty to how many children?
What are the qualifications of the staff?
What staff training is provided?
What is the food like?
Time to choose
13 13
What are the sleeping arrangements?
What toilet and shower facilities are available?
What facilities are available for contact with home (phone,
letter etc)?
What provisions are there for bad weather?
What insurance coverage is there?
What items can your child take with them?
Can the camp meet special needs requirements i.e. diet,
accessibility, supervision etc?
What provisions do they have for medical emergencies?
Camp Act|v|t|es
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.
Ind|v|dua| Sports: Golf, biking, skateboarding, archery,
go-karts, track and feld, horse riding etc.
Water Sports: Canoeing, diving, windsurfng, 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.
Perform|ng Arts: Acting, writing, costuming, dance,
music, circus arts, makeup etc
Creative Arts: Drawing, crafts, painting, photography,
cooking, stained glass, sculpture, woodwork, sewing,
ceramics etc.
Academ|cs: 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 fnd a camp to ft.
Overseas Camps
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 fnd 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.
Spec|a| Needs
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. lt 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 in 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 diffculties such as dyslexia, so there really is no
need to feel left out whatever your needs and requirements.
There are a number of ways to fnd 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 fnd 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:
Specifc website include: - science,
technology and engineering camps - Canadian Camping Association - Kids of Canada summer camps, - Christian Camp and Conference
Association - Ontario camp for children
with learning disabilities.
Camp Fa|rs: 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 leafets, 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!)
lf 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. Camps are an excellent way to
meet new people and make new friends, especially if you
are new to the area, or indeed Canada.
Just because summer seems a long way off, it is never
too early to start researching available camps. Remember,
places fll up fast so early bookings are essential.
ln 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.
By Ka|t||n Madden
t's 2011 and it's time to take control of your job search. This year, it's no longer up to
companies to hire you, it's up to you to get hired. Forget about how the economy is doing. Refect
on last year if you must, but then forget about that, too. This year, your focus will be on fnding the
right job for you and doing everything you can to be the best candidate for that job. The
competition may still be tough, but you're going to be better than the competition.
Here's how to turn the tables in your favour.
1. Narrow your search. Stop applying to jobs that you're not qualifed for or don't really want.
lt's a waste of time. Be honest with yourself when evaluating job postings. lf you had to start the
job tomorrow, do you have all the skills you'd need to succeed? Or are there areas of the job
description that you don't have experience in? While it's always great to be willing to learn, most
companies want to hire someone who can jump right in and get started without being trained
from scratch. Focus your time on creating great applications for jobs you are well qualifed for
2. Know exact|y what you want. Narrowing down your job search may force you to ask
yourself tough questions like: What kind of job am l really after? And, what skills can l offer an
employer? lf you're unsure of the answer, make one list of the job skills you excel at and one of
the skills you like to use most. Use these skills as search terms in your job search.
3. Re-eva|uate your sk||| set. lf you feel like you've looked at every job posting on earth and
you still can't fnd one your skills match up with, then it's time to get some new skills. The good
news for those who are unemployed is that it's the perfect opportunity to go back to school. You
won't have to divide your time with your job obligations, and there's also the possibility that the
economy will have recovered a bit by the time you graduate school -- giving you a double leg up.
There are even government funding and programs available for out-of-work job-seekers that want
to enrol in training or continue their education.
4. Set goa|s. Yes, your overall goal may be to get a job, but setting short-term, specifc job
search goals for the year will help you grow and force you to continuously evaluate your progress.
lmprove your networking skills, for example, by making January's goal to join a professional
organization and February's to attend a college alumni event. Holding yourself accountable for
achieving these goals will boost your self-esteem and motivate you to continue searching by
providing you with new leads and information.
5. Try someth|ng new. lf you're stuck in a job search rut, add a new strategy to your repertoire.
lnstead of only job searching online, try working with a recruiter and setting up informational
interviews with industry contacts, too. A multi-faceted approach will get the best results.
6. Get a |eg up on the compet|t|on. lf you come across a job that seems perfect for you, do
something that will subtly help you stand out from the crowd. When you fnd a job posting you
want to apply to, fnd out the name of the hiring manager or someone who works in the same
department, and send the person an e-mail directly. lt's 2011, which means almost anything can
be found online, including names and e-mail addresses. A Linkedln search on the company
should turn up a list of employees and their titles, from which you can select the most appropriate
person. Then, search the company website or press releases for the company's e-mail format.
7. Get a ho|d of your on||ne reputat|on: When an HR manager searches your name online
(and they will do it) you can either take control what they see, or you can leave it to the powers of
the crawl search gods. Search results that are professional, consistent and that establish you as
an expert in your feld will be far more impressive than Facebook pictures from Thanksgiving.
Things like a Facebook or Linkedln profle and a Twitter feed will all show up on the frst page, so
signing up for these sites and populating the accounts with up-to-date, professional content will
make a great impression.
11 l00 808f00
ll08 l0f Z011
8. Start a webs|te: lf you want to take your lnternet
presence one step further, starting a website will
showcase your skills and talents in a thorough and
interesting way, and it'll add to your professionalism and
give you credibility. Plus, it's not as costly or as time-
consuming as you might think. Domain names (i.e., can be registered on sites like or for around $10, and web
hosting can cost as little as $3 per month. lf you're not
particularly tech savvy, premade blog templates give you a
professional look with minimal hassle. has
tons of template options and also provides great technical
support for novices.
9. Stay current: You should always be in the loop, even
if you're out of work. Read trade publications, comment on
industry blogs, and stay on top of any emerging
technologies or policies that may impact your career path.
This will not only help you have a great conversation with
an interviewer and keep your professional edge, but it may
also give you new ideas about where and how to look for a
10. Se|| yourse|f: An interview is no time for modesty,
especially in times like these. When you land an interview,
go prepared with at least fve examples that demonstrate
your best qualities. That way, when an interviewer asks,
"Why should l hire you," you can talk about how you're
such a quick learner that you taught yourself Photoshop in
a week and how your entrepreneurial spirit lead you to
start your frst lawn-mowing business at age 16. Be sure to
leave the interviewer with the phone numbers of
references who will back you up with glowing
11. Keep that g|ass ha|f-fu|| approach, a|| year: A job
search will always have its frustrating moments, because
things don't always happen when or how we want them to
happen. But instead of letting setbacks ruin motivation,
take them as lessons. Your lack of interviews may mean
it's time to re-evaluate your career path or skill set, which
could lead you to a more fulflling career. This type of
positive attitude will be much more productive in helping
you fnd your next job.
The bottom line is that job searching will be tough this
year, but landing a job -- even your dream job --can still be
a reality. A proactive job search is your best bet, so take
the necessary steps to ensure you get the job you want.
Ka|t||n Madden |s a w||te| and o|ogge| fo| Ca|ee|Bµ||de|.com
and |ts |oo o|og, 7|e Wo|| Bµzz. She researches and writes about
|oo sea|c| st|ategv, ca|ee| management, ||||ng t|ends and
wo||o|ace |ssµes. Fo||ow @Ca|ee|oµ||de| on 7w|tte|.
008llß0 Nll0 l0f0l0ß
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By Audrey Prenze|,
For many new Canadians,
serving in a foreign military
was not optional. There are
several countries that still
require conscription for their
air force, army or navy.
lf you completed the
mandatory terms of service
and then fnished some formal
schooling such as university, it
makes sense to include your time in the military in your
résumé since you have no other job experience to share.
Keep it brief and focus on the soft skills such as
supporting a team, training others, coordinating large
groups, etc. lnclude any specialized and relevant training
you completed in the military too.
lf you have several years of non-military work
experience from your home country, then l would suggest
evaluating if you need to include your time in the military.
Most likely, you were young when you fnished and then
started a civilian job afterwards. ln this case, you can omit
it and just refer to your professional civilian career.
Like many Canadians, there are people from abroad
who complete a full career in the military. Naturally, this
must be shared in your résumé. By identifying the most
transferable hard and soft skills that you offer, without any
military lingo, you will be able to market yourself in the
Canadian job market. ln all cases, do not include the
notion of weapons usage or the like unless this is a job
Be mindful if the place you are applying to requires full
disclosure of every job you have ever had. lf this is the
case, you should include it either on the résumé or
disclose this to the HR Department. Typically, a feld such
as policing asks for your complete work history.
Wishing you the very best of job search success as
Aµd|ev P|enze|, BA, BEd, CARW, CE/C |s t|e foµnde| of
Resµme Resoµ|ces, an |nte|nat|ona| ca|ee| t|ans|t|on h|m. S|e
|o|ds nµme|oµs |o|es w|t| Ca|ee| D||ecto|s /nte|nat|ona|
|nc|µd|ng Mento|, Canad|an Adv|so|, D||ecto| of /nte|nat|ona|
Re|at|ons, M|||ta|v 7|ans|t|on Exoe|t P|og|am /eade|, and
Ae|osoace / Defence P|og|am /eade|. Aµd|ev |s t|e aµt|o| of
"M|||ta|v to C|vv|e St|eet: 7|e Como|ete Joo 7|ans|t|on Gµ|de fo|
t|ose |eav|ng t|e Canad|an A|| Fo|ce, A|mv & Navv". v|s|t
Audrey's website
As Canadians recover from their holiday spending sprees they have to open their overused cheque book one more
time to contribute to their retirement fund. The February 28th Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) deadline is fast
approaching, and contribution decisions need to be made. There once was a time when contributing to your RRSP was a
no-brainer, but with the advent of the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) the RRSP contribution decision got a little
The introduction of the TFSA represents the most important change to the way Canadians save money since RRSPs
were launched in the late ‘50s. The big question on many people’s minds is whether they should contribute to a TFSA,
the tried-and tested RRSP, or possibly even both? Before shedding some light on their question, let’s first get a firm grasp
on some of the innate differences and similarities. First and foremost, both RRSPs and TFSAs provide investors with the
opportunity of tax-sheltered compound growth for investments held inside each plan. Unlike an RRSP, contributions to a
TFSA are not tax deductible, but amounts can be withdrawn tax free at any time and withdrawn amounts are added back
into your TFSA contribution room the following year.
Comparing the TFSA to the RRSP Comparing the TFSA to the RRSP
Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
Contributions are fully tax-deductible Contributions are not tax-deductible
Contributions can be made until the end of the
year in which you turn 71 years of age
Contributions can be made at any time with no
age limit (for those 18 years of age and over)
Withdrawals are taxed at your marginal tax rate Withdrawals are 100% tax-free
1% monthly penalty for over contributions 1% monthly penalty for over contributions
Withdrawals could affect eligibility for income-
tested government benefits and credits
Withdrawals will not affect eligibility for income-
tested government benefits and credits
Unused contribution room is carried
forward indefinitely
Unused contribution room is carried
forward indefinitely
Withdrawals cannot be returned to the RRSP
without using contribution room*
Withdrawals will be added to contribution room
in the following year
*except for repayments of withdrawals under the home buyersʼ plan or the lifelong learning plan *except for repayments of withdrawals under the home buyersʼ plan or the lifelong learning plan
Should you contribute
to your RRSP,
your TFSA or both?
Now that we’ve established their
unique characteristics, let’s get back
to our original question: Which is
best? On a very basic level, looking
at your pre-retirement and
expected post-retirement marginal
tax rates can provide you with an
idea how to best allocate your
investments. If you expect to be
in a lower tax bracket during
retirement, contributing to an
RRSP is generally more
beneficial. However, if in
retirement you anticipate being
in a tax bracket that is equal or
higher than your pre-retirement tax
rate, the TFSA may be more tax-
Although it’s tempting to settle on a simple
rule-of-thumb, the decision on whether you
should use a TFSA or RRSP is not that simple – your
advisor needs to work with you to consider the entire
spectrum of financial strategies at your disposal that could
ultimately impact your approach. Even if you anticipate
having a lower marginal tax rate in retirement, maximizing
your RRSP contributions may not always be the most tax-
efficient long-term strategy. Since RRSP withdrawals
(directly or through your Registered Retirement Income
Fund (RRIF) or an annuity) increase your taxable income,
those withdrawals may affect certain government income-
tested benefits and credits such as the Old Age Security
benefit and the Age Credit.
On the other hand, if your expected marginal tax rate in
retirement is equal or higher than during your accumulation
years, contributing to your TFSA may not be the best
approach either. For example, RRSPs that are converted to
a RRIF or an annuity
after age 65 can
produce income that is
eligible for the pension
income tax credit, and
thus qualifies for
splitting with your
spouse. Other income
splitting strategies such as the use of
spousal RRSPs could effectively distribute a portion of
your taxable income to a spouse with a lower marginal tax
rate in retirement, further reducing your tax bill and
reducing the claw-back effect on your income tested
benefits and credits.
So where does this leave us? Generally speaking, a
TFSA may be better suited for shorter-term goals, such as
an emergency fund or saving for a major purchase, since
there is no tax on withdrawals and these plan withdrawals
are added back into your TFSA contribution room the
following year. However, for long-term objectives, RRSPs
are generally the vehicle of choice since there are strong
incentives to keep your money invested, such as taxes and
lost contribution room on the withdrawals from an RRSP.
The TFSA can also be a powerful retirement savings tool.
However, due to the ease with which TFSA savings can be
accessed (no taxes on withdrawals or loss of contribution
room) only a disciplined investor who can resist the
temptation to dip into their savings prior to retirement will
fully benefit from its potential as a source of retirement
Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. In fact,
there is a multitude of variables that must be taken into
consideration. In many cases, the TFSA should be used as
a complementary
product, along with your RRSPs, as they both have
their own advantages. Your personal savings
strategy needs to take into account your unique
circumstances as well as your short and long-
term objectives. To discover which approach is
best for you, contact me.
Andrew Filice, CFP
Click here to see more information about
Investors Group
Test Drive:
Dodge Minivans
By Mark Atkinson
Uncool or not, minivans are still big business in Canada,
despite a general decrease in demand over the last
decade. Chrysler Canada is the class’ 800-lb gorilla
capturing over 70 per cent of sales regularly with its Dodge
Grand Caravan – and 75 percent when you add in the
upscale-but-small-volume Chrysler Town & Country. Some
is courtesy of picking up stragglers abandoned by
manufacturers – Ford, General Motors and Hyundai – who
no longer play in this league. The other reason was value –
Chrysler simply prices itself lower than its competitors are
willing to accept. Voila: instant volume.
Never mind that the minivans were loud and slow with
interior plastics so sharp you’d lose a digit if run the wrong
way over an exposed injection moulding. It was the largest
ride for the least money: who cares about quality, right?
Plenty. Chrysler interiors have never been stellar – clever,
yes, but not class-leading. But finally, with the help of
development money funnelled in through new corporate-
parent Fiat, nearly the whole Dodge and Chrysler fleet will
receive significant upgrades to make them not only more
attractive, but even better values too.
The revised 2011 Grand Caravan (GC) and Town &
Country (T&C) are perhaps the most significant to Canada,
especially with all-new versions of the Honda Odyssey and
Toyota Sienna in dealers now.
The changes to the ChryCo twins are significant, even
though the basic box remains the same. That means no
changes in overall size or carrying capacity. However, both
get freshened sheet-metal to reflect their brands’ styling
themes. The GC gets Dodge’s new crosshair grille, along
with a sportier front fascia, while the rear gets a larger
body-colour spoiler, a re-shaped tailgate with different trim,
and slick LED taillights. T&C goes a little farther with a new
sculpted hood, an attractive chrome and satin-finish grille,
projector-style headlights, and foglights integrated with a
wide chrome strip along the front fascia. The Chrysler’s rear
is nearly as dramatic, with an aluminum scuff plate on the
bumper, a similarly redone tailgate, and LED lights. Both
offer unique 16- and 17-inch wheels, depending on trim,
but all come with roof racks whose cross-members fold
away into the rails themselves, just like the Subaru
However, the biggest changes come inside. The
overreaching effort was to remove any chance of
complaints about Chrysler interiors, and the designers and
engineers have absolutely pulled it off. The dashboards are
now one-piece units (vs. seven before) that cut down on
the creaking and cracking that comes with age. It utilizes
soft-touch plastics on the console, door panels, steering
wheel, gearshift... The fit and finish is arguably better than
the Japanese competition. It’s easier to use too, with a new
tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a revised shift pattern,
and new Super Stow ‘n Go seating that allows the second-
row seats to be flipped and folded with one hand. The
third-row retains the current system, which is still intuitive
and quick to operate.
Customers will also appreciate new convenience
options, including a huge centre console that houses extra
12V plugs, more cupholders, and an extendable storage
compartment that slides partway into the second-row with
Audi-like slickness.
Under the hood, Chrysler ditched its ancient trio of 3.3,
3.8, and 4.0-litre engines for one single powerplant. The
brand-new 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 is a real gem, using
variable-valve timing and other tricks to deliver a best-in-
class 283 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, which is up to 108
horses more than before. Joining in the party is a new six-
speed automatic transmission, which helps to increase fuel
efficiency too. Both GC and T&C register 12.3/7.9 L/100 km
(city/hwy), and use regular gas.
Another key change is the way the vans handle. Gone
are the floaty, unresponsive minivans we remember thanks
to a complete overhaul of the suspension, including
retuned – and larger in the rear – shocks, a 12-mm lower
ride height, and new Michelin tires.
These changes make challenging, narrow, twisty roads
not the palm-moistening ride it could be. Both control their
bulk very well, and the steering delivers real feel and
adjustable weight thanks to a new electric power steering
pump. The brakes are more than adequate in extreme
situation, and standard ABS, traction control and stability
control are there to help if needed.
Other safety features include a plethora of airbags –
including a knee-bag for the driver – and active front head
restraints. Options include blind-spot monitoring, rear
cross-path detection, which is great in busy parking lots,
rear parking sensors, and a rear-mounted back-up camera.
