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muchmor Canada your journey starts here

Aug/Sept 2010 issue

Military wives and how they cope with constant relocation. Prince Edward County Ontario’s wine country.

On the trail of the Apple route. Changes to Canada’s immigration categories explained. Rent-to-own is it the answer to home ownership?

Latest test drive: BMW 5 Series GT. Things same sex and heterosexual common-law couples need to know before applying for permanent residency. HST - what does it mean for BC & Ontario residents?

www.muchmormagazine.com


2 Canada

Introducing Interactive “Tags” A Great New Feature Youʼll Find In Muchmor Canada Magazine & On Our Website From Now On…. When you see one of these in Muchmor Canada Magazine or on our website “Scan it” with your camera phone to reveal bonus items, offers or other exciting content

Do I need to download anything to my phone to scan your “Tags” ? Yes you need to download a very small, FREE application on to your web-enabled camera phone the first time before you can scan a “Tag”. Just point your phones web browser to http://gettag.mobi select your phone make/model and install the small FREE application and you’re ready to go. Almost all makes of phones are supported including iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Symbian S60 and Windows phones. Once installed when you see one of our “Tags” in the future just open the “Tag” application, scan the “Tag” using your phones built-in camera and your phone will automagically display the bonus content. It’s that simple. What’s more once you have the FREE “Tag” reader on your mobile device you can scan any similar “Tags” you might come across in other publications or on other products or websites. What does it cost to scan and use your “Tags”? There are no charges to install or use the Tag Reader application on your phone. However, Tag Reader uses your data plan if no WiFi connection is available and during the use of the app you may want to dial phone numbers, send emails or SMS messages or view video content and your standard service provider rates will apply. If the phone is connected to a WiFi service normally no other carrier data charges apply so the viewing of any content is normally free to view or interact with. What do I now? Now you have the FREE applications installed on your camera phone enjoy discovering the bonus content, features and other surprises we have “Tagged” in the magazine and on our website. In future copies of Muchmor Canada Magazine our sponsors and advertisers will be “Tagging” some special offers and other exciting promotions so be sure to look out for them. More details information about how to use our “Tags” visit our website by clicking here:


Contents 3

Contents Muchmor Canada News!

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Immigration

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Living together?! ! ! ! Welcoming events in Nova Scotia! Big changes to immigration ! ! Foreign workers in Alberta! ! Canada / US border security! ! Quebec consultant regulation! ! How Canadians feel about immigration!! ! ! ! Record immigrants in Manitoba!

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Canada The Apple Route! ! ! ! Canadian summer in Smiths Falls! Top Canadian! ! ! ! Ontario’s wine country " " " Enjoy the city of Greater Sudbury!

Money HST hits Ontario & B.C.! ! Average Canadian incomes!

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Motoring Test Drive: BMW 5 Series GT! ! Manitoba motoring changes! !

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Employment Weird and wacky things on resumes! 34 September is hiring month! ! 36 Would you hire yourself?!! ! 37

Muchmor Media 17 Woody Woodward Lane Corbyville RR1 Ontario K0K 1V0 Canada Tel: 1 613 396 5531 Fax: 1 613 396 3463 www.muchmormagazine.com Advertising: info@muchmormagazine.com Editorial: editor@muchmormagazine.com Muchmor Magazine is a publication of Muchmor Media. All rights reserved in all media. No parts of this publication can

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Relocation Military relocations: We talk to military wives" " " "

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Realty Real estate market news ! ! 55 Rent to own! ! ! ! 56 Colour 101: Colour for your home! 58 Tarion program reviewed! ! 61 C21 launches web platform! ! 61 ! ! ! !

be reproduced in any form, copied of stored electronically for commercial use without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Storing for personal use is acceptable. Muchmor Media relies on information supplied by external sources and this publication is supplied on the basis that it believes this to be correct and accurate at the time of publication. Muchmor Media does not however warrant its accuracy or completeness and to the full extent of the allowed by law excludes liability for any loss or damage sustained by readers arising from or in connection with the supply or use of this information. If errors occur and are brought to our attention it is our policy to correct any errors of fact whenever we can. Muchmor Media does not endorse any advertisers or content providers. The opinions of readers and contributors are not necessarily the opinions of Muchmor Media, and we cannot be held responsible for their comments.


4 Canada

The Apple Route Ontario’s hidden gem


Canada 5

Unless you live in the area you might not be aware of the Apple Route which runs along the southern area of Northumberland County in Ontario between the towns of Port Hope and Trenton, along the north shore of Lake Ontario. The Route which spans 64 kilometres celebrates the areas agricultural heritage and of course its apple growing history. We spoke to Apple Route President Mary Robertson who had this to say, "Whether you're an outdoor adventurer, history buff, an artist or just on a weekend escape, you will find here the excitement of a vacation destination that can satisfy all of your needs. !‘In the spring you can experience the route lined with gorgeous, fragrant apple blossoms and stop at roadside markets!to purchase local produce. In the fall you can pick your own apples for your own apple pies and applesauce. Visit our quaint villages and towns, look for historic sites and visit our local museums, antique and craft shops and watch for special events - many related to the apple industry. !“The Apple Route is on the north shore of Lake Ontario. The lands in this area gently slope towards the lake and in some cases afford very dramatic views of the lake

and shore lands. Since early settlement times this area has been noted for its apple orchards.” We asked Mary when and why the Apple Route was established. “The idea for the Apple Route was established in 1991 during discussions with local municipalities and the Ministry of Transportation who suggested this as part of the promotion!of the area." said Mary, “This suggestion generated an intermunicipal steering group made up of representatives who met for a series of 6 or 7 meetings. The Steering

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Oscar’s Restaurant and Lounge offers casual dining, catering facilities for all occasions, and exceptional food and service in a relaxed atmosphere. 99 Glen Miller Rd. Trenton ON K8V 5P8 Tel: (613) 394-4855 Fax: (613) 392-0635 Website: www.holidayinn.com/trentonon


6 Canada committee worked throughout the fall and winter of 1991/92 to put the Apple Route in place. Seven municipalities work together to promote the Route with signage, brochures and local business promotion. !The objectives of the Apple Route are to promote tourism, agriculture and preserve the beauty of this part of Northumberland County and to develop economic growth for the region.” So, let's take a tour of the Apple Route.

Cobourg The next place you will come to is the Town of

Cobourg, approximately 15 km along the coast of Lake Ontario. Cobourg has a great beach with amenities such as restaurants and shopping. It also has a world-class marina where, even if you are not lucky enough to moor your own boat you can watch as others sail in and out.

Port Hope As we mentioned the route starts at Port Hope, a

lakeside community which is located about 100 km east of Toronto. With around 16,000 inhabitants it was awarded The Lieutenant Governor's Ontario!Heritage Award for 2008. This historic community is nationally acclaimed for its designated heritage conservation district main street-winner of TV Ontario's competition for the "Best Preserved Main Street in Ontario" and for its wealth of beautifully restored early homes and buildings. Port Hope can boast of over 280 designated buildings - more per capita than anywhere else in Canada!

Cobourg Beach

Grafton Grafton will be your next stop about 12 km further

east. Under one thousand people live in the hamlet and agriculture is one of its largest economies. Grafton, probably has more buildings of historic and architectural significance per capital than many towns in Ontario. Just south of Grafton along the banks of Lake Ontario you will find Nawautin Nature Sanctuary with scenic nature trails and fabulous views across the lake. Ganaraska River, Port Hope Agriculture plays a huge part in Port Hope's economic stability with over 53% of county land based in agriculture and 50% of that land classified in the top category of the Canada Land Inventory. In the whole of Canada only 0.5% of land is Class One, so this is a significant figure. Another landmark is the Ganaraska River which runs through the town. Every year a race takes place on the river commemorating the 1980 flood which caused much damage to the downtown area. “Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny” is a fun event with races for canoes and kayaks. There is also a special event for homemade crafts called crazy crafts.