Amazingly, Chrysler promises to keep its aggressive
pricing despite the extra content – the base MSRP on the
GC SE Canada Value Package only rises by $550 to
$22,995 despite officials claiming over $2,500 worth of
added stuff. Moving up through the SXT Stow ‘n Go
($25,995), the Crew ($28,995) and range-topping Crew Plus
($36,995) follows the same pattern, as do the Touring
($34,995), Touring-L ($36,995) and Limited ($40,995) grades
for the T&C.
Standard equipment is generous, including dual-zone
climate control, steering-wheel mounted audio controls,
power windows/locks/mirrors, and cruise control, while
options range from simple things like tinted rear glass and
power rear windows, to more luxurious power-folding rear
seats, Bluetooth hands-free, leather upholstery, auto-
dimming mirrors, HID headlamps, and a Garmin-based
navigation unit.
As for the Japanese competition, Chrysler claims that
comparable Honda or Toyota minivans would be $6K-$7K
more expensive and still would not offer the same level of
driver involvement, fuel economy and power. Given that a
base Sienna V6 starts at $28,900, and an entry-level
Odyssey LX at $29,990, the figures appear accurate. And
with the improvements made to the Dodge and Chrysler
models, there’s now no need to spend that sort of extra
Until we can drive them all back-to-back, we’ll reserve
final judgement, but at first blush, Chrysler’s come out
swinging with a product offensive that makes sense. Those
in the market for a big family hauler now can’t just dismiss
the Grand Caravan and Town & Country as the bargain-
basement offerings – they can’t be dismissed so simply
Mark Atkinson has nearly 10 years experience as an
automobile journalist working for publications like Inside
Track Motorsport News, Carguide, World of Wheels,
Canadian Auto World, the Hamilton Spectator Wheels
section, Metro Carguide, Suburban Life and West of the
City. Besides writing for Muchmor Magazine, Mark also has
his own blog,, and appears in a
number of other print and online publications.
There is no doubt that many people are now looking to
introduce greener products into their lives. As we all
become more aware of our habitat and environment the
need for products that protect rather than destroy our
world are even more in demand. But what exactly is a
green product? ls what you think is green, really what it
says it is?
ln order to answer these questions we must look at the
products that we are selecting as green and fnd out if
indeed they really are. Questions we need to ask include:
Where d|d the product come from?
Many people are misled when it comes to green or
natural products. Just because you are buying a product
made from natural, renewable wood doesn't necessarily
mean it is green.
Where was the wood grown? lf it comes from Canada
and is from a renewable source then we should be able to
defne it as green. However, if it comes from another
country then you have to take into account things such as
transportation. lf wood is bought in from say Scandinavia,
then although the raw product is green, the process of
getting it to the end user is not. You must think about the
road and air transport used to get it to its destination and
factor this into the products overall green value.
How was the product produced?
lf the product is made in a factory then it will have an
impact on its green value. The longer the processing time
the more energy is used. The machinery used also needs
to be taken into account. ls the company fuel effcient,
does it pollute, what type of transportation does it use? All
these things should be considered if you really want to buy
truly green products.
lf a product is labeled recycled, how much of the
product actually is? lt may be as little as 10% or it could be
the entire product.
Green energy effcient vehicles are currently all the rage.
But again we must consider the whole picture. There is
much controversy over whether so called green vehicles
are really green. Again you need to take into account the
manufacturing process of not just the vehicle itself, but the
battery used to run it and the disposal of the vehicle
components after use.
The misconception is that an electric car is good for the
environment, but ask yourself a question. Where does the
electricity come from to charge the battery? Currently 70%
of electricity comes from fossil fuels, hardly a advocate of
green energy or non-pollutants.
Perhaps once alternative energy sources are used more
widely and are proven to be green in themselves, then this
in turn will make the use of electric vehicles more truly
green and energy effcient.
How w||| you eventua||y d|spose of the
When we frst buy a product we are not always thinking
ahead as to how we will dispose of it. ls the product
recyclable? ls it biodegradable?
lf it is a product with a limited life cycle, how often will
you need to replace it? A product with a fve year lifespan
that is biodegradable will have less impact on the
environment than a product designed to last ten years but
is not biodegradable or recyclable.
How are you going to dispose of that battery cell in your
vehicle once it has exceeded its lifespan?
Green really is in the eyes of the beholder. Green to one
person is not necessarily green to another. There are many
things that need to be taken into account over and above
the end product for us to consider it truly green.
Just because a product is labeled °green", °eco" or
°natural" it doesn't necessarily mean very much. There are
very few regulations in place relating to what can and
cannot be classifed in such ways.
Even the term recyclable doesn't always mean what you
think it does. Just because a product is able to be
recycled, doesn't necessarily mean it will be. This only
happens if you dispose of it correctly and the company
collecting it does actually have the processes in place to
recycle into new products, or pass to a third party who
can. Some things we think are recycled end up in land flls
just the same.
So, maybe buying green isn't as easy as we think it is,
but hopefully new regulations and procedures will be
introduced in the future so that we all know exactly what
we are buying.
N00ß l8 "0f00ߨ f08ll9
Meet the
Mayor of
ON: Hazel
By Jane Toombes
Hazel McCallion is probably one of the best known Mayors in Canada as she is also one of the
longest serving and oldest. She has been Mayor of Mississauga, Ontario since 1978 and is
known affectionately as “Hurricane Hazel.” She was re-elected in October 2010 at the age of 89
and says that this will be her last term – but we will wait and see if this turns out to be true. Who
knows, perhaps she will be celebrating her 100th birthday as Mississauga Mayor!
Originally from Quebec she moved to Toronto in 1942 where she met and married her husband
Sam who sadly died in 1997. The couple have three children.
She began her political career in Streetsville, Ontario. She began as chair of the Planning
Board in the late 1960’s and then became deputy reeve and then reeve. In 1970 she became
Mayor of Streetsville and when Mississauga was established in 1974, Streetsville was merged
with it. She was elected Mayor of Mississauga in 1978 and the rest, as they say, is history.
Mayor McCallion was one of the first Mayors to commit to pay-as-you-go philosophy which
has meant the city has not had to borrow money since 1978 and is currently debt-free.
In 2005 Mayor McCallion was appointed Member of the Order of Canada and received her
Insignia of Member of the Order of Canada at a ceremony held at Rideau Hall on November 18,
2005.!This is the highlight of many awards and accolades she has received over the years.
We hope that you will get to know Mayor McCallion a little better with our Q&A sections which
she kindly agreed to take part in.
Q: What was the first car you ever owned?
A: A! Ford
Q: If you could own any vehicle what would it be and why?
A: A Bentley because of the fine craftsmanship and attention to detail.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to find about about you?
A: That I do my own grocery shopping, cleaning and cooking.
Q: If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?
A: I wish I were younger as there are still so many things I would like to do.
Q: What do you most value in other people?
A: Loyalty
Q: Mac or PC?
A: Mac, I use an iPad.
Q: Where has been your most memorable travel
destination and why?
A: Probably Dubai.!I spent the day riding a camel in the
Q: If you could live anywhere in the world where would
it be and why?
A: China. The people there are so friendly and their growth
is so impressive.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: I don’t go to movies.
Q: What was the last book you read, or are currently
A: I read “Starting Your Day Right” by Joyce Meyer
everyday.! It has an inspiring quote for each day of the year
and keeps me motivated.
Q: What sports do you support and/or play?
A: I support the value and benefits of all sports but there
has always been a special place in my heart for hockey as I
used to play professionally when I was a young woman.
Q: What hobbies do you do to relax?
A: I love to garden.
Q: What has been your best moment since becoming
Mayor? And your worst?
A: Receiving the Order of Canada in 2005.!I haven’t had a
worst as I consider everything that I experience, positive or
negative, as an opportunity for growth.
Q: If you could have any job in the world, what would it
be and why?
A: A gardener.
Q: If you knew the world was going to end tomorrow,
what would you do today?
A: Spend it with my family.
Q: If you had to choose a last meal, what would it be?
A: Rainbow Trout.
Q: If you could choose one of your personality traits to
pass on to your children, what would it be?
A: My work ethic and enjoying being with people.
Q: If you had to evacuate you home immediately, what
one item, other than family members & photos would
you make sure you took with you?
A: My dog Missy.
Q: If you could give a newcomer one piece of advice,
what would it be?
A: Work hard and never give up and be confident in your
ability to accomplish things.
Order of Canada
Citation for Mayor
Hazel McCallion
Mississauga, Ontario
Member of the Order of Canada
Awarded on June 29, 2005; Invested on
November 18, 2005
Hazel McCallion's commitment and
dedication to the people of Mississauga
have made her one of Canada's best
known and longest serving mayors. She
has taken on leadership roles within many
municipal government organizations, such
as the Greater Toronto Area Mayors' Committee. Resolute in her commitment to improving the quality of life of her
fellow citizens, she has also served as chair of the World Health Organization symposia on healthy cities. In addition,
her annual charity golf tournament has helped to raise funds for a myriad of local, provincial and national organizations.
Mayor McCallion with Governor General Michaelle Jean




" Interview by Jane Toombes
Back in early 2009 we spoke to Moonlyn, an independent singer/songwriter from
Toronto who was in the process of writing her second album. We caught up with
her to find out what she had been doing since we last spoke and what she has
planned for the future. We asked her a number of questions and I think you will
agree she is a very interesting person.
When we last spoke in early 2009, you were working on your second
album. Now that it has been released what can you tell us about it?
My latest album titled
“Blondes Prefer Gentlemen”
was released in July of 2010.
I wrote and produced all the
songs myself except for the
one cover song “I Wanna Be
Loved By You” first made
famous by Betty Boop and
later Marilyn Monroe.
Marilyn Monroe was a bit
of a theme behind
this album. The
title itself is a
play on one
of her
“Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”. And of course the image of
me on the cover of my new album was very inspired by the
famous shot of Marilyn in her white dress, but instead I
chose magenta for my dress – my favourite colour. I
actually first released my cover of “I Wanna Be Loved By
You” on Myspace on August 5th, the 48th anniversary of
her death. I’m very proud and excited about my new
material. I’ve had only amazing feedback about it so far and
I’m still in the process of promoting it.
What else have you been doing since we last spoke?
I’ve been super busy dealing with lawyers and contracts and
possible management deals. Also a couple of months after
the release of my second album I released a music video to
An interview with Toronto
support one of my new songs. I produced and wrote the
video myself. I also did most of the behind the scenes
work for the video such as designing & building the sets
and putting together my wardrobe. It was a lot of work
and a very stressful experience. I had to go through many
animators and editors to find the right ones to collaborate
with. In the end I’m very satisfied with the results.
Are you planning a third album?
I still have hundreds of songs in my soul that have yet
to be recorded & produced… so most definitely.
Who would you describe as your musical
influences and why?
Well since my first love of music is in Classical and
Opera, I would have to say the core of my music is
influenced by Mozart and Puccini. Any other influences
would have to be subconscious because I don’t
purposely try to sound like anyone or be like anyone else.
What do you consider are the best and worst
things about the music industry?!
The music industry on the whole is very volatile. I’m
not sure whether I love it or hate it. The internet has been
the main cause for the drastic changes we’ve seen over
the years in this industry and can be the best and the
worst thing for an indie artist such as myself. I do know
that I love making music, it is the fuel of my soul.
What is your favorite song of all time?

Madama Butterfly by Puccini
Who would you choose to collaborate writing a song
with if you could chose anyone?
That’s a tough one. I love many artists and all sorts of
genres of music. I might want to work with a style that’s
very different than my own, so that there is a cool and
unique merging of worlds like with Eminem. Or, I might
want to collaborate with someone who I admire like
Madonna. I think it might be fun to work with Marilyn
Manson or even the Beastie Boys to create a bizarre
concoction. But hands down, it would’ve been awesome
to meld musical minds with John Lennon.
It is clear that music means everything to you, but if
you weren't a musician what would you be?
I watched the video that accompanies your song
“X’d My Mind.” How long did it take to make?
It took about 6 months from the start of the idea to
when it was up and playing on YouTube. It took me about
a month and a half months to prepare the sets and collect
all the wardrobe and props, some of which I made myself. I
also kept running into bad luck with some incompetent
animators and editors, who wasted a couple of months of
my time as well. The actual shooting took only 4 days and
when the work actually began for the editing that only took
one and a half weeks. The animation took about 2 weeks.
The rest of the time was just other people screwing me
What song or artist would someone be surprised to
find on your MP3 player?
I just quickly looked through my digital library of songs
and couldn’t help but laugh. There are many songs and
artists that I am very sure that everyone would be shocked
about. I have everything from the expected electronica,
alternative, gothic and punk rock, to the unexpected
classical, country, hip hop, jazz and folk. Tibetan
Buddhism Ritual Orchestra & Chants - that’s the one I’m
picking to be the least expected in my collection.
Lets move away from music for a moment and talk
about you. What one word would you use to describe
What is the one thing that people would be most
surprised to find out about you?
Haha there are many things about me that I’m sure
would surprise people. I was an honour student for all my
high school years. I was accepted into every University I
applied for but turned them all down and decided to focus
on the arts. Music was something I never studied in
school; everything I learned was self-taught. I am a loner
and don’t have many friends, but I prefer it that way I love
being by myself.
What is the worst job you have had?
I guess every job has had their good and bad moments.
I usually tended towards fields that I enjoyed, so there was
always something that I liked, especially whatever I
learned. When I was a teenager I worked in a kitchen
preparing Tex/Mex cuisine, it was non-stop work and hot
and dirty and the sous chef yelled at me all the time. He
even threw a knife at me once because I refused to handle
any meat. However, I did learn a lot of great things about
cooking and now make one of the best vegan Caesar
dressings ever.
Are you a Mac or PC?
I wrote & produced my songs on a PC but mixed and
mastered them on a Mac.
If your home was on fire, what one item (excluding
family, pets and photos) would you grab as you left?
My external hard drives which contain all my music and
video files.... and writings and poetry and song ideas... my
soul basically.
What was the name of the last book you read or are
currently reading?
I finished “Conversations with the Devil” by Jeff Rovin a
couple months ago. It was a good read for fiction. I am
currently reading “A War of Witches” By Timothy J.Knab,
which is actually non-fictional writings on the research and
travels of the author.
If you could change one thing about yourself what
would it be?
Right now, it would be my location. I want to live in L.A.
The music industry there is better suited for me. Toronto's
music scene is too conservative.
What are your plans for 2011 and going forward?
This year I plan on orchestrating a great live act and
doing some live shows. I will also devote some effort into
moving to L.A.
That sounds really interesting. Where are you planning
on doing your shows?
I haven’t really thought all that through as yet since I do
wish to move to L.A. but as I am still in Toronto at the
moment, I guess I would have some shows here and
maybe some neighboring cities.
And finally, if you had to be remembered for one
thing. What would it be?
My words
Thank you Moonlyn, we really appreciate
your candid answers and wish you lots of
luck with your current album and future
Thank you so much for your interest in me
and for taking the time to interview me.
Moonlyn has her own website at, or you can check her
out at:
By Jane Toombes
Daryl Bennett (62) is the new Mayor of Peterborough,
Ontario. He was born in Peterborough and graduated
from Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational School
and is currently a principal in The Liftlock Group of
Companies which he founded in 1974. He comes from
a political background as his father was a city councillor
in the 1970’s.
Mayor Bennet is a big advocate of voluntary work
having volunteered himself for causes such as the
Market Hall Fund Raising Committee, campaigning for
a new hospital and the flood relief efforts of 2004. He
also served on the board of governors at Trent
University between 2000 and 2004.
He was honored by the Peterborough Chamber of
Commerce and named Citizen of the Year in 2004.
In the municipal elections in October 2010, Bennett was
elected Mayor receiving 58.46% of the votes against
incumbent Paul Ayotte and was sworn in on December
We wanted to get a quick insight into the real man
behind the politics, so asked him a series of light-hearted
questions which we hope will allow you to know him a
little better.
Q: What was the first car you ever owned?
A: 1968 Dodge Charger
Q: If you could own any vehicle what would it be and
A: A Bentley because they are well built
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to
find about about you?
A: I’m a true Gemini as I have a twin sister
Q: If you could change anything about yourself what
would it be?
A: My age
Q: What do you most value in other people?
A: Loyalty
Q: Mac or PC?
Meet the Mayor of
Peterborough ON:
Daryl Bennett
By Jane Toombes
Peter Kelly has been Mayor of Halifax, Nova Scotia for
ten years and before that he was a Councillor and Mayor of
the Town of Bedford, NS. He has been in politics for 25
He was born in Halifax 54 years ago and is the fourth of
nine children.
Mayor Kelly has received numerous awards for his
service and contributions to the community, including the
Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the
Confederation of Canada, the Gold Scroll of Recognition
from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, the
Outstanding Leadership Award from the Metro Food Bank,
the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the Aliant Telecom
Pioneers Partner Excellence Award.
Meet the Mayor
of Halifax, NS
Peter Kelly
Q: Where has been your most memorable travel
destination and why?
A: East Coast Canada, it’s like going back to our routes
Q: If you could live anywhere in the world where would
it be and why?
A: I can and I do - Peterborough, the best place in the
Q: What was the last book you read, or are currently
A: Switch
Q: What sports do you support and/or play?
A: Long walks
Q: What pastime do you do to relax?
A: Work
Q: If you could have any job in the world, what would it
be and why?
A: Politics: to make a difference
Q: If you knew the world was going to end tomorrow,
what would you do today?
A: I live every day like it is my last
Q: If you had to choose a last meal, what would it be?
A: Italian
Q: If you could choose one of your personality traits to
pass on to your children, what would it be?
A: I have, strong work ethic
Q: If you had to evacuate you home immediately, what
one item, other than family members & photos would
you make sure you took with you?