Nawautin Nature Sanctuary


Canada 7 Colbourn

Brighton

Your travels will now take you to Colborne which is

Brighton is your next destination, you are now in Bay

home to the Big Apple tourist attraction. This really is a Big Apple that is 11.6 metres high and located along Highway 401 complete with observation deck on top of the apple. Colborne also boasts the widest main street in the country. In the centre of town you will find Victoria park complete with its own cannon.

The Big Apple, Colbourn

of Quinte Country. Home to around 10,000 people Brighton is a laid back charming town located on the shores of Lake Ontario. One of its most popular attractions is Presqu'ile Provincial Park famous amongst bird watchers as the place where migrating birds stop over. Indeed over 320 species have been spotted within the park with

Brighton

Step into nature - visit a local Conservation Area

www.quinteconservation.ca (613) 968 - 3434


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Š Cameron Bevers

over 125 actually nesting. It is also famous for monarch butterflies which are tagged in the park each year to monitor their movements. Some tagged monarchs have been found 3,400 km away in Central Mexico. The Route then splits after Brighton into a loop which goes south towards Carrying Place then to Trenton and looping back to Brighton.

Carrying Place Carrying Place is the gateway to Prince Edward

County, located just south of Trenton. It is where you will find the canal that turned Prince Edward County into an island. Hundreds of years ago ships had to navigate round The County, then someone had the idea to create a canal along the north effectively creating a short cut through. This canal cut off The

Carrying Place Bridge County from the mainland and made it into the island it is today.

BizFindr.ca is the new specialist business directory from Muchmor Magazine specifically created for our readers to find the services they need when they relocate to Canada. The BizFindr.ca directory provides details and links to the best newcomer services around and is the ideal place for you to promote your business and services to a brand new audience. To list your business simply visit BizFindr.ca and begin promoting your business for as little as 27c a day. List your business today.

www.bizfindr.ca


Canada 9 Trenton

Useful Links

Trenton is the largest community within the

The Apple Route: www.appleroute.com (This website is soon to be updated and you should be able to see the new site by the end of August.)

municipality known as Quinte West and is home to Canadian Forces Base Trenton, the largest base in Canada. The base is a very prominent landmark within the area and is Trenton's largest employer. Many families are relocated through the military to Trenton whilst forces members serve at the base. Trenton is also the starting point of the Trent-Severn Waterway which eventually terminates at Port Severn on Georgian Bay. Trenton

Port Hope: www.porthope.ca Cobourg: www.cobourgtourism.ca Colbourn: www.portcolborne.ca Brighton: www.brighton.ca Quinte West: www.city.quintewest.on.ca Northumberland County Tourism: www.northumberlandtourism.com


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Advertorial

A traditional Canadian summer will captivate your imagination in Sensational Smiths Falls

Fun on the Rideau – Voyageur Canoe Ride


Advertorial

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Taking a rest in Sensational Smiths Falls A community known for its small town friendliness

and big city charm, Smiths Falls welcomes you to discover the true lifestyle of a Canadian summer. Located only an hour away from the Nation’s Capital, Smiths Falls gives residents and visitors the perfect community to sit back and enjoy the beauty of nature, unspoiled by the boom of the Town’s industrial heritage.

A Natural Life

Twelve parks, and three trailheads throughout the community showcase the Heart of the Rideau Canala UNESCO World Heritage Destination, and the active pursuits of sports and outdoor enthusiasts. Built in 1826, this is the best preserved slack water canal in the world, and the only one from the 19th century canal building era that still operates along its original watercourse, with its original structures intact. All summer long you will see visitors from around the world, travelling through our three lock stations, everyone from boating and nature enthusiasts, collectors, historians, paddlers to first time explorers and we’re thrilled to see so many visit us again and again.