A: Credit card
Q: If you could give a newcomer one piece of advice,
what would it be? !
A: Pay attention and keep learning all your life
He was the founder of of the Atlantic Mayors’ Congress
(AMC) in 2001 and has served as its chair since that date.
The AMC allows the Atlantic municipalities to explore
common ground and form partnerships where appropriate.
Mayor Kelly is an active participant in the Federation of
Canadian Municipalities’ Big City Mayors’ Caucus (BCMC)
and is involved with several of the Caucus’s working
groups, including Transit, Revenue Sharing, and
So now lets put politics aside and find out about the
man behind the Mayoral chain.
Q: What was the first car you ever owned?
A: A blue Ford Pinto
Q: If you could own any vehicle what would it be and
A: A fire-engine red BMW Z4 convertible, because it’s such
a beautiful car.
Q: What has been your most embarrassing moment
and why?
A: It was when I was a student living in residence at
university. One morning, I went into the men’s washroom
and came across a woman, taking a shower.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to find
about about you?
A: That I like to prepare and cook food. Actually, I’m not a
bad cook.
Q: If you could change anything about yourself what
would it be?
A: I’d like to be more outgoing because I’m still rather a shy
Q: What do you most value in other people?
A: Respect and honesty.
Q: Mac or PC?
A: Mac but I can only afford a PC.
Q: Where has been your most memorable travel
destination and why?
A: A family vacation to Orlando, Florida. It was wonderful to
see Disney World through the eyes of my two sons, both of
whom were quite young at the time.
Q: If you could live anywhere in the world where would
it be and why?
A: There’s no place I’d rather live than right here. Seriously!
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: The Star Wars Trilogy.
Q: What was the last book you read, or are currently
A: “Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and
Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives” by author Richard A.
Q: What sports do you support and/or play?
A: Hockey and soccer.
Q: What pastime do you do to relax?
A: Reading and cooking.
Q: What has been your best moment since becoming
Mayor? And your worst?
A: My best and worst moments both involved Harbour
Solutions, the largest capital project in our history. Harbour
Solutions was a $333-million clean-up of Halifax Harbour
involving miles of new underground pipes and three state-
of-the-art wastewater treatment plants, the largest of which
is in Halifax. My best moment was in February, 2008. That’s
when the Halifax plant became operational and continued
to operate flawlessly until the following winter. Then came
my worst moment. In January, 2009, an extended local
power failure damaged the equipment so severely it was
not until May, 2010, that we could bring the plant back on
stream. I’m happy to say that everything is now working
fully and Halifax Harbour is the cleanest it has been in more
than 260 years.
Q: If you could have any job in the world, what would it
be and why?
A: I already have it!
Q: If you knew the world was going to end tomorrow,
what would you do today?
A: I would make peace with myself, my family and my
Q: If you had to choose a last meal, what would it be?
A: An old-fashioned turkey dinner.
Q: If you could choose one of your personality traits to
pass on to your children, what would it be?
A: Compassion.
Q: If you had to evacuate you home immediately, what
one item, other than family members & photos would
you make sure you took with you?
A: The various Christmas ornaments that my mother gave
me over the years. They have great sentimental value.
Q: If you could give a newcomer one piece of advice,
what would it be?
A: Enjoy life and get involved in the community.
Interview by Jane Toombes
I recently had the pleasure of spending a few hours with
Realtor® Astrid Hood who works out of the Remax Eastern
Realty Inc office in Campbellford, Ontario. I was planning
on meeting up with her for the full day but she suggested
that as she was only going to be working on her computer
in the morning I would be better to meet her at lunchtime,
which I did.
She explained that a lot of her working day is spent on
the computer updating property details, researching new
listings and general real estate business. She felt I would
find it boring just watching her do that and so had
arranged that I accompany her on a new listing visit.
So, I arrived at the Remax office at 12 noon and spent
half an hour or so chatting with Astrid about various
aspects of the realty industry before we set off to the
house she was going to list.
I took the opportunity to ask her a few questions about
herself and her work and how she got into real estate.
“I have been a Realtor for four years,” explains Astrid, “I
was named Top Sales Representative in our office in 2010
and have been in the top 20 sales team for the entire
So what did she do before embarking on a real estate
“I have a degree in landscape architecture and was self
employed in this field for many years. My husband and I
used to live west of Toronto, but when we moved to the
Campbellford area I decided to change my career.”
By now it was time to visit the property Astrid was going
to list which was located just a few minutes from
Campbellford. It was a corner lot surrounded by trees
which although deep in snow and bare of leaves when we
visited would actually give the property lots of privacy
during the summer months.
We were greeted at the door by the property owner, a
retired lady who having lost her husband some years
before was looking to downsize. She explained that she
had spoken to other Realtors® but that she had decided to
list with Astrid as she felt her valuation was more realistic
than others she had received and she felt she could trust
her more.
Astrid and the seller agreed on a listing price, now it was
time for the paperwork. As with all legal things there was
quite a lot of paperwork and lots of questions to ask.
Fortunately the seller was very organized and was able to
produce her property details, such as title, plans, property
taxes etc that Astrid required. Most of the questions were
easily answered but a few were confusing but Astrid soon
explained them and they were then answered. She also
explained all the legal jargon that was included so that the
seller had a clear understanding of what she was agreeing
Then it was time to go round the house measuring room
sizes and taking photos. Most of the upstairs rooms were
empty as the seller mainly lived in the basement. This
made it easy to measure, but is apparently not so good for
photos as buyers like to be able to see how furniture fits in
to a room. A good case for staging I say.
All in all we were at the sellers property for a couple of
hours finishing up with external photos. This bit wasn’t so
nice as it was very cold with lots of snow on the ground.
Astrid finished the visit by nailing her For Sale sign to a tree
at the front of the property.
On the way back to the office Astrid explained that she
would now hand the details and photos over to the office
A day in the life of a Realtor
Astrid attaching her For Sale sign to a tree outside her listing
administrator who would enter the information onto the
Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Once there it would be there
for other Realtors to see as well as the general public.
Once back at the office, I set about asking some more
How many properties do you list per year on average?
“That varies, but during 2010 I probably listed around 25
properties in total. Of those about 15 sold and the
remainder are still for sale.”
What is you highest selling property?
“Last year I sold a commercial property consisting of 15
cottages on Pigeon Lake. It sold for $1.3 million.”
What would you say to someone who thought that
Realtors were not worth the money?
“I would say that they need to look at exactly what a
Realtor can offer. We offer a full-service which includes
everything from our expert knowledge of the business, the
value of properties, advertising services, MLS listing,
personal service, confidentiality and of course we are all
covered by a strict Code of Ethics. These are not things
that the general public and sale by owner websites can
What would you say is the biggest mistake buyers and
sellers make?
“For sellers it is definitely overestimating the value of
their home. Often people sell with their hearts and think
just because they have put ‘x’ number of dollars into the
property they should get that much, plus more back, but it
doesn’t always work like that. They also tend to get
offended by low offers, but I have to explain that there is
always room for negotiation and that an initial offer is only
the starting point.
“For buyers the biggest mistake is not getting pre-
approved by a mortgage lender. This can lead to people
thinking they can afford more than they actually can. Also,
a lot of buyers set their sights on a ‘champagne’ property
but only have a ‘beer’ budget. They have unrealistic
expectations of what they can get for their money.”
What are the best and worst aspect of your job?
“The best is definitely helping people fulfill their dreams.
It is very satisfying when you have a happy buyer or seller.
One of the best things is when you get a thank you note
from someone who appreciates what you have done for
them and they are happy.
“The worst is obviously when things go wrong.
Unfortunately not all transactions go to plan and it is very
upsetting not just for the client but for myself as well.
Sometimes a property will not sell as the client has insisted
it be listed at a higher price than I recommend. Then they
get angry and blame me for its failure to sell. That can be
upsetting when I know I have done nothing wrong, and can
see exactly where the problems lie but the client cannot.”
If you weren't a Realtor, what would you be?
“I would love to invest in properties and flip them. Or
perhaps be a mortgage advisor. If I were to retire from
being a Realtor, I think I would spend more time in the
garden and get back to my original career choice designing
landscapes, but!as a hobby.”
If your house were on fire, what items would you
rescue before leaving, excluding family, pets and
“If it was winter, my coat and boots, then my handbag.”
What are your hobbies and pastimes?
“I love yoga and also spend a lot of time in my hot tub.
My husband and I also like to go camping, so when we
have free time we can often be found by a lake or in the
back country.
“I also love to play piano and I play at Warkworth
Nursing Home once a month for the people there. I also
play for the local church when the regular player is
If you could change one thing about yourself what
would it be?
“I would be more extrovert.”
After I had finished barraging Astrid with questions and
she had taken a couple of phone calls it was time for me to
leave. I really enjoyed my time with her and found the
property visit very interesting.
I would love to be able to spend another day with her,
perhaps when the weather is warmer and we can visit
some of her lakeside listings. Not sure if this is for the
benefit of Muchmor or me, but let’s pencil something in for
If you have any
questions about
locating properties in
Ontario please feel free
to contact our realty
expert Astrid Hood of
Remax Eastern Realty
Inc., Brokerage at
or by toll free at
1-800-567-4546 or visit
her website at
Study shows immigrants
more likely to get
A recent study by Statistics Canada found
that children who arrive in Canada prior to their
teens were far more likely to achieve university
degrees than their Canadian-born
The study defined immigrant children as
those born abroad and landed as immigrants in
Canada at the age of 12 or younger. The data
was sourced from six of the past censuses
between 1971 and 2006.
Of the male immigrants who arrived in the
1980’s nearly 32% held university degrees by
the time they were 35. This compares to
Canadian-born males of which only 20% had
The number of women attaining degrees was
similar but the share of those with degrees
increased faster than men.
New mentorship
program for newcomers
to Vancouver
A pilot project has been launched in
Vancouver, BC to help skilled newcomers
become more familiar with how Canadian
business works.
The Newcomer’s Mentorship Program is
designed to help newcomers find employment
in professions such as finance, technology and
engineering. By connecting professional city
employees with newcomers they can mentor
that person allowing them to gain practical
experience and knowledge.
“The lack of Canadian work experience and
understanding of!the local employment culture
are often cited as the main hurdles for skilled
immigrants to get jobs for which they are well
qualified,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson.
“The mentoring program is a practical and
cost-effective tool that uses the power of
professional networking to optimize the skills
and talent of newcomers. The City is proud to
provide a leadership role and contribute
positively to the development of a successful
model for other municipalities to follow.”
It is hoped that this program will not only
benefit newcomers, but will also allow city
employees to gain valuable cultural
One in three Brits wants
to leave the UK
The United Kingdom is one of the most
desired locations for people to migrate to, but it
seems that for many Brits it is the last place
they want to be.
A recent study found that one in three Brits
would leave the country permanently if they
could. This is the highest number in the whole
of the European Union.
Those most likely to want to leave the
country are young Britons with secondary or
higher education (33%). Of those with a degree
36% said they would leave if they could.
So where would they go? Well Australia tops
the list of desired locations with Spain, United
States and Canada not far behind.
Immigration fraud being
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism
Minister Jason Kenney offered his appreciation
to the Toronto West (Milton) detachment of the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for
their ongoing efforts to investigate citizenship
and immigration fraud.
“On January 6, 2011, an investigation by the
Immigration and Passport and Commercial
Crime sections of the!RCMP resulted in
criminal charges against three individuals who
created the appearance that hundreds of
individuals living overseas had met the
residence obligation required to retain
permanent resident status or to obtain
Canadian citizenship.
“Residence fraud in the immigration and
citizenship programs is a matter of increasing
concern. In this investigation alone, 260 files
were implicated and five people have obtained
Canadian citizenship. Consequences for
citizenship fraud may include criminal
prosecution, revocation of citizenship and
removal from Canada.
“I am greatly concerned with this situation.
This is why I have tabled amendments to
the!Citizenship Act to strengthen the penalties
for both applicants and third parties who assist
them in completing a fraudulent application.
The proposed new penalty for fraud would be a
fine of up to a maximum of $100,000 or five
years in prison or both.”
The City of Greater Sudbury is an urban jewel nestled
amidst the natural beauty of lakes and forests in the heart
of Northeastern Ontario. Offering a unique mix of urban
amenities and natural surroundings, Greater Sudbury is a
thriving landscape that covers an area of 3,627 square
kilometres. With 330 freshwater lakes and hundreds of
kilometres of trails, Greater Sudbury’s 158,000 plus
residents enjoy an abundance of recreational activities, a
rich colourful heritage, several business sectors, and
excellent educational opportunities. Imagine a lifestyle with
work-life balance, with a ten minute commute to work and
a short distance to your weekend escape.
Considered by many as the Regional Centre of
Northeastern Ontario, Sudbury’s early roots can be traced
back to 1883 and the development of the transnational
railway. Its vast mineral resources have resulted in
unparalleled growth.
Today, Greater Sudbury is a diversified regional centre
for mining, technology, education, government and health
services with great connections to neighbouring
communities and beyond. Greater Sudbury prides itself on
a strong network of industrial, commercial, financial and
government support services. The city is located 390 km
north of Toronto and 483 km west of Ottawa, where the
Trans Canada Highway 17 and Highway 69 converge.
Greater Sudbury is a city for the creative, curious and
adventuresome! Our city features four seasons and with
the changing weather conditions, Sudburians enjoy a vast
array of festivals, events and recreational activities that vary
as the seasons do. Enjoy the outdoors in the winter on the
Ramsey Lake Skating Path or one of several downhill and
cross country skiing facilities.
Our city boasts many shopping malls, plazas and
restaurants to suit every appetite. A host to tourist
destinations like Science North and Dynamic Earth, Greater
Sudbury has something for everyone.
A bilingual community with a rich francophone and
aboriginal heritage, Greater Sudbury is a multicultural
mosaic with a platform for welcoming and embracing
diversity that Sudburians are proud to share with the world.
Greater Sudbury’s commitment to cultural diversity is
evident in all areas of the city, from restaurants, schools,
and places of worship, to festivals and events. Our city’s
cultural festivals such as the Canada Day, Italian, La Nuit
sur l’étang, Greek, Aboriginal, Irish, Celtic, Finnish and
Ukrainian festivals celebrate the cultural diversity of our
The city’s diversity is most evident with the Bridge of
Nations and its many flags. The flags on the Bridge of
Nations were originally raised during a Canada Day
celebration on July 1, 2007 to honour Greater Sudbury's
multinational and multicultural heritage. Today, it continues
to be a reflection of how much Greater Sudbury embraces
Life in the City of Greater Sudbury
Onaping Falls
Sliding Hill
Take one look at Greater Sudbury’s educational system
and you’ll see that Greater Sudbury has invested heavily in
its future by developing outstanding schools from
Kindergarten through grade 12 and beyond. As the regional
centre for learning and applied research in Northeastern
Ontario, Greater Sudbury is home to four school boards,
private schools and several postsecondary institutions
such as the Northern Ontario School of Medicine,
Laurentian University, Cambrian College, and Collège
Boréal, one of only two francophone colleges in Ontario.
Greater Sudbury educational opportunities offer
comprehensive and challenging curriculums.
Canada's first new school of architecture in 40 years,
Laurentian Architecture is expected to open in September
2012 as a downtown satellite campus of Laurentian
University, and will offer a 4-year undergraduate program
and a 2-year graduate program in architecture. Also in
development, is a Francophone graduate program, which
will be the first of its kind in North America. The school will
feature a co-operative work program, thus allowing
students to explore the world through international
employment placements. A design-build senior class
requirement will partner students and Laurentian
Architecture with various Northern communities. Students
will benefit from working in collaboration with members of
the community to develop specific design solutions to the
challenges faced within Northern Ontario.
Real Estate and Housing
Greater Sudbury offers a wide variety of affordable real
estate options whether you want to rent or purchase a
home in urban, rural and suburban settings.
Greater Sudbury offers housing
options to fit every budget and
lifestyle. Enjoy a work-life balance
with a 10 minute commute from
your home to work.
Take a drive through our city and
you will get a glimpse of friendly
neighbourhoods, thriving
business sectors and a
vibrant downtown filled
with shops, boutiques,
restaurants and entertainment.
In comparison to other large communities, Greater
Sudbury has the lowest average housing prices. The
average sale price for a single family home in 2010 was
$223,016. If renting an apartment or home, Greater
Sudbury renters spend less of their income on housing
than the national average.
Greater Sudbury’s business-friendly environment is as
dynamic as it is diverse. We have a highly skilled,
educated, innovative and enthusiastic workforce. Once
reliant on the cycles that came with mining, Greater
Sudbury has grown considerably into a diverse and
dynamic centre for technology, education, mining,
government, and health services.
A comparison to Ontario data based on the 2006
Census reveals that Greater Sudbury’s labour force profile
has diversified significantly over the last three decades.
Service activities, from retail to producer services, now
employ 80% of Greater Sudbury's labour force, compared
to 20% in the goods-producing sector. Health care,
educational services and public administration all play an
important role, reflecting Greater Sudbury's position as a
regional service centre for Northeastern Ontario, as well as
the continued development of the health care and
education infrastructure.
Health Care Services
Greater Sudbury has become a regional resource and
referral centre for residents in Northeastern Ontario. The
presence of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, the
Northeastern Ontario Regional Cancer Centre and the
Adult Regional Cardiac Program, coupled with the pursuit
of an Occupational Health & Safety Centre of Excellence,
have all positioned Greater Sudbury as a regional health
centre. Over 300 general practitioners and specialists
contribute to the overall health and wellness
of Greater Sudbury and to patients
throughout the region.
The Hôpital régional de Sudbury
Regional Hospital (HRSRH) provides
Skiing at Adanac Ski Hill
hospital-based acute, transitional, rehabilitation and
continuing care. The HRSRH completed a major
expansion to consolidate all hospital based services once
offered across three sites. The new one site hospital allows
for additional acute inpatient and intensive care beds,
mental health, birthing facilities, emergency department,
operating rooms and other diagnostic and support
With the world’s population aging, the need for long term
care facilities is essential to any city. From retirement
communities including St. Joseph’s Villa, the Elizabeth
Centre, Pioneer Manor and Finlandia-Koti to name a few, to
chronic care centres such as Extendicare, the City of
Greater Sudbury is proud to offer a wide variety of health
care accommodation options for our seniors.

Winter Climate and the Outdoors
A wintery wonderland awaits you in Greater Sudbury.
Our winters offer outdoor enthusiasts several fun options
including cross country and downhill skiing, skating,
snowshoeing, snowmobiling, winter carnivals, ice fishing
and more.
Pond Hockey Festival on the Rock brings the spirit of
friendly competitive hockey to the outdoors on the frozen
shores of Ramsey Lake. This fun filled family weekend
features outdoor hockey rinks on the banks of the lake
alongside the skating path.
Greater Sudbury offers something for everyone and
winters are a well celebrated season with plenty of indoor
and outdoor activities for everyone. The temperature
ranges from -25°C to -5°C during the months of February
and March.
Key Websites
To find out more about the City of Greater Sudbury visit
the following websites and find out what makes Sudbury
so great!
Sudbury Theatre Centre
Pond Hockey Festival on the Rock
Interview by Jane
Back in 2001/2002 Argentina
experienced a huge economic
crisis, something perhaps we can all relate to these days.
But back then it led to people withdrawing money from
banks and investing overseas, riots on the streets and in
many cases people leaving the country to find better lives
One of those people who decided to look for pastures
new was Guillermo. He and his wife Pat were born and
raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina and had become very
disillusioned with the country. This led them to look for
somewhere new to live and raise their children. At the end
of 2003 they had decided to apply for permanent
residency via the Quebec Skilled Worker program.
“At that time, Quebec seemed to offer a win-win
situation,” explains Guillermo, “they needed us (a family of
university graduates with small children) and we needed
them (a better place to live, despite the language barrier).
The whole application process took about 18 months and
we finally moved to Quebec at the end of May 2005.”
The couple and their two children Santiago, then aged 8
and Facundo who was not yet two, rented an apartment in
Hull, Gatineau. “I still remember it: a small, two bedroom
apartment in an "immigrant ready" suburb close to
Gatineau Park.” he says. “We were looking for a place not
as big and chaotic as a capital city, so Montreal was
discarded and not so small and isolated like Sherbrooke.
Gatineau seemed to be the perfect choice. It was close to
Ottawa, where we could work in English. We had studied
French during our processing period but we always felt
more comfortable with English.”
Although they had some monitory funds behind them,
they needed to find work quickly and within a month
Guillermo was working in a call centre on the east side of
Ottawa. “My job was providing phone support for Internet
users in the USA. It was not what I was looking for, of
course, but it was a job and helped to stop the money
bleeding from the bank. In the meantime, my wife was
doing training at an non-profit organization.” Whilst the
couple worked their eldest child was attending a French
school and the youngest in day care.
In March 2006 the family moved to Waterloo in Ontario
where Guillermo finally had a job he wanted. Pat assisted
at a local LINC program (Language Instruction for
Newcomers to Canada) and Santiago continued his
Elementary School in French at a school in Waterloo whilst
Facundo was enrolled in local day care.
The family then experienced a big change when in
January 2007 their third son Martin was born. Around this
time Santiago was moved from his French school to a
Catholic school after he experienced difficulties. This was
his third school in two years and meant he had to make
new friends, get to know new teachers and a completely
new system.
“In 2008 Pat and I decided to move back to the National
Capital Region.” says Guillermo. “This time, we did not
move back to Gatineau, but instead decided to settle in
Kanata. We decided to return as we were missing our
friends in the region very much. We rented a garden home
Canada calls to
Argentinian family
in Katimavik that happened to be very poorly maintained
which led us to experience our coldest and most
expensive winter in Canada. Of course, the move once
again meant the children had to change schools and my
wife had to look for a job."
After all these changes they fnally decided to put down
roots and committed to buying their frst home in Canada.
They moved in during the summer of 2009 and because
the home was located close to the children's schools they
did not have to move them again. Around this time Pat
found a good job in Ottawa that she enjoyed and is in fact
still working there. Finally in January 2010 they all became
Canadian citizens, except of course Martin, who having
been born in Canada was one automatically. °We can say
we fnally settled. We all have our routine, our social circle
and we do not plan to change cities for a long time!" jokes
So, now the family is fnally settled and happy do they
every regret the move to Canada? °Yes, sometimes l do."
Guillermo admits, °There's no particular situation.
Sometimes it is when my kids are having a problem and l
don't know how to deal with it 'the local way'. Sometimes
it is when l miss some things from Argentina, or some
people or places. But, to be honest, it happens the most
when l have one of those cultural clashes that can trigger
an unwanted discussion with someone. lt doesn't happen
that much, but it happens."
What advice can Guillermo offer to other potential
°l always tell people to be ready for the frst couple of
years, they are the most diffcult ones. Those two years
happen so fast and in such a brutal way that you must be
ready for many things in many different fronts: you must
take care of your limited fnances, you must look for a job,
you must face the deception of not being able to fnd the
job you want as soon as you want it.
°You must also take care of each other and be
supportive if partners or children are feeling sad or
depressed. lmmigration is a team exercise: it's you, your
life partner, your children. Every one of you will have to
settle and will have his/her own internal process. And be
sure this process is not the same
for everyone. lf you do not take
care of all these details, the
process will 'unsync' and
you will all be living
different experiences at
the same time."
We then asked Guillermo what things they liked doing in
Canada that they could not have done in Argentina?
°This is a great question, and it's something that can be
answered thinking about a lot of small, daily things like
forgetting to lock my front door or the car door and being
sure nothing will happen.
When complaining about a bad service or product and
knowing that someone will listen and l may be
compensated. Being able to change a product l bought
with almost no questions at all. When going for a drive
knowing that most of the drivers will be respectful (most,
not all but exceptions are the few) and being sure that the
rules and laws will be the same for (almost) all of us and
that being responsible and being a good citizen has its
Overall what do the family like and dislike about their
new country?
°l like life predictability, the order, the respect, the acts
of kindness, the weather (both cold and hot!) l love its
boring politics, the access to credit (it's so good to have
access to so many goods and services!) and not being
afraid of losing all l was able to achieve from one day to
the other. l love being a human and a resource at the
offce. l'm sure l'm forgetting lots of other things."
Guillermo continues with his negatives, °l don't like the
access to credit (it can be so dangerous sometimes!) l
don't like the constant use of euphemisms. l don't like how
slow things are sometimes (in particular when you need a
doctor!) l don't like that it takes so long to get the
confdence and trust of Canadians. l don't like their sense
of friendship and having to make an appointment with
them just to share a few drinks."
On a fnal note Guillermo has this to say. °Come here
with an open mind. Be ready to share your life with the
most different colours, languages and... odours. Be ready
to change your life if it's needed and, as one good friend
once told me "Be careful with what you wish for in
Canada... lt could be granted!"
Guillermo has set up a website to help other South
Americans navigate the immigration process. You can fnd
it here:
for everyone. lf you do not take
care of all these details, the
process will 'unsync' and
you will all be living
different experiences at
the same time."
The Town of Lunenburg Nova Scotia can trace its
history back hundreds of years. It was formally established
in 1753 as the first British Colonial settlement in Nova
Scotia outside Halifax.
The town has been built around the fishing and ship-
building industries and is a popular location for tourists
with its beautiful waterfront and great architecture. Old
Town Lunenburg has been designated by the Government
of Canada as a place of National Historic Significance.
Lunenburg is part of the family of National Historic Sites,
one of more than 800 places across Canada which help
define the important aspects of Canada's diverse heritage
and identity.
In 1979 Laurence Mawhinney was voted in as Mayor of
Lunenburg and he has been so ever since, a total of 32
years. This makes him one of the longest serving Mayors
in the country.
He was originally born in Belfast, Northern Ireland 69
years ago and moved to Canada with his family when he
was a young boy back in 1948. He lives with his wife
Marion and they have four adult children and seven
We asked Mayor Mawhinney a few questions to get to
know him a little better.
Q: What was the first car you ever owned?
A: A 1959 Vauxhall
Q: If you could own any vehicle what would it be and
A: The latest fuel efficient car, just because.
Q: What has been your most embarrassing moment
and why?
A: When I tapped the young lady ahead of me in the
waiting line, on the shoulder, beside her long blonde
tresses, and said excuse me Ms, to tell her the next wicket
was open at the bank, and He turned around and gave me
a look that would wither, and it did!
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to find
about about you?
A: I think I am a romantic at heart.
Q: If you could change anything about yourself what
would it be?
A: My age, I’d roll it back about 40 years just to try and get
some more things right.
Q: What do you most value in other people?
A: Their friendship and trust.
Q: Mac or PC?
Q: Where has been your most memorable travel
destination and why?
A: Chile. I travelled to Chile in 2007 along with David
Suzuki. We were invited to deliver lectures to the University
Community in Santiago. Travelling in Chile for about a week
with Dr. Suzuki and his wife, was in itself a marvelous
experience, to visit another UNESCO site, Valparaiso,
made it even more memorable. We were hosted by the
Canadian Ambassador and escorted by a member of the
staff at the University.
Q: If you could live anywhere in the world where would
it be and why?
A: Right where I am, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, a UNESCO
World heritage site since 1995.
Meet the Mayor
of Lunenburg, NS:
Nova Scotia
By Jane Toombes
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: I have many, “The American President,” would be one.
Q: What was the last book you read, or are currently
A: “My Passion For Design” by Barbra Streisand.
Q: What sports do you support and/or play?
A: I play golf, I played football, hockey and baseball and
now enjoy them on TV.
Q: What hobbies do you do to relax?
A: Listen to music and read.
Q: What has been your best moment since becoming
Mayor? And your worst?
A: The best moment was the first (and so far only) visit of
British Royalty to our town in its 258 years of history. On
June 16, 1983 Prince Charles and Diana, The Princess of
Wales, visited Lunenburg on what was a terrible day for
weather. It almost didn’t happen but it did because the
Royals insisted it should, despite the fog and the rain.
A close second would be December 9, 1995, the day on
which we waited anxiously as the UNESCO World Heritage
committee met in Berlin and inscribed Old Town
Lunenburg on the World Heritage List. We are now one of
911 properties around the globe who are deemed to have
outstanding universal value for all the people of the planet.
Q: And the worst.
A: The day the Royal visit was cancelled. And for three
hours we were devastated.
Q: If you could have any job in the world, what would it
be and why?
A: I like the job I have, just fine.
Q: If you knew the world was going to end tomorrow,
what would you do today?
A: Make contact with all my family.
Q: If you had to choose a last meal, what would it be?
A: Lobster.
Q: If you could choose one of your personality traits to
pass on to your children, what would it be?
A: A sense of humour.
Q: If you had to evacuate you home immediately, what
one item, other than family members & photos would
you make sure you took with you?
A: A silver Pencil given to me when as a young boy I left
Northern Ireland, inscribed with the date of my departure in
Q: If you could give a newcomer one piece of advice,
what would it be?
A: Take time to get to know us before you try to change us.
You can lead us but you can’t push us.
A lesson in
cultural awareness
Chinese club in Smiths Falls
provides opportunity for
students to learn about Chinese
culture and language
Avery McAllister is all smiles as she
carries a plateful of freshly cooked
dumplings to be sampled.
Until recently, if you were to ask Selena Lavallee, Ami
Hewson and Avery McAllister what they know about the
People’s Republic of China (commonly known as China),
they would have responded by mentioning the Great Wall
of China.
In contrast to the historic Great Wall, which is quite
expansive, their knowledge of China was very narrow in
scope. That all changed, however, when they joined the
Chimo Chinese Club in December.
Through the club, the three students at Chimo
Elementary School in Smiths Falls, Ont. and seven other
members of the student body in Grades 4 to 8 expanded
their linguistic and cultural horizons with regards to the
world’s most populous country.
The club was organized by Ming Shan Gu. A teacher in
China for 13 years, she, her husband Chuangwei Mu and
their daughter Ivy left their homeland in the fall of 2003 to
begin a new life in Canada. Having made their home in
Smiths Falls since 2008, Ming says she started the club to
let local youth know about her native China and that it is
much more than what they read on the Internet.
“We moved from China, we came here, we like this
place,” she states. “If we could do something to make life
more interesting, we would like to share the culture (of
China) and let people know more about other countries.”
That is what the Chimo Chinese Club is all about. For 90
minutes on four Wednesday evenings in December, Ming,
with the assistance of Chuangwei, treated club members
to a taste of her homeland, culinary and otherwise. In
addition to sampling pork dumplings which they helped to
prepare, the students received a lesson in the traditional
Chinese paper art of paper folding, paper cutting and
calligraphy. Likewise, they were introduced to the
Mandarin language, learning how to say phrases likes
Happy New Year, Merry Christmas, as well as how to greet
someone and apologize.
Given the fact that learning a new language is not an
easy feat, Ming was amazed at the progress of the
students in developing conversational skills in Mandarin.
“They caught on just great,” she says smiling. “I was
impressed. I think younger children really have the
capability to learn a new language.”
For Selena, Ami and Avery, the club has been a great
learning opportunity, not only from a linguistic point of
view. They also have enjoyed learning how to count from
one to 999 in Mandarin and how to write the numbers from
one to 10 using characters.
“It was easy because of Ming,” Ami, a Grade 6 student
at Chimo, notes. “If we didn’t understand something, she
would explain it. She is really good at explaining how it
That included demonstrating to the students the use of
the traditional Chinese brush, ink and inkstone to write
words, characters and draw. The youths participating in
the club were fascinated by the process.
“It was really cool,” Ami remarked. “It is really fun to
write with. You are painting but writing at the same time.”
Club highlights
Doing the ink painting and drawing was so much fun for
Ami that it was her favourite activity of the club. The same
was true for Avery who is in Grade 5 at Chimo. Of course,
making the dumplings was also popular with her.
Selena Lavallee and Shannon
McAllister and her mom Rebecca
Arsineault watch with interest as
Ming Shan Gu demonstrates
how to fold dumplings.
“Making dumplings was really fun,” she said. “It was a
hands-on activity....We got creative and folded them in all
different ways.”
Preparing the dumplings and getting to eat them after
they were cooked was likewise a highlight for Selena, a
Grade 6 student.
“I have never really tried or made dumplings,” she
commented. “It was really new to me. They tasted good.”
In organizing the club for the students, Ming says she
just wanted “to tell them the real China.” Based on the
response from those who participated, she obviously had
a captive audience.
“It was amazing,” she says of the response. “I am
impressed with the kids’ progress – their ability to absorb
a different culture’s information. Every class, when I finish,
they don’t want to go home.”
The club, which was free other than the cost of
supplies, was an educational experience that Ami, Selena
and Avery would like to repeat. That’s why they are thrilled
by the news that Ming is considering starting up a second
club in February at the school. She has indicated that, if
there is sufficient interest, she would like to continue the
club at Chimo, with students from other area schools
being invited to participate as well.
“If they are doing it at the school, I would definitely
sign up,” says Avery. “Just to see Ming again and have
another wonderful experience with her.”
And she, Ami and Selena would certainly recommend
the club to others.
“I would tell them to sign up,” says Selena. “It is a lot
of fun. You get to learn stuff and make more origami
Avery agrees. “You get to know a whole bunch of
stuff about China,” she remarked. “Later on in life, if you
go there, you will get to use your knowledge.”
In May 2010, a delegation of Chinese educators
visited Chimo. School principal Daryl Kelly views the
club as “a nice opportunity to continue the cultural
focus with our Chinese community and for the children
to have an opportunity to learn more about another
“It is always wonderful to have additional
opportunities for different kinds of learning happening in
our school,” Daryl says.
The feedback Ming has received from the recent club
has been so positive that she has had several inquiries
asking her to hold a class on Chinese cooking for
adults. She is seriously considering doing so, perhaps
as early as February. If she does proceed and the class
is held at Chimo, she plans to donate any proceeds
back to the school.
“I really appreciate the school’s support,” she says,
noting that the school has offered the facility free of
charge for the club and Daryl and teacher Karen
Donovan have been very supportive of the initiative. “I
would like to support the school as well.”
Other cultural endeavours
Ming is passionate about sharing the culture and
language of her homeland with others. As principal of
the Eastern Ontario Wenbo Language School, which is
affiliated with the International Language Program of the
Ottawa French Catholic School Board, she is currently
offering a Chinese Mandarin Language and Culture
Program on Saturday mornings at Académie catholique
Ange-Gabriel in Brockville. Currently 75 students from
throughout the Brockville area, including Mallorytown, Lyn
and Gananoque, are enrolled in the classes, which are
open to children ages four to 14. There is an adult class as
From March to June 2010, a similar program was
offered on Saturdays at Sainte Marguerite Bourgeoys
School in Merrickville to children in the same age group.
Likewise, Ming held a Chinese summer camp at
Académie catholique Ange-Gabriel in July 2010. The camp
was so successful she plans to repeat it this summer. If it
is feasible, she would also like to have a summer camp in
Smiths Falls.
“I try to deliver the message that every kid can have the
opportunity to experience other cultures, even for small
town kids,” she says as she talks about her motivation for
these endeavours.
In the fall of 2010, Ming’s husband Chuangwei was part
of an education delegation that travelled to Zhengzhou,
Eleina Lucas tries her hand at picking
up a wonton with chopsticks.