Recreational Hub

Ask any local and they will tell you, Smiths Falls is a Town for sports and recreation year round. During the summer months the ball diamonds, soccer pitches, tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts, lawn bowling lanes and golf courses are bursting with activity. Join the crowd in cheering on the home teams. The enthusiasm for sport is infectious to young and old. We truly benefit from a community that loves to stay active and have fun, at all ages and abilities.

A Heritage Centre

Smiths Falls offers residents and visitors a glimpse into our strong heritage at three exceptional museums. Originally granted in 1786 to United Empire Loyalist, Thomas Smyth, the Town was shaped by the fortitude of our early settlers, and the unique characteristics of a canal and train boom. These three areas are highlighted alongside other artistic and cultural exhibitions at our museums: the Heritage House Museum, Rideau Canal Museum and the Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario. The museums are an integral destination for your true understanding and appreciation for this community. Dedicated staff and volunteers bring to life the stories of the past and present and all the museums work together to offer discounts and prizes as our true passport to “Fun in the Falls”.

Downtown Beauty

As you take a stroll along our downtown streets you will notice a harmonious blend of traditional and modern architecture styles that delight the senses with small cafes, courtyards, and shops to explore. Downtown walking tours showcase our key architectural gems and sites of historical significance for the Town. Perhaps your interests will lead you to many of our floral or mural displays, including Centennial Park, home of 100,000 blooms. Picturesque water fountain backdrops and seasonal blooms await your next picnic in the park.

Affordable Lifestyle

Free events shine throughout the summer including weekly car shows, bbq’s, and family entertainment, truly strengthening the friendly nature of our


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welcoming residents. Saturdays showcase the traditional arts and local produce at the By the Falls Farmers Market. Locals stop in to pick up their fresh weekly produce or to sample the home baked goods that will tantalize your taste buds. Artisans and crafters also present a wide array one of a kind gifts and home decor. Everyone is welcome to get around Town with our free Shuttle Bus service every weekend during the summer months. This bus can take you to all the museums, the downtown core, for groceries or shopping, to any weekend festivals or events taking place and back to the stop you got on the bus. This is a fantastic service for everyone to utilize.

The Night Life

Evenings offer the tranquility of our earthy location and you will marvel at the beauty of our night sky and the splendor of the crisp fresh air. You will appreciate it even more as an amateur astronomer alongside the free community astronomy club. The sweet sounds of local musicians and children can be heard every Sunday evening at Open Stage. Everyone is invited to show off their musical talents or to come out to the park and enjoy the entertainment. You will be drawn to the stage to try out your own performing skills! Evening entertainment can also be found at small pubs across Town with additional local musical flavours. Our first class Community Theatre, fully restored in a beautifully designed 1887 train station offers quality productions throughout the year. You will not believe the beautiful condition of this once derelict building.

Accommodation

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When visiting Smiths Falls you will find historic B&B homes, two hotels and several motels to suit every budget. For those seeking a more rustic experience, we have a small campground in Victoria Park along

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Farmers Market

the Rideau Canal waterway perfect for the outdoor enthusiast or a budget traveller.

Exceptional Location

Visiting the location is an experience to behold but with so much to do, we feel you will fall in love with this charming Town in rural Ontario. With a population of approximately 9,000 residents you will benefit from the modern amenities of a small indoor mall, large grocery and box stores, cinema, passenger rail service, an exceptional hospital, social, education, and recreational facilities. The cost of living and buying a home is the most reasonable you will find in the area. Many real estate options are available to you with many qualified individuals available to help you. Being so close to two urban areas, Ottawa and Kingston, opens the door to many more employment opportunities while still enjoying the quaint lifestyle of a rural area.

Resources

Now online is our new www.immigratetosmithsfalls.ca website. This link hosts a plethora of resources for individuals wishing to look into the move to Smiths Falls in five languages to serve you better. Additional information can also be found by looking online at our general website: www.smithsfalls.ca. Here you will find details on what to do once you’re in Smiths Falls including community events, volunteering, municipal affairs, clubs, restaurants, schools, businesses and extensive contact information to make your stay or move the most enjoyable. Alternatively call 1-888-983-4124 x 1127 for information. Make the trip and consider the move to Sensational Smiths Falls. You will enjoy the people, the experience and the memories for a lifetime.


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Capture history and scenic beauty in Sensational Smiths Falls! You will enjoy a variety of activities to suit everyone’s interest. Visit one of our three quality museums, take a stroll down one of our beautiful walkways and trails that lead you to our downtown core. An abundance of shopping and dining awaits all ages to enjoy. Take advantage of our shuttle bus and information centre located at Victoria Park. For more information and savings visit our website.

www.smithsfalls.ca

613-283-4124


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Top Canadian… TV shows 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Big Brother 12 (Sun) - 18.6 Big Brother 12 (Thu) - 17.3 Big Brother 12 (Wed) - 16.4 Rookie Blue - 16.4 Big Bang Theory - 1.61

6. America’s Got Talent - 15.8 7. Lie to Me - 15.2 8. Two and a Half Men - 1.59 9. Hot in Cleveland - 14.5 10. CTV Evening News - 1.44

CD’s 1. Recovery, Eminem 2. Thank me Later, Drake 3. Can’t be Tamed, Miley Cyrus 4. To the Sea, Jack Johnson 5. Laws of Illusion, Sarah McLachlan

6. My World 2.0, Justin Bieber 7. Scream, Ozzy Osbourne 8. Twilight Soundtrack, Various 9. The Fame, Lady GaGa 10. Streets of Gold, 30H!3

DVD & Blu-ray’s 1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (PG) 2. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (G) 3. The Proposal (PG) 4. Drag Me to Hell (14A) 5. Land of the Lost (PG)

6. Year One (14A) 7. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (PG) 8. Monsters vs. Aliens (G) 9. Whatever Works (PG) 10. Observe and Report (18A)

Fiction paperbacks

1. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson 2. The Girl Who Played With Fire, Stieg Larsson 3. The Book Of Negroes, Lawrence Hill 4. The Forgotten Garden, Kate Morton 5. Last Night in Twisted River, John Irving

6. An Echo in the Bone, Diana Gabaldon 7. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, Alan Bradley 8. Finger Lickin’ Fifteen, Janet Evanovich 9. Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Shaffer & Burrows 10. Elegance of the Hedgehog, Barbery & Anderson

Fiction hardbacks

1. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Stieg Larsson 2. Sizzling Sixteen, Janet Evanovich 3. Beatrice & Virgil, Yann Martel 4. The Passage, Justin Cronin 5. The Help, Kathryn Stockett 6. Dead in the Family, Charlaine Harris

7. The Spy, Cussler & Scott 8. The Double Comfort Safari Club, A. McCall Smith 9. This Body of Death, Elizabeth George 10. The Bishop’s Man, Linden MacIntyre


16 Canada

Ontario’s Wine Country

Prince Edward County


Canada 17 When one thinks of wine regions, Ontario is not

necessarily the first place we think of. Normally we look to places such as Italy and France, but we have great wine growing regions across Canada and Ontario has become one of the fastest growing regions in the Country. There are five main wine growing areas in Ontario: Pelee Island and the north shore of Lake Erie, the Niagara Escarpment, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Prince Edward County and the Greater Toronto Area. We will give an overview of each, but concentrate on one of the newest and fastest growing regions: Prince Edward County. The world’s best wine growing regions lie in what is known as the wine belt, between 41° - 44° North. This belt include areas such as Southern France, Central Italy and Northern California, some of the best known wine regions. Well it might surprise you to know than many areas in southern Ontario also share this same latitude making for ideal grape growing conditions.