613.283.4124 ext. 184
China. The trip culminated in the
signing on Oct. 22 of a sister
school board agreement
between the Upper Canada
District School Board (UCDSB)
and Zhengzhou Municipal
Education Bureau (MEB).
As part of the agreement to
enhance the educational and
cultural exchange between the
two and share education
resources, the UCDSB will
organize summer and winter
camps for students of
Zhengzhou MEB and,
accordingly, students from the
UCDSB will be invited to
Zhengzhou for a cultural
Likewise, under the
agreement, students from
Zhengzhou No. 9 High School
will have the opportunity to
complete their secondary school
education with the UCDSB. Smiths Falls District Collegiate
Institute (SFDCI) is one of seven high schools within the
UCDSB that can accept international students. Currently
more than 70 students from Zhengzhou are attending
classes at SFDCI and in Brockville. Upon graduating, they
will be granted an Ontario Secondary School Diploma, as
well as one from their homeland.
Already, 31 students have been recruited by the
Chinese school to come to Canada. Chuangwei will be
among those going to China in March to recruit additional
Having students from China attend SFDCI is “just
another connection” between the two countries, says
Daryl Kelly. And the Chimo principal believes the Chimo
Chinese Club helps to further that connection.
“It’s another opportunity for awareness of how students
in different countries grow up and live their lives,” she
Highlighting how Ming “certainly brings a real passion to
sharing her culture, Daryl thinks that passion is infectious,
in terms of the students in the club.
“I think she instills a feeling of pride in our children as
they share their Canadian culture and family culture,” she
Further information on the Chimo Chinese Club and
other cultural initiatives in which Ming is involved can be
obtained by contacting her by phone at 613-283-5044 or
by email at
Sister Cities
The Town of Smiths Falls has a close relationship with
one of China largest urban centres, Xiangfan City (recently
renamed Xiangyang). The two became “Sister Cities” on
Oct. 18, 2009 in Smiths Falls with the signing of an
agreement by Smiths Falls Mayor Dennis Staples and Zhi
Liang Tang, Chairman of Standing Committees of the
People’s Congress of Xiangfan City, Hubei Province,
The proclamation stated that, “as sister cities, the
council and the city assembly pledge that they will
encourage regular, ongoing communication and co-
operation on economic/business trade; culture; education;
science and technology; health and well being; tourism
and will promote collaborative development in both cities.”
A historical and cultural city in the southwest region of
Hubei Province, Xiangyang has a population of 5.8 million
people and is considered a major industrial hub.
“The Town of Smiths Falls has a Sister-City Agreement
with the City of Xiangyang, China and has signed two
formal agreements and six additional MOU's that will see
collaboration on tourism, arts and culture, commerce,
investment, education and external affairs,” says Bob
Cheetham, the Economic Development Manager for
Smiths Falls.
Anyone interested in learning more about Smiths Falls
and what the town has to offer newcomers to Canada is
encouraged to visit the website
Ami Hewson and her
dad Greg take their
turn folding dumplings
Dennis Staples (64) has been Mayor of Smiths Falls in
Ontario for 16 years and is looking forward to another four
years having been reelected in October 2010. ln total he
has spent over 25 years in municipal politics and is very
proud of his achievements over the years.
He is an active member of the American Federation of
Musicians as well as being a member of the Smiths Falls
Rotary Club and a member of the Society of Management
Accountants of Ontario for which he received a Honorary
Life Membership in 2002 and having receiving his FCMA
°Fellow" designation in 1990.
Dennis has been married to his wife Jackie for 44 years
and they have two children Tracy and her husband Jeff,
and Dennis Jr and his wife Allison have given the couple
two grandsons Colton and Clark.
We asked Dennis some questions to allow us all to know
the person behind the politics and here are his answers.
Q: What was the ñrst car you ever owned?
A: 1964 vW Beet|e
Q: If you cou|d own any veh|c|e what wou|d |t be and
A: 1965 Mµstang conve|t|o|e - oecaµse |t was mv favoµ||te
of all cars owned
Q: What |s one th|ng peop|e wou|d be surpr|sed to ñnd
about about you?
A: Mv sense of |µmoµ|
Q: If you cou|d change anyth|ng about yourse|f what
wou|d |t be?
A: 7o |ave o|aved mo|e soo|ts dµ||ng mv ||g| sc|oo| vea|s
Q: What do you most va|ue |n other peop|e?
A: Honestv, oot|m|sm and a oos|t|ve oµt|oo|
Q: Mac or PC?
Q: Where has been your most
memorab|e trave| dest|nat|on and
A: Pµnta Cana, oeen t|e|e tw|ce w|t|
my wife and it has beautiful beaches
Q: If you cou|d ||ve anywhere |n the
wor|d where wou|d |t be and why?
A: Sm|t|s Fa||s, a g|eat o|ace, mv fam||v
is here and many friends
Q: What |s your favor|te mov|e?
A: M|se|v
Q: What was the |ast book you read,
or are current|y read|ng?
A: Cµ||ent|v |ead|ng two: A Joµ|nev Mv
Po||t|ca| /|fe - 7onv B|a|| and 7|tan|c
Q: What sports do you support and/
or p|ay?
A: Go|f, |oc|ev, oa||, x-coµnt|v s|||ng
Q: What past|me do you do to re|ax?
A: P|av mv gµ|ta| and |ead|ng
Q: What has been your best moment s|nce becom|ng
Mayor? And your worst?
A: 7|e oest was ass|st|ng w|t| /ce Sto|m 98 and t|e wo|st
dea||ng w|t| t|e |oo |osses |n Sm|t|s Fa||s
Q: If you cou|d have any job |n the wor|d, what wou|d |t
be and why?
A: 7|e ||c|est oe|son |n t|e wo||d so / coµ|d d|st||oµte mv
wealth to others who really need it
Q: If you knew the wor|d was go|ng to end tomorrow,
what wou|d you do today?
A: Soend |t w|t| mv fam||v and c|ose f||ends
Q: If you had to choose a |ast mea|, what wou|d |t be?
A: Somet||ng s|mo|e - soµo, sa|ad, ||ce and a sma|| stea|
Q: If you cou|d choose one of your persona||ty tra|ts to
pass on to your ch||dren, what wou|d |t be?
A: A oos|t|ve att|tµde and st|ong wo|| et||c
Q: If you had to evacuate you home |mmed|ate|y, what
one |tem, other than fam||y members & photos wou|d
you make sure you took w|th you?
A: P|ooao|v mv o|d 7e|e gµ|ta|
Q: If you cou|d g|ve a newcomer one p|ece of adv|ce,
what wou|d |t be?
A: 7o get |nvo|ved |n t|e Commµn|tv, meet oeoo|e, ma|e
new friends
By Jane Toombes
N00l l00
N890f 0l
f8ll8, 08.


Could a Cure for
Multiple Sclerosis be
just around the corner?
Part 2
Dr Zamboni of Italy was the first doctor to suggest a
possible link and therefore a possible cure “liberation” for
this terrible illness. You will find details of his discovery
on the next page.
We featured several stories from people who had received
the treatment and for most of them the treatment was
successful. There are cases however, where treatment is
not successful, or symptoms return after weeks or months
of remission.
Since this issue was published we have had lots of phone
calls and emails from other MS’ers who have been
liberated and we therefore have many new stories to share
with you.
Unfortunately we simply do not have the space to publish
all stories we received, but we will continue to highlight
this issue and feature it on our website
We now talk to people who have had the treatment or are
considering the treatment to get their reaction to this
medical breakthrough.
All interviews by Jane Toombes.
All views and opinions are those of the contributor and not
necessarily those of Muchmor Media.
Advances |n new treatments for MS
lt has now been a year since Dr Paolo Zamboni, an
ltalian doctor frst announced details of his study in which
multiple sclerosis patients saw marked improvements in
their symptoms after his team performed procedures to
improve the fow of blood in their neck veins.
lt has long been believed that multiple sclerosis was a
neurological disease affecting nerves in the brain and spinal
cord. Dr Zamboni on the other hand suggests the disease
in in fact vascular and its symptoms can be lessened or
even cured by a simple procedure.
Dr Zamboni was a professor at the University of Farrara
in ltaly back in 1995 when his own wife Elena was
diagnosed with MS. She went from a person in perfect
health to experiencing vertigo, vision loss and chronic
fatigue, all classic signs of MS.
He scoured medical literature, looked into the history of
the disease and found
references to excess iron
being a possible cause. As he
was a vascular surgeon this
intrigued him as this was his
line of work. ln fact he was, at
that time, in the middle of a
study on how excess iron in
the blood damages blood vessels in the leg. He wondered
if similar damage could cause the same problems in the
And so began his mission to fnd a cure for MS. He
decided to study the vessels going in and out of the brain
and found that in 90% of patients with MS the veins leaving
the brain and draining blood from the brain were either
blocked or malformed. He was using the latest ultrasound
technology and found that his wife too had the same
blockages. People without MS were also tested and they
were found to be free of such blockages and
This study led him to believe that iron was damaging the
blood vessels and allowing heavy metal to cross into the
brain. Because of the restrictions blocked veins create, it is
thought that the blood refuxes or fows backwards into the
brain. This results in toxic iron deposits in the brain.
Stunned by this revelation Dr Zamboni decided to put his
theory into practice by performing a simple procedure to
unblock the veins. He did this by inserting a catheter via the
groin into the patient. The catheter was maneuvered
through the veins to the offending blockage and a balloon
infated to open up the vein.
This is a very similar procedure to angioplasty carried out
on heart patients to open blockages to and from the heart
which can cause heart attacks and strokes. The procedure
in this type of patient is very low risk but offers great
beneft, so Dr Zamboni hoped that this could work for MS
patients too.
ln his initial study of 65 patients with relapsing-remitting
MS he found that 73% of them had no symptoms after two
years of surgery. This study included Elena, his wife and
she too has had no MS attacks since her treatment three
years ago.
Dr Zamboni gave this condition a name - Chronic
Cerebrospinal venous lnsuffciency (CCSvl). lt has since
become widely known as liberation therapy.
Since this initial study Dr Zamboni has examined over
500 MS patients and found that blockages exist in almost
100% of them. None of the healthy patients examined were
found to have the problem.
The majority of Canadians frst became aware of this
treatment in November 2009 when CTv's W5 program frst
aired a documentary about the groundbreaking new
Since his fndings became public knowledge MS patients
across the world have been researching the treatment and
many have decided to undergo the procedure.
However this has not been as easy as one might think.
Many countries have banned CCSvl treatment because
they believe it needs further research before making it
available to MS'ers. One such
country is Canada who after
allowing a few procedures to
go ahead at the beginning of
2010, have since pulled all
backing from the procedure
forcing MS'ers to seek the
treatment abroad.
This is a very new treatment
and everyone can understand the need for caution. Even Dr
Zamboni himself says people should air on the side of
caution, but says °l am confdent that this could be a
revolution for the research and diagnosis of multiple
Many hundreds, if not thousands of people across the
world have undergone the treatment over the past year.
Many of those people have found their symptoms have
either completely disappeared or lessened to the extent
they are no longer disabled by MS.
At this early stage it is hard to prove that these result are
going to be long-lasting, but it does seem that as long as
the offending veins remain open then symptoms are
reduced or disappear completely.
Some people have experienced remarkable recovery
immediately following treatment but after a few months
their symptoms return. Many attribute this to their veins
closing again after treatment and so want to have the
treatment again, this time with stents to keep the vein open.
There are also patients who have seen no recovery at all,
or indeed seen an increase in their symptoms following
treatment. However, the most severe reaction to treatment
is death.
As with all medical procedures there are always risks and
one risk with liberation therapy is the possibility of a blood
clot forming if a stent is inserted. lt has recently been
reported that an Ontario man died of such a complication
after receiving treatment in Costa Rica. CTv link.
Anyone considering this treatment needs to weigh up the
pros and cons for them.
"I am conñdent that th|s cou|d be a
revo|ut|on for the research and
d|agnos|s of mu|t|p|e sc|eros|s."
Chery| Sm|th is 48 years old and lives
in Dawson Creek, British Columbia with
her husband. The couple have four
children aged between 11 and 25 years.
Her MS symptoms started over twenty
years ago, although she didn't realize it
was MS at the time.
°My husband and l can think back
many years to things that happened to
me that we just thought of as odd. Twenty
years ago l went almost blind in one eye,
then l had lots of falls and thought l was
just clumsy. Then half my face went
totally numb as if l had been to the
dentist. After a few weeks of this l went to
the doctor and told him l thought l must
have Bells Palsy. Well he told me he
thought it might be MS. l told him l was
sure it was not....but rather a virus that he
had yet to hear of. No wonder he always
remembers flling in for my regular doctor.
He was the frst to suspect MS. My denial
must have been obvious. I went to a
neurologist but decided that l really could
not have this disease. For the next few years l decided my
many falls were due to my clumsiness!"
ln the summer of 2000 Cheryl became violently ill but
after a few days it passed. The problem was, it left her
unable to speak. As her speech gradually returned it was
slurred. This time she went back to the neurologist
knowing something was very wrong. She and her husband
suspected she may have had a stroke however, the
neurologist suspected MS straight away but wanted to
confrm this with an MRl. Once this was done the
diagnosis was defnite, Cheryl had MS.
°My husband and l spent
time in the vehicle in shock
afterwards discussing if a
stroke would have been
better! Silly l know, but we
were in shock!"
At frst the MS did not
affect her too much and she
had a very slow decline. But
over the last few years her symptoms got worse and she
has been steadily going downhill since. For several years
she has been reliant on using a cane to get around.
°MS has affected every aspect of my life." says Cheryl,
°l had planned to return to work after our youngest started
school, but MS put a stop to that idea. l was always so
fatigued that working was not an option. Also l have not
been able to drive for about seven years, so l lost my
Cheryl has taken various medications over the years. °l
went on medication that cost about $1,700 a month. Then
I discovered a pain medicine after years of trying so many
different ones, that cost another $155 for a bottle - which
lasted me about 10 days! The pain medication worked
but the other medications that are to stop the disease did
not stop it at all."
Whilst out shopping one day, her son called her to tell
her about a W5 program about a possible cure for MS.
°When we got home he found the program for me to
watch online and l watched it while sobbing, wondering if
this could be the answer and if it was, could l ever afford
After looking into the procedure further Cheryl was
booked into a clinic in New York for July 2010. °When they
called me for a July date l got off the phone and sobbed.
This was the frst time l had hope.
°Dear friends put together a fundraiser concert in June
and raised over $8,000, we
had been given over $2,000
earlier, so it came to over
$10,000 which was almost
exactly what we needed.
The procedure that l had in
the USA cost $5,000. Plane
fare hotels etc. bumped that
up and so the fnal cost was
about $11,000!"
Cheryl describes the procedure which was to change
her life.
°What a simple procedure! You are given some valium
and they go in your groin which didn't hurt any more than
a normal lv. There was a nurse (love her) that called herself
the 'head rubber' as she stayed near my head rubbing it
and talking me through it all. When she told me they had
found the frst blockage and were getting ready to balloon
it l burst into tears. She thought l was afraid and said "Any
pain will not last long and l am here to help". I was not
crying in fear but in relief that there was a blockage and
there was hope l might actually get 'better!'"
Cheryl's procedure took about one hour and she was
found to have blockages in both jugulars and the azygous
vein. Each of these areas was ballooned and afterwards
she was required to lay still and fat for about an hour.
"My husband and I spent t|me |n the
veh|c|e |n shock afterwards
d|scuss|ng |f a stroke wou|d have
been betterI"
Typical Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
Eyes: blurred vision, eye pain, blindness, loss of colour
perception, pain and light flashes after sudden eye
movement, jerky eye movement, light sensitivity
Motor: muscle weakness, paralysis, stiffness, pain,
loss of muscle tone, involuntary contraction of
muscles, jerking and twitching, drop foot, muscle
weakness, cramping, muscle spasms, spasticity,
extreme fatigue, toe curling, inability to yawn, cough or
take deep breaths.
Sensory: partial or complete numbness, pain, burning
sensation, electric shock sensations when moving
head, facial pain, dry mouth, cold feet and hands,
intense itching, intolerance to heat and cold, clammy
hands, pins and needles,
Balance: loss of coordination, vertigo, loss of limb
control, shaking, excessive travel sickness, tremors,
Cognitive: memory problems, both long and short
term, forgetfulness, not being able to find the right
words to say, lack of concentration.
Bowel and bladder: incontinence, urinary retention,
constipation, bowel urgency, diarrhea, frequent
Sexual: male and female impotence, inability to
achieve orgasm, inability to become aroused,
worsening or aggravation of menstrual cycle symptoms
Other: depression, mod swings, bipolar syndrome,
dementia, anxiety, night sweats,
L’hermitte's: electric shock like sensation down the
back often extending to arms and legs.
Uhthoff's phenomena: Increased sensitivity to heat.
Dysphagia: difficulty swallowing, resulting in choking
Dysarthria: difficulty speaking - slurred, slow, delayed.
MS hug: constricting of the muscles around the waist
area resulting in tightness, pain and pins and needles.
Drop foot: inability to lift the toes of the foot resulting
in dragging and slapping of feet.
Brain fog/ cog fog: inability to think clearly
Tinnitus: ringing in the ears
Later, as my husband and I left the clinic I realized I was
walking a straight line and not leaning on his arm at all.!I
almost told him right then, but!decided to wait and see if
he noticed.!As we waited for our cab he said ‘did you
notice walking out you hardly needed me?!You did not
lean on me at all and walked a straight line.’ I almost cried
because he had noticed what I had.
“Since my treatment I have not even once lost the use
of my right hand.!It had clawed up on me and I could not
use it often.!I was as shaky looking as if I had Parkinson's
and that is gone. I often choked and that does not happen
anymore.!My pain is a lot less and I use my medicine
weekly versus several times a day!”