Pelee Island and the north shore of Lake Erie Because of its southern position Pelee Island boasts

the longest growing season in Ontario. Indeed Pelee is the southern most point in the whole of Canada. The added addition of the lake breezes make for ideal conditions for producing full-bodied wines. Not only is Pelee a great wine region it is also famous for its beautiful countryside and annual bird and monarch butterfly migrations. Pelee Island was the home of the first estate winery in Canada. Vin Villa was established back in 1866 and wine making in the area has gone from strength to strength ever since. Today the island has over 500 acres of vines. The north shore of Lake Erie also benefits from the lake breezes and summer heat and so it too has a long growing season. It was the earliest and most vibrant commercial wine area in Canada until the end of the 19th century.

Niagara Escarpment This area is probably most famous as the home of

Niagara Falls, but it has so much more to offer, including wine. Because of its location and the surrounding topographical features it has a climate similar to that of Bordeaux, France and Rioja, Spain. The soil in the area is enriched with minerals resulting in complex wines. The area is also blessed with lots of sun and adequate rainfall making for ideal grape growing conditions.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Niagara-on-the-Lake is world-renowned for its wine.

It is also famous for being called the loveliest town in Ontario, winning many awards and accolades. But many of its visitors are here for the wine. The Niagara River provides ideal conditions for wine and many of the wineries can be found along its banks. Most are planted on east facing slopes where the free-draining soils promote deeper penetration for the vines. The river also aids to moderate the climate during the summer months.

Greater Toronto Area When thinking of wine regions you may not even

consider Toronto, however, there are several good wineries in the area, particularly in York region. This is a great area to visit if you want to combine the shopping in Toronto with the wine and food delights the area has to offer.

Prince Edward County Prince Edward County is located south of Belleville in

Quinte Country. Known locally as simply “The County” the area is the newest of all the Ontario wine regions. Prior to 2001 there were no wineries in the area, however since the first opened its doors that year, more than a dozen have followed suit. This has made it the fastest growing wine region in the whole of Canada. The growth of Prince Edward County’s wine and viticulture industry is nothing short of spectacular and Prince Edward County has officially been designated as Ontario's 4th Designated Viticultural Area (DVA). The area has seen over $30,000,000 invested in the wine making industry. So what makes this area so special? Limestone soil is found in abundance and this provides ideal growing conditions for vitis vinfera vines. These vines are responsible for wines such as Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. In fact many believe that Prince Edward County produces the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Canada. This is a great accolade considering the areas wine making is really still in its infancy. The rapid growth of The County’s wine region is also due in part to the promotion of the area to potential wineries. Local economic development actively encourages vineyard and winery development and investment. Lots of information is available for download from The County’s website for people and companies who may be looking to invest in the areas growth.


18 Canada Within the next ten years it is expected The County’s vineyards will be a $80+ million-a-year industry. This in turn will grow and support the thriving tourism industry already prevalent in the area. As the wineries expand and increase in numbers so will other businesses such as Bed & Breakfast establishments, shops and complimentary food trades. For many years the area has received thousands of visitors from all over the world. They love to visit the beautiful beaches, such as the famous Sandbanks Provincial Park or take in the culture of the area including the huge artisan community. Prince Edward County has some beautiful scenery and fabulous views across Lake Ontario, so why not incorporate a visit to a local winery? Most of the local wineries offer tours and tasting opportunities throughout the summer months. There are also many winery tours available that incorporate a visit to several establishments, providing transportation for those who want to leave their vehicle at home and participate in the wine tasting and culinary delights on offer. Many of the local wineries are included on the “Taste Trail.” This is a self-guided tour promoting the culinary delights of Prince Edward County. With over 31 locations on the Trail you can follow the signs and wander from place to place taking in the delights on offer at your own pace. The Taste trail includes restaurants, breweries, wineries, vineyards, hotels, cafe’s and spas, so there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