Recently Cheryl has noticed that her balance is getting
bad again and her fatigue is back. This happens to about
40% of patients and the answer is to have a stent put in to
keep the veins open. Cheryl is planning to have this done
as soon as possible.
She continues to be perplexed as to why the Canadian
government and the medical establishment are so
reluctant to accept the procedure. She has heard that
some consider it just a placebo effect.
“CCSVI had dramatic effects for me and!it was!not
placebo!!Placebo does not make a hand work that used to
CCSVI Foundation We are a national, non-
profit organization, committed to the treatment
of patients with Chronic Cerebrospinal
Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI)
While governments and the MS Society dither
and endlessly discuss studies of this
treatment, we have decided to act on the
behalf of patients.
The CCSVI Foundation of Canada will raise
awareness and funds, while working with
patients in a patnership to obtain access to
We are working in partnership with
international specialists in the treatment of
CCSVI with proven results to ensure the best
outcome for treatments.
Email us at:
CCSVI Foundation
of Canada
D|ana Gordon was only
diagnosed with MS two years ago,
but she now knows her frst attack
was actually back in 1997 when, at
the age of 32, she was
misdiagnosed with a brain tumor.
Those frst symptoms included
tremors on her whole right side. But
they eventually stopped and she was
symptom free for ten years. Two
years ago the tremors returned and
she was fnally diagnosed with MS.
°My biological father died from
MS on May 6, 2004, so we all know
too well, how it ends. There were
tears and obvious fear at the
diagnosis. l went to a naturopath
approximately one month later to
treat the 'disease.' l changed my diet
drastically, and took massive
amounts of remedies that required
precise timing when l could take
them, and required me to time my
meals as well. l even changed the
water l drank to reverse osmosis.
°l couldn't eat out anywhere,
including at friends' houses, because my 'can't haves'
were too many. My diet was based on the premise of
acid/alkaline, but with many additional restrictions, such
as gluten free, dairy free, alcohol free, sugar free, no red
meat, only organic chicken a few times a week, mint free,
chocolate free, no coffee or black tea... and several more.
°One of the symptoms l
had was my speech would
slow and garble so much
that it made even speaking
on the phone
diffcult. Fatigue and brain
fog (cognition fog) were
incredible. l couldn't
swallow very well and it has
been years since l could cough. Numbness in my
forearms and hands made it diffcult to type or write, so l
had to give up my signature for a few years (l am
practicing it to get it back). l could only sleep about 3
hours a night for over four years, even though l was
always tired."
Diana went back to school to study medical
administration. Although during much of the study time
she was in remission, she still found it diffcult to cope.
Her speech problems along with her inability to type well
hindered her a great deal. However, she still managed to
graduate with high honours.
°ln october 2009 l received an e-mail from a friend in
The Netherlands, with articles about Dr. Zamboni. I was
interested, and sent the information to my naturopath for
her opinion about it. She 'poo-pooed' the whole thing (lt
would cut into her business), and l didn't hear anything
about it in North America, so l fled it away. When my
mother emailed to tell me about the upcoming W5
program, l thought it would just be another injectable
treatment, which l wasn't interested
in, but l thought l would watch it to
learn about it, because others may be
°l watched it, and l cried through the
whole show, because it all made
perfect sense. I never truly believed it
was a disease, and this showed me
why l had relapses, when l should
have been close to curing it with the
diet and remedies. l know now that
MS is not a disease, but is a symptom
of CCSvl."
Diana then started her own research
and joined groups and forums along
with others also seeking information.
Originally she had decided to be
treated in Egypt, but then found
another clinic in Albany, New York and
decided this would be much closer
and therefore better for her. She paid
$3,000 for the venogram, $2,000 for
the procedure and an additional
$2,000 for a stent that was required in
her azygos vein.
°During the treatment, l felt a tickle in
my throat, which made me cough for the frst time in
years. says Diana, °l looked up at the nurse who was
stroking my hair, and said, 'l don't do that.' It was
°While on the recovery table, my parents came in with
me and l realized l was reading signs on the wall. My
eyesight had improved, and
the blurriness was
noticeably less. l hadn't
been able to read like that,
with the clarity l was
experiencing, for several
years. The next day, both my
fatigue and brain fog were
gone. l had pain from the
stent, for which l had pain killers, but that distracted me
from noticing other improvements. The numbness in my
forearms and hands took a few weeks to disappear."
Diana is absolutely thrilled she had the treatment. All of
her symptoms have disappeared and she is now sleeping
much better. °l can dream now. l never realized that l
wasn't before but now l do it is obvious. l never sleep less
than six hours now, and sometimes up to nine hours of a
solid dream-flled sleep. lt's wonderful!"
°My father had MS and l have MS, there is defnitely a
genetic component; anything physical can be passed
down. l am worried for my daughter, as well as my nieces
and nephew. Anyone in the bloodline of my father is at
risk, as it can skip generations, as anything genetic can."
Because of her dramatic transformation Diana is
campaigning for the right of all Canadians to receive the
treatment in their home country.
°Our government keeps saying there isn't any proof of
it's effcacy or safety. The frst cardio angioplasty was
performed in 1981, and doesn't have any risks that aren't
"I can dream now. I never rea||zed
that I wasn't before but now I do
|t |s obv|ous."
Brenda Ha|| is 52 years old and lives in Cookstown,
Ontario. ln 2002 she hurt her back and then experienced
drop foot, where the foot will not lift properly resulting in
dragging and slapping. She was put through a series of
tests and was found to have lesions on her brain
resulting in a diagnosis of MS in August of that year.
°l was in total shock," says Brenda, °l hadn't even
heard of MS at this point and went from being in hospital
because of a bad back and foot to suddenly fnding out l
had a debilitating, incurable disease. My family was also
very shocked and worried about my future."
From that point on, things got worse for Brenda. She
continued to suffer from drop foot but also added
extreme fatigue, brain fog
and bladder problems to
her growing list of
°l then started to have
balance problems and
couldn't walk anywhere
without having to hold onto
things for support. l went
to see my neurologist for
help, but was basically told
that l would just have to get used to it. l was also told l
would need to start taking lots of drugs which l really
didn't want to do."
Brenda did not have private health insurance and the
cost of the drugs suggested to her made it impossible
for her to consider. Also, after researching many of them
she was not convinced of their ability to control her
symptoms, so chose not to take any.
When frst hearing about CCSvl she knew it made
sense and immediately wanted the treatment but then
found out that it was not available in Canada.
°lt was one brick wall after another." she says, °l
looked at getting the treatment abroad and contacted a
couple of medical tourism companies, but realized that l
was not really able to travel that far. l then went on
Facebook and found lots of other people who were also
seeking information about CCSvl, this was my lifeline.
°l found a few places that were offering the treatment
in the United States and so l began to put my name on
their waiting lists. ln the end l was accepted at a Rhode
lsland clinic and became their ffth client to receive the
procedure. l paid $6,500 for the treatment but this did
not include travel, accommodation, meals or medication,
so the true cost was much more."
Soon after the procedure was carried out Brenda
noticed that her hands and feet were warm and her
walking a little more
balanced. Now, several
months later her fatigue
has disappeared and she
is feeling very much better.
°l am so thankful every day
that l had this procedure, it
has given me my life back.
You cannot put into words
how valuable that it."
But what does Brenda
think about how the Canadian government and MS
Society are handling the whole CCSvl situation?
°lt is criminal that the federal and provincial
governments as well as the MS Society are not behind
this procedure 100%. lf we were able to get this
procedure done in Canada, even if we had to pay for it, it
would be much cheaper and we could count on follow-
up care. l hope that this attitude soon changes and that
all Canadian MS sufferers will soon have easy access to
this treatment along with adequate after care."
"I hadn't even heard of MS at th|s
po|nt and went from be|ng |n
hosp|ta| because of a bad back and
foot to sudden|y ñnd|ng out I had a
deb|||tat|ng, |ncurab|e d|sease."
associated to with procedures. They need to study us,
the ones who have been treated to see for themselves
that it is effective and life-saving. We should and need to
be treated where we live, and receive follow-up care
here, when and if there are any complications. People are
being denied care and have died, when they develop
blood clots, just because they had this treatment. A 34
year old man recently died because of this. He left a wife
and his very young child. The government has let us
down in the biggest way imaginable. l am ashamed to be
a Canadian."
Her views on the Canadian MS Society are not any
better. °The MS Society obviously isn't here to really help
people with MS and appear corrupt. We want them gone.
The salaried employees are earning enormous wages
and they obviously don't want that to end, so they are
fghting with us, not for us. What they don't realize is that
we would work with them to establish a way that people
could actually be helped, drug free. The problem lies with
the neurologists, who are the primary advisors to the MS
Society. They are paid a fortune by the pharmaceutical
industry, so this is not in their fnancial best interest to
advise for this treatment.
°CCSvl is a vascular issue, not a neurological one, so
they should butt out, and keep their paws off; we don't
want to play in their sandbox anymore. This is the
bailiwick of lnterventional Radiologists and vascular
surgeons, whose sandbox we like better.
°We have done our homework, and have sought out
the best treatment to better our lives, so l don't know
why we are being denied any of this. Regardless of our
unfortunate diagnosis of MS, this vascular issue can and
needs to be corrected; collect the data of its affects on
MS later. Angioplasty is not new and not
experimental. We will only have this treatment if CCSvl is
confrmed, and we won't, if we don't.
°We have specialists who are trained in vascular issues
and intervention has shown to improve the lives of so
many people around the world. We don't know yet if it is
a cure, but the improvements can't be denied."
Orillia, Ontario is the home of Jean|ne
Baker (53) who has suffered from MS for
many years. Here she tells us of her struggle
to cope with this debilitating illness.
°My frst real symptom was a numb right
leg. One day my miniature schnauzer hit it
with her paws, the pain was like little daggers
piercing my skin. l couldn't wear regular
trousers, so had to purchase a pair of track
pants that weren't abrasive on my skin"
ln early 1994 she visited her doctor to fnd
out what was wrong with her. She was sent to
a neurologist who did not diagnose MS.
During this time Jeanine was doing her own
research and decided that she either had a
brain tumor or MS. ln August 1994 she had
another bad attack and ended up in
emergency. lt was here that an internist
suggested the possibility of MS. She was
sent to Toronto for further tests and was told
to get the report the neurologist had had sent
to her GP and bring it with her to Toronto.
°l opened the letter from the neurologist
and in it he suggested that l might have MS. l
had to wait until November to see him and he
would not look me in the eye. Eventually l asked 'is it
MS?' and he muttered that yes, he fgured it was. l was
absolutely furious that the diagnosis had been kept from
me from May until November. So much so, l fred my
family physician and looked for a new neurologist."
Although devastated by the news Jeanine was relieved
to fnally know what was causing her problems. Her
husband wouldn't discuss the matter with her. He is now
her ex-husband.
°My son, who was 11 at the time wanted to know if he
could catch it. My mother was stoic and my father cried."
adds Jeanine.
So how did MS affect her life?
°The symptoms early on weren't too bad. Poor
balance, fatigue, eye disturbances and brain fog." she
says. °l maintained my
strength for years and could
do gardening for hours as
long as l was on my hands
and knees. Later years
brought increased disability.
lnitially l used a cane. Then
l got forearm crutches
which l used for getting
around on short jaunts. A
scooter for distances was a
mainstay in my life, and in fact l still require it if l'm going
any distance. l had to get a walker sometime after 2000
but don't recall the year. Earlier in 2010 l needed a new
walker because my old one was rickety and unsafe. l
needed it for any walking inside or out. l could no longer
make the trip to the mailbox 15 houses up the street.
Getting the weekly recycling together would tire me right
out. l believe l would have required a wheelchair by the
end of 2010."
Jeanine has not been able to work since 1996 and
although she was prescribed medication she found the
costs prohibitive. °l tried the medication for eight months
but it was next to impossible to make ends meets, even
with government and insurance assistance because the
money had to be paid up front."
°When l frst heard about CCSvl l thought, "This makes
sense!"" Says Jeanine, °l knew Zamboni was onto
something substantial. Whenever l'd been told of new
treatment ideas over the years, l grew to take them with a
grain of salt - except for the Betaseron. l had faith in that
drug but it did nothing for me. l thought CCSvl would be
another pie in the sky treatment being touted by a snake
oil salesman, but the results presented on W5 were
compelling. l contacted my family doctor and neurologist
telling them that l wanted this treatment. Naturally, l
assumed it would be
available. l was horrifed to
discover that it wasn't being
offered as a regular medical
treatment in Canada."
She then decided to do
research and found groups
on Facebook full of people in
her situation also looking for
°l found like-minded
individuals and learned of doctors who were performing
the treatment in other countries. l was originally
scheduled to have treatment in Philadelphia but they were
shut down before l could be treated. l then found another
doctor in New York state and my appointment for 2 June
2010 (my new birthday) was scheduled."
Jeanine was scanned in Barrie, Ontario and then
traveled to New York for the treatment. lt cost her $5,000
USD plus travel and accommodation. Her son drove from
"I am so happy that I rece|ved the
treatment, I no |onger have to use
my wa|ker and I can he|p my mother
|n a way I'd never have been ab|e to
do before."
Halifax, Nova Scotia to accompany her to the clinic and
so there was also this cost to add to the overall figure.
Immediately after the treatment Jeanine noticed
improvements. She had more dexterity in her hands and
could push down on her foot which she couldn’t do
before. She could walk and turn around without falling
over and could yawn for the first time in years.
The day after her treatment Jeanine posted a video on
Youtube and her happiness just shines through. You can
view this video yourself using this link: http://
Unfortunately three weeks after treatment her mother
suffered a stroke and Jeanine became her primary care
giver. The stress of this has, Jeanine feels, hampered her
progress slightly.
“I am so happy that I received the treatment, I no
longer have to use my walker and I can help my mother in
a way I'd never have been able to do before.”
LIke many other CCSVI patients she doesn’t have a lot
of good things to say about the Canadian government. “It
makes me sick,” she says, ”They're playing with people's
lives. People have died. This is such an easy and safe
procedure that there's no reason they shouldn't be
allowing it without study. We are the study. Time is brain!
Allow this now.”
Judy Filipkowski from Ottawa, Ontario was
finally diagnosed with MS in 2001 at the age of
56 after many years of tell-tale symptoms. Her
first symptom was fatigue which she put down
to flu bugs!at the time. She visited her doctor
who told her she did not have the flu!but was
tired and to take a week off work.
Unfortunately due to pressures of work she
was unable to do this.
Then later in 1998 she experienced
numbness and tingling in her right leg, then the
fatigue got worse. In 2000 she was referred to
a neurologist after the right side of her face
went numb. She had a lumbar puncture to
determine the cause but nothing was
detected. By November that year she was so
unwell she was on sick leave for two months
and this time underwent an MRI in Kingston,
Ontario. Unfortunately the results were never
sent to her neurologist.
In January 2001 a second MRI was carried
out and this time lesions were found on her
brain and spinal cord. This led to Judy taking
early retirement in March 2001 and she had to
apply for CPP Disability to supplement her
“I was very worried when I was finally
diagnosed as were my family. My boyfriend at
the time wanted to nail the lid on my coffin instantly. His
reaction filled me with fight.” says Judy.
“I was prescribed several medications and was
fortunately covered by the Trillium Drug Program, but still
had to pay around $3,000 per year out of my own pocket.
Because of the way Trillium works you pay a portion of
the cost based on your income. At that time I had drawn
money from my RRSP to do some repairs to my house
and so my income was artificially inflated making it
appear greater than it was. This means my own
contribution to the medication was higher than perhaps it
should have been.”
At the end of 2009, Judy got word that W5 was airing a
program about MS and eagerly watched it. “My first
thought was an overwhelming feeling of hope for the
future.!I had come to the conclusion that very autumn that
I would have to downsize and sell my property and find
some sort of accommodation that was easier to maintain.
The thought that this procedure could give me back so
much of my life was overwhelming. I guess my aunts were
a bit concerned about my enthusiasm.
“The first thing I did after watching the show was go to
a meeting on Tuesday 24th November at the Ottawa
Multiple Sclerosis Society. Dr Mark Freedman was giving
an update about all the new drugs and other procedures
that were in the pipeline or coming on line in the next year.
He finally spoke about Dr Zamboni's W5 presentation by
showing a zamboni machine. He proceeded to call Dr
Zamboni a fraud and the results a hoax. He claimed that
there had been no "mouse work" done and that there had
been no trials about the procedure. People were very
angry at this overpacked meeting and some were hostile."
After this Judy attacked her computer with a
vengeance to fnd out all she could about venograms and
angioplasty of neck veins. She soon realized that lots of
other people were also looking for the same information,
much of which was being placed in various groups on
Facebook. This led her to not only fnd other people like
her but to fnd out where the CCSvl procedure was being
carried out, especially once she found out having it in
Canada was not going to be an option.
Judy ended up going to New York state for her
treatment on 14th July 2010. The treatment, excluding
drugs cost her $3,000 for the venogram and $2,000 for
angioplasty. She describes her treatment.
°The treatment was simple. l received two valium to
ensure that l was calm but
still awake and could be
alert enough to follow
instructions. An incision of
less than a 32nd of an inch
was made in my left groin
area. You are to remain
perfectly still while they feed
the wire up through the
various veins to ensure that
they are clear. My lliac vein
was clear. They then went
from there to my left jugular
vein and found that it was a
mild to moderate stenosis of
the base of this vein. They
then proceeded to infate a balloon to remove the "waist"
that was present. The same procedure was used at the
base of my right jugular vein and demonstrated an
improvement. Again the catheter was placed in the
Azygous vein and they found a an irregularity with
decreased blood fow within the Azygous arch. Flow was
°Following the treatment l felt good. Less fatigued and
also felt that l could walk better without a limp and
seemed to have much better balance. l even went
shopping and out for dinner with some of the other
patients who had received the procedure the same day.
The following day l had to return to the clinic for a routine
doppler to ensure that my blood was fowing freely. This
was when they found a thrombus at the base of my left
jugular. My collateral vein that had taken over blood fow
some years before, tried to reclaim it's priority. The
lnternal Radiologist was very concerned that this could
form a blood clot and on Friday the 16th July he went
back in to add two stents at the base of my left jugular.
He was pleased that the procedure seemed to do exactly
what was intended. The two additional stents cost me
$2,000 each."
Since the procedure Judy has got better and better.
Her fatigue has gone, most of her brain fog has gone and
her balance has returned. She no longer has any
weakness in her legs and her foot drop has disappeared.
She also has much better control of her bladder.
°l can now jog short distances without fear of falling
over," she says °l can vacuum my whole house all in one
go without getting exhausted. l can do grocery shopping
and can drive my car for extended periods. l even
managed to drive the round trip from Ottawa to Belleville
in one day, something l could never have done before. l
sometimes still feel tired, but not fatigued - there is a big
°Some small symptoms are still evident such as
occasional numbness in my feet and legs and occasional
muscle cramping, but nothing compared to how it used to
be. l try to avoid stressful situations as this can bring on
these symptoms. l also try not to get overly tired.
°Overall l am thrilled l was able to have this treatment.
lt has given me back my life and l must admit l now have
to remember my real age. l can make plans days in
advance without the fear of
having to decline closer to
the time."
Judy's views on the
Canadian and provincial
governments is scathing.
°l am very angry with the
Governments of Canada,
both Provincial and
Federal.People who are
guiding them are
neurologists and the MS
Society of Canada. lt has
been discovered that all are
funded by the
pharmaceutical companies
who stand to lose millions when Dr Zamboni's procedure
is accepted. l am sure that the lobbyists of the drug
companies are also making every effort to ply the
governments with promises of other benefts to the
medical industry while allowing MS patients to become
more ill and die in the process.
°The mandate of MMS is to help those suffering with
MS but this is not happening. ln fact, the National MSS
Facebook page frequently deletes comments made by
members who have had treatment for CCSvl. They do not
wish to make this information available to other sufferers."
ln October 2010 Judy celebrated her recovery with a
trip to New Orleans. She was able to walk everywhere
without having to return to her accommodation for rests.
She also swam in the hotel pool even after long walks,
something she couldn't have dreamt of only a few months
earlier. Like many MS sufferers she used to suffer greatly
when the weather was hot and humid. However, this time
the sweltering New Orleans heat did not affect her at all. lt
was a wonderful way to kiss her MS goodbye.
"Fo||ow|ng the treatment I fe|t good.
Less fat|gued and a|so fe|t that I
cou|d wa|k better w|thout a ||mp and
seemed to have much better
ba|ance. I even went shopp|ng and
out for d|nner w|th some of the
other pat|ents who had rece|ved the
procedure the same day."
Michelle Walsh another MS sufferer who has
received successful CCSVI treatment asked
us to highlight the following website:
Franc|ne Desha|es is 51 and lives in St-
Lambert, Quebec. When she was a 28 year
old fight attendant she experienced
intermittent numbness in her legs. She had
some tests done but nothing abnormal was
found so she put it down to a symptom of
fying all the time. Then a few years later
when she was 34 the symptoms returned but
this time the numbness was from her head to
her toes. lt was at this time she was fnally
diagnosed with MS.
°l was at the hospital when they were
trying to fnd what l had. The doctor came
into the room and announced the diagnosis
very fast saying there was nothing we could
do about it and that l would probably be in a
wheelchair within fve years. He then left the
room. Everybody was devastated. My
daughter was very scared, she was 12.
When you have MS, the whole family has it
for sure!"
Francine found herself in a wheelchair
almost immediately and as a result lost her
job. Her husband also left and many of her
so-called friends also disappeared from her
life. She says it completely destroyed her life.
°For the next 10 years l was relapsing and
remitting. l was working as a head hunter on
and off depending on my state of health. l
was always so very tired. ln 2000 l had a
particularly bad attack and once again could barely
walk. This time though, it did not go away. l started
taking Avonex bit it did nothing good for me, in fact it
started all kinds of other problems for me such as
migraines and depression."
Francine could not go
out alone and could barely
write anymore. She also
had bladder problems,
insomnia, brain fog,
spasms in her feet and
excessive fatigue. She
used to play the piano, but
this was just a distant
memory by now.
When she frst heard
about CCSvl she knew
that this could fnally be
the solution to help her. She started her research and
found a fellow sufferer, Christopher Alkenbrack from
Nova Scotia who was also looking for information about
CCSvl. Together they found details of a treatment
centre in Poland. They booked their treatment on the
same day in May 2010 and travelled together. The
procedure cost her $12,000.
°Almost immediately after my treatment my legs and
my feet and my hands were warm and l could bend my
knees. l had to wait until the day after to do anything
more and see further improvements.
°Since then l no longer have brain fog and no more
migraines. l can write, l can bend my knees and no
longer have spasms. My bladder problems have cleared
and my insomnia is gone as has the fatigue. lt literally
saved my life."
We asked Francine about her feelings toward the MS
Society and here is her
°They do almost nothing
for us. Their fundraising
shows in their last
fnancial results that only
28 cents of every dollar
donatedwas actually
spent on programs and
research from September
to December 2009! Don't
need to tell you what they
do for CCSvl.
We need people in this society who havethe
powerto support us and stand for is not the case
apparently. People with MS don't have the luxury of
waiting, people are suffering and getting worse. Some
are even paying the ultimate price with their lives. lt is
"A|most |mmed|ate|y after my
treatment my |egs and my feet and
my hands were warm and I cou|d
bend my knees. I had to wa|t unt||
the day after to do anyth|ng more
and see further |mprovements."
We, like all patients and families suffering from MS, wish to expedite research
in this feld here in Canada. Whilst there is no proven link between CCSvl & MS,
we are dedicated to investigating this possibility with a timely regulated protocol.
Chronic Cerebrospinal venous lnsuffciency (CCSvl) remains a research based
cause for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). At AlM we perform a complete contrast
enhanced 'traditional' MS MRl study of the brain and cervical cord in addition to
CCSvl research protocol. Currently in the medical literature, the cause and effect
of CCvSl and MS remains uncertain. At AlM, we use the research based
Siemen's MRl protocol developed by Dr. Mark Haake to ensure consistency of
MRl data analysis which includes SWl and Flow Quantifcation.
SWl, is able to accurately determine iron or other heavy metal deposits in the
brain. Researchers suspect iron build up occurs secondary to blocked or
narrowed veins in the head or neck in MS patients. SWl is the only way to
accurately visualize these iron deposits.
CCSvl is based on the hypothesis of an outfow (venous) irregularity in the
head or neck. A blockage or reversed fow in a draining vein will cause a
cerebrospinal vein fow rate change. The fow of the veins within the head can
only be shown with Flow Quantifcation MRl or with Transcranial Ultrasound.
Flow Quantifcation MRl is able to determine which veins exhibit reduced or
reversed fow. We assess the venous fow in multiple areas; including the upper
and lower parts of both jugular veins, both transverse sinuses, the superior
sagittal sinus and the straight sinus of the brain and/or regions demonstrating
vascular narrowing. By assessing all of these structures, accurate blood fow
results are obtained. Dr. Haacke recommends Flow Quantifcation MRl be
performed as part of his imaging guidelines. There is also debate as to whether
transcranial ultrasound can obtain similar results. Ultrasound is limited by being
highly "user dependent" and regular ultrasound cannot "see" through bone. Flow
quantifcation MRl does not have this problem. ln fact, it is equally easy to view
the veins inside or outside the skull, neck or chest with Flow Quantifcation MRl.
Experience the AlM Difference! From the moment you arrive until you leave
with your fnal report, you will experience personalized health care in our state-
of-the-art vancouver MRl facility. We are dedicated to providing quality medical
care in a private, relaxing, safe environment. AlM
Medical takes pride in the quality of health care
provided to all AlM patients through practice, education
and research. Having peace of mind makes all the
difference especially when it involves your health.
Consult with our radiologist immediately after your exam
for your fnal results.
When Christopher Alkenbrack,
was just 24 years old and living in
Montreal, a colleague at worked
noticed that he was dragging his
foot and pointed it out to him. He
didn’t think much of it. He then
experienced numbness slowly
creeping up his entire right side and
thought he had pinched a nerve
“Then on Easter weekend I went
on a visit to Kingston, Ontario with
my girlfriend.” continues
Christopher, “After coming out of
my sister’s hot tub, I discovered that
I had double vision. I was tested for
a brain tumour at the Kingston
General Hospital, then went back to
Montreal where I was admitted to
the Montreal Neurological Institute
and after having an MRI and a
lumbar puncture, I was diagnosed
with MS.
“My girlfriend at the time was
very supportive. When I told her that
I had MS and that she was ‘free to
leave,’ she laughed at me and
reacted like, ‘You’re not getting away that easily’.”
That was nearly twenty years ago and now 43 year old
Christopher and his family live in Forest Hill (Wolfville),
Nova Scotia. He and his “now” wife have been married 18
and a half years, and have two wonderful children.
Since his diagnosis Christopher has suffered many MS
symptoms which he admits not only affect him but his
whole family.
“MS not only affects the individual diagnosed, but
everyone in his/her entourage.” He explains, “My kids
were both born post diagnosis, so they have never known
anything else. The disappointments they have to live with
are numerous. Always having to change plans because of
fatigue, and inability to concentrate, they become very
helpful and are forced to grow up more quickly beyond
their years.
“My symptoms varied from different attacks over the
years. I’ve almost always had vision problems – either
double vision, or nystagmus (little jerky uncontrollable eye
movements.) I had periods of numbness ranging from mild
transitory numbness, to almost paralysis depending on the
limb. My fingers and hands have often gone numb. The
fatigue levels experienced are almost inexplicable, which
leads to intolerance to sounds, impatience, and mood
swings. My walking has been greatly affected and I had
periods where I would walk with a single cane, other
periods where I would use a wheelchair, but since 2003
I’ve walked almost permanently with two forearm
crutches. As the MS progressed, my dependency on my
family and my loss of autonomy became more and more
obvious. In 2007 I was unable to drive for almost the entire
year due to visual disturbances and lack of control in my
lower limbs. Some days, I chose not to operate a motor
vehicle for my own safety and the safety of others. On top
of the numbness and reduced capacity to walk, I also
experienced long-term bladder dysfunction, a symptom
that is very common for people with MS. The vertigo that
comes with balance problems can be debilitating as well.”
Christopher has also had his working life dictated to him
by MS. Between 1992 and 2001 he continued his career
as a teacher then a pedagogical consultant for a School
Board in Québec, and as of 1998 a Vice Principal in a
secondary school. In 2001 his MS flared up again when he
had a series of attacks.
“Wanting to lower my stress levels, I requested a
transfer to the elementary school level,” says Christopher,
“and before I left work, acted as a School Principal in two
different schools. Upon recommendation of my
neurologist, and because my health was in decline, I had
to leave my job as School Principal in October of 2003. I
left on permanent disability two years after this in 2005.”
The cost of medication for MS can be huge. Christopher
has always been lucky enough to have good medical
insurance from his employer and therefore his co-pay was
minimal compared to the $25,000 - $35,000 per year that
it was costing his insurance company.
We asked Christopher when and how he first heard
about CCSVI treatment.
“My sister sent me the link to the W5 presentation, and I
watched it once, thinking something like, ‘Yeah, yeah.
Another theory on MS.’ he laughs, “It was only as I
watched the show the second time that my 13 year-old
daughter, with tears in her eyes, said something like, ‘Hey
Dad.....we’re going to Italy, and you’re going to get better’.
As I continued to watch the show, I was impressed by the
fact that there seemed to be an answer to the unanswered
question as to why MS patients have large deposits of iron
in the brain. l have read lots of research, so the link to the
vascular system role in MS was not a large stretch for me.
°As a former volunteer chapter president of the MS
Society of Canada, l was contacted the week after the
show aired by a reporter from CBC in Halifax. Elizabeth
Chiu wanted to know if l knew someone who was
interested in the procedure. l blurted out, 'Yes....Me !' She
asked if l would do an interview, and after consulting with
my wife, we agreed to do so."
After the show Christopher received several messages
via Facebook, one from Francine Deshaies who is also
sharing her story with us. After several messages back and
forth they built a friendship
and both decided to get
treatment. They both had to
be tested to make sure they
were good candidates for the
procedure and Christopher
got his testing done on
Christmas Day 2009. He was
found to have no blood fow in
one jugular and so he and Francine booked their trip to
Poland where they received treatment on May 18th 2010.
They were accompanied by his wife and Francine's
daughter. Christopher describes the procedure.
°l was second to go into the procedure room on that
day. A needle for local anesthetic was administered, and a
small catheter was inserted into the femoral vein of my
right groin. This catheter was then wired up into the
azygous vein in my heart, and it was confrmed that there
was no abnormality there. Then my right and left jugulars
were investigated, inserting a contrast dye to check for
blood-fow problems. My wife was watching the entire
procedure on a large screen television outside the
operating room. When the dye was inserted in the left
jugular, a clear image of blood fowing backwards into the
brain was seen.
°l had been examined by a doctor hours before the
procedure, and minutes following the procedure l had
already experienced improvement in the mobility in my
right leg. The next day l remember waking up thinking,
'Who turned on the lights?' When l exited the bed for the
frst time l had already shed a cane, and noticed
improvement in my balance. My color perception seemed
to have improved as well. l was able to go for a walk with
my wife, and experienced better bladder control in the
days following the treatment."
Since receiving the treatment
Christopher has continued to see
steady improvement. He has
better vision and better balance
and his bladder control is much
improved. His strength and
posture are better and he has
been able to decrease the
medications he was previously
°l like to sum up my
improvements in the words of my
now 14 year-old daughter who
said, 'Dad, do you remember
when l was in Kindergarten, mom used to let me take half-
days off of school to stay with you at the hospital and be
your little nurse? Well, now, since you have improved, l
don't need to be your little nurse as much anymore!'
°Honestly, l feel like l have turned the progression clock
back 5-7 years on most of my symptoms, something that
no other treatment for MS has ever been able to do for me.
Since the immunomodulatory therapies and chemo
therapy failed to give me improved quality of life, l can say
with the utmost certainty that l have never regretted this
treatment for a second."
As with all our contributors, Christopher feels strongly
about both the Canadian
government and the
Canadian MS Society.
°l believe that the Canadian
government needs to seek
the medical advice of
doctors, interventional
radiologists, vascular
surgeons and neurologists
who already know more about this promising new feld of
research than do the Canadian experts. l feel that the
Canadian Health Ministers, with few exceptions, have
done disservice to the hundreds of thousands of
Canadians who live with this disease. Though only 55,000
to 75,000 Canadians have MS, their families and loved
ones also live the impact of this disease.
He continues, °As a former chapter chair for the
Annapolis valley MS group, l feel that the MS Society of
Canada has failed to represent their clients adequately in
this important emerging theory. They have downplayed the
role of a vascular link, and though much more research
needs to be done to confrm or disprove this theory, they
have managed this crisis in an unacceptable manner. They
have lost the support of many people with MS by their
stance of 'cautious optimism.' l respect the educational
role and the support role to those in need of services, but
think that have dishonoured MS patients on a national
°l am proud of all of the CCSvl advocates who have
brought this research to the forefront. l am honoured by
certain members of the medical community who have
fought for the rights of MS patients to have treatment in
Canada. l am honoured by Canadian politicians who are
justly and duly representing the people who brought them
to power.
°l am shocked by the fear-
mongering techniques used by
many in the medical community,
and their denial to start clinical
trials, thus forcing MS patients,
some of society's most
vulnerable, to seek treatment
internationally when this
treatment can be offered safely
at home, and represents only a
fraction of the cost of the
medications prescribed for
people with MS."
"MS not on|y affects the |nd|v|dua|
d|agnosed, but everyone |n h|s/her
A Unique Southern California Medical Team Combines
Diagnostic and Therapeutic Care for CCSVI Patients
Treating patients with Chronic Cerebro-Spinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI), Pacific Interventionalists, Inc. is comprised
of physicians that are fellowship trained in image guided and endovascular procedures with board certification in General
Surgery, Vascular Surgery or Phlebology.
Led by Dr. Michael Arata and Dr. J. Joseph Hewett, Pacific Interventionalists has expertise with venous disorders based
on more than 60 years of combined experience in the treatment of venous stenoses and other venous abnormalities. Dr.
Joseph Hewett, is the only Interventionalist in the world who has
personally trained with Dr. Haacke at his facilities in Detroit. This medical
team is one of the few in the world to have a seamless integration of the
diagnostic Haacke MRI/MRV and the intervention used to treat the
disease. This can result in better care for CCSVI patients.
Located in Southern California, the physicians of Pacific
Interventionalists perform over 1,000 venous procedures each year,
approximately 30 venous procedures a day including central venograms,
central venous angioplasties, venous stent placements, and CCSVI
procedures making them one of the highest volume centers in the world.
Their expertise and knowledge with respect to the treatment of the
venous stenoses associated with CCSVI is unmatched when compared
to other centers performing this procedure. Pacific Interventionalists
medical team has understanding and experience with the venous
system and related disorders making them a leader in the treatment of
patients with CCSVI.
By combining complete diagnostic and therapeutic care of patients
with a diagnosis of CCSVI, Pacific Interventionalists physicians perform a full and complete Haacke protocol MRI/MRV on
one of two 3 Tesla MRI's. Every patient who receives an MRI can receive a full written Haacke report as well as a
diagnostic radiology interpretation by a US Board Certified Radiologist at no extra cost. The patient also receives a copy of
the MRI for his or her records.
Treatment of central venous disease involves a variety of techniques. In the majority of cases a large IV is placed into a
larger vein in the groin area. From this location small catheters are navigated into the neck and chest veins using
fluoroscopy or x-ray guidance. The catheters are used to take pictures by injecting a dye into the veins to help identify any
narrowing or blockage of the veins.
Sometimes these venograms do not adequately show the blockages. In these cases, the Pacific Interventionalists
physicians use an ultrasound attached to the end of the small catheter to create ultrasound pictures from the inside of the
veins. This technique increases the accuracy of the overall evaluation of the venous system and allows for more precise
measurements of the veins themselves.
If a narrowing within the vein is seen, a small balloon can be placed across the narrowing and inflated. Angioplasty of
the blockage can help open the narrowing and restore normal blood flow through the vein. Sometimes balloon angioplasty
does not improve the size of the vein and placement of a small stent is
required. Placement of a stent can help open the vein back to its normal
Although this is an outpatient procedure, patients are typically asked to
remain in the immediate area of Southern California for their safety.
The majority of CCSVI procedures are performed in a brand new
surgical center with amenities and technology that exceeds the
standards of most hospitals and other facilities. This surgical center is
at the leading edge of patient care and safety and is being considered
for an award as the best new surgical center in the United States.
The expertise of the dynamic team at Pacific Interventionalists
combined with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment are unmatched
in the diagnosis and treatment of CCSVI.
You may contact Dr. Arata, Dr. Hewett, Dr. Harris and Dr. Grewal and
their dedicated staff at Pacific Interventionalists, Inc. to answer any
questions you may have regarding their practice and CCSVI.
Toll free 877.RX.CCSVI
Direct 949.221.0129
The majority of CCSVI procedures are performed in a
brand new surgical center with amenities and
technology that exceeds the standards of most
hospitals and other facilities.
Pacific Interventionalists, Inc. is comprised of
physicians that are fellowship trained in image
guided and endovascular procedures with board
certification in General Surgery, Vascular Surgery
or Phlebology.
Sharon Tay|or is 44 years old an was diagnosed with
MS ten years ago. She lives in Nepean, Ontario with her
husband of 21 years, Jim. They have two sons who are
now 19 and 21 years old.
Sharon has dedicated her life to working with children
and ran a home daycare from 1990 until April 2002 when
she had to close due to the effects of MS. So you can tell
straight away that this illness has had a huge impact on
her life.
ln 2001 Sharon lost the sight in her right eye and was
seen by a neurologist. After several tests were carried out
she was diagnosed with MS. She received this news over
the phone by a very uncaring neurologist who told her
°Lots of people live with MS and it doesn't change their
lives. You will be fne."
°l was completely shocked and very frightened." says
Sharon, °Needless to say l
changed my neurologist, in
fact l am now on my third,
who is wonderful."
Sadly the words of the
neurologist would prove to
be far from accurate. She
has suffered from Optical
Neuritis, blindness and fading vision, which has prevented
her from driving. She had severe muscle spasms in her
legs and MS hug, bladder and bowel problems. Balance
issues led her to have to use a cane to get around.
°l had sharp, burning pains which traveled the path of
my nerves in my right arm making my arm useless for the
most part and my hands and feet felt as if they were in
frozen wool gloves and socks but add a 'pins and needle'
sensation at the same time." Says Sharon. °l also had
issues swallowing and could choke quite easily on nothing
but water. Another annoying symptom was skin sensitivity
when even wearing clothing hurt and a light breeze would
One of the worst symptoms was constant and total
fatigue along with brain fog. Sharon explains. °The fatigue
sadly is not your regular 'boy l worked a lot and now l am
beat' fatigue. This is bone numbing, physical, mental l
could sleep all day after sleeping all night fatigue. As for
the brain fog, my head felt like it was packed with cotton
batten. l couldn't retain information so had to make sure l
wrote everything down. l couldn't talk on the phone for
longer than fve minutes as l couldn't recall the start of the
°These problems were so severe that l and my family
feared l had early-onset Alzheimer's. My mother was
diagnosed with this disease
the same year l was with
MS. l was so happy when l
was told it was due to MS
not Alzheimer's, funny what
makes you happy at the
After hearing about CCSvl
and realizing that this could help her she researched the
condition but knew that as the procedure wasn't available
in Canada would have to fnd the money to fund the
treatment in another country.
She went back to work part time in August 2010 and
her new boss understood and accepted her limitations.
She was able to work sitting down and was allowed time
off for any treatment she needed. Her husband or
"I had p|anned to return to work
after our youngest started schoo|,
but MS put a stop to that |dea."
neighbour drives her to work and her boss, father or
colleague drive her home.
On 15 September 2010 she went to Toronto for an ultra
sound Doppler scan to see if there were any blockages in
her veins. This test confirmed she did indeed have CCSVI
and there was hope at last.
Sharon ended up getting her treatment in Tampa,
Florida at a cost of $8,000 USD plus travel, hotel, car, food
costs etc. But the results have been overwhelming. She no
longer has brain fog or fatigue. Also her balance is much
improved. The muscle spasms she experienced before
treatment were now just tremors and only at night.
“I am ecstatic about my improvements so far and would
not hesitate to do it all again if I had to. It breaks my heart
that the Canadian government is not behind this
treatment. It is frustrating and disappointing to think that
they seem to believe they need to keep people sick in
order to make money. It should open up its eyes and see
that by providing this type of treatment to people in
Canada it will free up massive amounts of money to help
and treat people with other conditions.
“The amount of money and resources that could be put
back into the communities by allowing people with MS to
be treated for CCSVI and get them off the expensive drugs
and get them back into the workforce can only improve
our country.”
Stacy Saman lives in Ancaster, Ontario with her
husband of eight years and two young children. She is
38 years old and although only recently diagnosed with
MS, she, like many others believes her symptoms
started many years ago, even into her childhood.
“Back when I was nine years old I experienced
depression, ringing in my ears and vertigo amongst
other weird symptoms. My parents took me to a
neurologist but nothing was found. The professionals
decided it was ‘all in my head.’ My parents on the other
hand always believed there was something very wrong
that had nothing to do with my imagination”
When she was 16 she got numbness in her toes but
this was put down to wearing tight fashionable shoes.
At 19 she had a series of ear infections, vertigo, tinnitus
and numbness in her toes again. She also experienced
bladder infections lasting months, loss of concentration
and extreme weight loss. At this time she was
diagnosed with a cyst in her bladder, asthma and
Throughout her university years she battled constant
ill health which in turn led to depression.
“My GP would give me note after note so I could get
through school.” says Stacy, “I started thinking it was all
in my head, after all. I went to a psychiatrist and started
antidepressants but they didn’t do much of anything. I
mean, it was like I was sick with a cold every day. And,
every time I got the cold or flu, which was all the time, it
turned into bronchitis, sinusitis, pneumonia…I was on
antibiotics all the time, which didn’t help.”
Stacy then went to Teacher’s College and started a
promising career teaching at a series of schools. The
trouble was she was constantly having to take time off
when she was sick. Her GP put it all down to stress or a
virus and prescribed antibiotics, which again didn’t work.
Over the years her symptoms became worse with
weakness in her legs causing her to have to hold onto
walls to get around. Eventually her father had to look after
her whilst her husband was at work.
“I was hospitalized for vertigo and some inflammation in
my sinuses. I couldn’t move my legs, couldn’t see, didn’t
know what the heck was going on around me, they asked
me if I was on drugs! Because they had no idea what was
wrong they released me from the hospital and I returned
home. I was stuck in bed with no energy to do anything
and eventually went to see my GP again and was referred
to specialists.
“I saw two auto-immune specialists (for lupus, chronic
fatigue, fibromyalgia), one infectious disease guy to rule
out lyme, new respiratory therapist, allergist, ENT,
neurosurgeon (have scoliosis, apparently common with
MS), neurologist, psychiatrist. GP started thinking it was
neuro-based, since the pain and weakness was just in my
Then Stacy had a fall and couldn’t walk any more. Her
leg pain was unbearable and she demanded that tests be
done to finally find the problem. She had a bone scan,
MRI, EVP, blood work then started different medications
such as baclofen, hydromorphone subQ and prednisone
which she was on 3 months which really helped. They then
found something on her MRl but said 'we think it's
autoimmune', but probably related to migraines. By this
time Stacy was in a wheelchair and thought she was going
to die. Then some thing strange happened.
°l went for a regular check up with my ENT and told him
what had been happening. He looked at my MRl and said,
'you have MS.' Just like that. lt was like being hit with a
brick. He was very sympathetic though and encouraged
me to see a neurologist. He has continued to be a
godsend since.
°The neurologist did a fve minute exam and told me he
didn't think l had MS but if it was it was primary
progressive and nothing can be done about it but l
wouldn't die. l said, but look at me! l'm in a wheelchair, l
have hearing loss out of one ear, l have constant pain in
my calves/legs, burning, itching bee sting feelings,
numbness, urinary hesitancy, sweats, cognitive issues (felt
like l had Alzheimers, not to undermine the horribleness of
that disease), vertigo, ear aches, constant ringing in the
ears, shocks when l bent my neck. l was a mess."
Stacy then went to see a psychiatrist who was head of
the mood disorders clinic who also agreed she had MS.
She then saw even more
specialists and eventually
saw a neurologist who
specialized in MS and after
a very long exam, he too
thought that it was most
probably MS.
lt was at this time that
the W5 program aired
featuring Dr Zamboni's
CCSvl theory. °My husband
said, and l'll never forget
it.'The week you get diagnosed with MS, they fnd a
freaking cure. What kind of horseshoe do you have up
your a**?'"
During the early part of 2010 Stacy was given various
medications some of which helped and some didn't. She
changed her diet to gluten-free and took supplements.
°That spring, l started walking on my own a bit for 10-15
steps outside without walker, cog fog lifted a bit, so l took
online courses in primary reading and librarianship, just to
keep my mind sharp and feel like l still had a career." Says
Her symptoms still persisted °the most devastating was
squiggling on the ground to get to the bathroom without a
walker upstairs and my daughter seeing that. She was
only 4 at the time. l said, we're playing a snake game, but l
couldn't go anywhere like the zoo or park like a normal
°But, all the while l had CCSvl in the back of my head,
but kept thinking, well, maybe it isn't MS.maybe it's all in
my head, maybe l'm subconsciously doing it to myself,
maybe it's chronic fatigue. My family kept saying 'no, don't
doubt the diagnosis that you have now, we all know that's
what it is. lt's the only thing that makes sense, and the
doctors who you've had for years think so too. You're not
crazy, you have MS.'
°l have to point out that although some of my earlier
GP's were poor, my current GP and my ENT are brilliant
and they are the ones who truly believed l had MS and
helped me in every way they could."
ln the summer of 2010 her brain fog got worse and she
had to ask for an extension to fnish her course. She lost
more hearing, couldn't walk again, lost weight and
couldn't concentrate.
°The fatigue was the worst;" she says, °lt's weird to's beyond tired. l didn't have the energy to lift
my arm to feed myself, started getting more tingling all the
way down my left arm, and my bicep would feel like l had
a tourniquet on it. l started slurring and stuttering. l was
really sick, and more scared than l had been so far. This
whole time, my husband kept urging me to make the call
to get on a list somewhere for angioplasty, but l kept
believing doctors. After all l hadn't gotten the frm
diagnosis.maybe it will go away. l was in denial. My
husband was really tired and worried. He was working,
taking care of me, the house and kids (2 year old and 4
year old at the time.)"
Eventually after much persuasion Stacy made an
appointment for a CCSvl Doppler ultrasound in Toronto.
She went in crying because
she was scared and came out
crying from happiness. Finally
she had a positive diagnosis
and a scan to prove it. Now
she started fundraising to get
enough money together to
have the treatment. Her
procedure was then booked in
New York for October 23rd.
°My friends say that after you
get it done, one of your
biggest symptoms will be anger, because you'll be
amazed at how easy it was, and how much better you'll
feel, and you'll be angry at the government for keeping it
from you and angry for all the other MS'ers like you who
can't get it done. They were right. The procedure was
under an hour. l was awake the whole time and it hurt. l
had 6 or 7 balloons.haven't gotten the paperwork back
yet, because by the end l was very sore and not keeping
count. l literally felt better on the table. When 2 balloons
were done in my azygos vein, l felt like a two-ton truck
was lifted off of my chest. l could breathe! l felt more
sensation in my extremities, my forehead felt fabulous.
°l haven't used my walker since then at all. ln fact, just
today l bought two pairs of heels. Not just for show, or to
make me feel better, l can walk in them. l can walk in my
boots. Not for long, but even wearing them for 20 minutes
was beyond belief before.
°My stuttering, fatigue and brain fog have diminished
considerably, l can write legibly again, l can close my eyes
and not fall over and l don't fall over when my 3 year old
runs at me to give me a hug
°l'm not saying it's a cure. lt's not. Maybe it would be if l
was scanned and treated in high school. l still have bad
days. l still have a disability sticker on my car and l'm still
not able to work. But l have hope. Hope that l can work
again. Hope that l will continue to's only been
"I was hosp|ta||zed for vert|go and
some |nñammat|on |n my s|nuses. I
cou|dn't move my |egs, cou|dn't see,
d|dn't know what the heck was
go|ng on around me, they asked me
|f I was on drugsI"
three months! Hope that l will be able to take my kids to
the park for more than one hour. Or, maybe l will stay
exactly the same. That's great too.
°Besides getting married, having my children,
graduating from university, my frst day of teaching, it was
the most monumental experience of my life. A gift. You
don't really appreciate, say, talking, until it's taken away
from you.and then.given back!"
Stacy has a website with a section dedicated to CCSvl.
lt can be found at
Nora Be|trano lives in Barrie Ontario and is 44 years
old. She frst experienced loss of feeling from her elbows
to her fngertips then the sensation that someone was
squeezing her torso making it hard to breathe. She also
experienced loss of sensation from her chest to her toes.
She visited her doctor who sent her for an MRl but it
came back clear. She then went to see a neurologist and
explained what she was experiencing. Nora also
mentioned that whenever she put her head down she got
a tingling feeling down her spine. The neurologist
suspected MS and sent her for another MRl. This time
plaque was found on her spine and she was fnally
diagnosed with MS in December 1997 at the age of just
31 years.
°By the time l got the diagnosis l knew MS was a
possibility." says Nora, °So my husband and l were not
really shocked. However other members of the family were
and were asking lots of questions. lt was particularly hard
on our daughters who were only 7 and 10 at the time."
Over the years Nora has suffered from many symptoms
such as double vision, headaches, numbness and fatigue.
°l have a black spot on my right eye and my knees
hyper extend because l was told my ankles are weak," she
says, °My knees will just give out on me. It was hard to
hold a fork for awhile, my writing is like a 4 year old, my
feet are constantly cold and heavy, both of them drag.
Sometimes l have strobe lighting dizziness, vertigo and
hammering and ringing in the ears. For awhile l could only
hear background noises. lf someone was talking to me l
had to look right at their mouth just to be able to
understand them."
Having MS has seriously affected every aspect of her
life. She has to use a walker or a scooter to get around
and cannot work. Even visiting friends and relatives is a
chore as she can no longer climb stairs.
When Nora frst heard about CCSvl and the possible
treatment she fnally felt happy that an end to her illness
was in sight. This happiness then turned to anger when
she realized she would not be able to get the treatment in
°l could not understand it." says Nora, °Angioplasty has
been performed here for years, my mother had an
angioplasty done 20 years ago on her leg for a circulation
problem, go fgure."
At the time of writing Nora had not received CCSvl
treatment although she is planning on getting it stating
that the positives far outweigh the negatives. Her only
barrier is the cost, so she is hoping to raise funds to allow
her to beneft from CCSvl treatment.
°My expectations of the treatment are to be able to walk
again." she says, °What the government is doing is just
plain wrong, they are stopping us from getting much
needed health care. l hope that one day the health minister
and everyone else in the government wakes up with MS,
then they will know what we go through and l bet they will
be begging for the treatment. l think the MS Society is all
about money if we get helped they probably think they will
lose money."
Another person who has MS is Mary (49) who lives with
her husband in Trenton, Ontario. She was diagnosed with
MS about ten years ago but has been fortunate to have
been able to continue her life relatively normally.
°l started getting tingling in my left arm," she recalls,"l
didn't think much of it but then it extended to my torso
and down to my leg l went to my doctor who thought l
may have trapped a nerve.
°Then it cleared up and l thought no more of it until a
few months later when it returned, but much worse. My
foot didn't seem to work properly, it was slapping on the
ground and so l returned to the doctor. This time he sent
me for an MRl and l was diagnosed with MS."
lt was a huge shock to Mary and her family especially
after she began looking into the illness and found that it
was incurable and that she would likely get worse and
could possibly end up in a wheelchair.
°l was frightened, but determined to not let it stop me.
As it happened l seem to have a been very lucky and over
the last ten years have only had three major fare-ups. For
the most part l can pretty much live my life as normal. l
just have to remember not to overdo things as then the
intense fatigue sets in. As long as l stay aware of my
limitations l can function quite happily."
Just like all other MS sufferers Mary is fully aware of
CCSvl and the treatment involved. But for now she has
decided not to get the procedure.
°Because l do not have the chronic symptoms that
other MSers have l am in the enviable position of being
able to wait until the treatment is perfected and hopefully,
eventually available in Canada.
°l hope and prey that this is indeed the answer for MS
and that no one in the future will have to suffer from this
awful illness."
"My expectat|ons of the treatment
are to be ab|e to wa|k aga|n."
"I hope and prey that th|s |s |ndeed
the answer for MS and that no one
|n the future w||| have to suffer from
th|s awfu| |||ness."
Sequoia Club
32 Working Life