Wines of The County

Pinot Gris: This wine is another alternative to Chardonnay and can be a bronze or pink-hued wine. It is a full-bodied wine, but the grape is less winter hardy than Pinot Noir, making it harder to grow. Meunier: This is a still red wine, but can be used in sparkling wine. It is a good winter-hardy variety which suits The County’s growing conditions. This variety is very popular in the Champaign region of France and is the most grown variety there. St. Laurent: Wines of this variety have a silky texture similar to Pinot Noir and is grown well in places like Austria and Slovakia. Although still relatively new to Prince Edward County, it’s potential in this area is very good. Icewine: Ontario has become the leading producer of Icewine in the world. It is thought that this type of wine was discovered by accident in Germany in the late 1700’s when the crop was frozen before it could be harvested. The winegrower decided to harvest none-the-less and produced a sweet tasting wine that became very popular as a dessert wine. As its name suggests Icewine is produced from grapes that have been left on the vine after the fall harvest. The frozen grapes are hand picked once temperatures fall to -8℃ or below. They are pressed immediately to release a thick, rich, yellow-gold liquid, highly concentrated in natural sugars and acidity. The making of Icewine is very labour intensive and yields are small which make it an expensive wine option. Icewine is particularly suited to Ontario as it requires hot summers and cold, sharp winters. No other location, including Germany produces more Icewine on an annual basis than Ontario.

The type of wine produced obviously relies on the

Useful Links

type of grape grown. Although there are over 800 different grapes, only around 20 are grown in any great numbers for wine production around the world. In Prince Edward County most of the varieties used are vinifera, although some hybrids are also grown. Pinot Noir: This wine is produced from the vinifera grape and is very sensitive to climate and soil conditions. This means that it can be very demanding to grow, needing special handling and care. The County does offer excellent growing conditions for this particular variety and so Pinot Noir is becoming one of the top wines associated with the region. Chardonnay: Even if you are not a wine drinker you will have heard of Chardonnay. It is probably one of the best known and easily recognizable wines in the world. One wine expert, Jancis Robinson described Chardonnay as the vanilla ice cream of wine varieties. Pinot Blanc: This variety of wine has been grown here for several seasons. It is similar to Chardonnay with regard to its hardiness, but is more subdued in taste.

Wines of Ontario www.winesofontario.org The Ontario Wine Society www.ontariowinesociety.com The Grange of Prince Edward County www.grangeofprinceedward.com Prince Edward County Tourism www.prince-edward-county.com Prince Edward County www.pecounty.on.ca The Taste Trail www.tastetrail.ca


Advertorial

Canada 19

The Grange Experience

By Caroline Granger, The Grange of Prince Edward Island There is nothing quite like life on a vineyard. On one hand it is life at a beautiful pastoral setting, rolling hills, country sunsets, local rustic cuisine; a life inspired by the French countryside. But on the other hand, rural vineyard life is one of the most labour intensive of them all. So much of the work itself has to be done by hand, it requires long days, sometimes demanding constant maintenance, sometimes even through the night. There are the stresses of weather and of pests; neither of which one can control. And then of course the arduous process of wine making; so much of which is also out of ones hands. Ultimately, however, it is a labour of love. It is a love for the land, for the region, for family and for the wine itself. This is what we want our guest to experience with us this season. We love it when our guests want to join in and get their hands dirty! Though I have been living on the farm for many years now strolling through some of our 60 acres of rolling vineyards is still one of the most relaxing experiences I know. And for our guests, a visit to the Grange is a chance to go back to a slower pace of life, and an opportunity to enjoy simpler things. I have always felt that the best way to experience the vineyards on by walking them; walking back the country lane to see several of our vineyards and truly see what’s unique about growing grapes in Prince Edward County. The same is true for the wine making process; to hear or read about it only tells so much about the experience. We want our guests to be able to following the grape from the harvest through to the barrel. See how winemaking is both an art and a science. For us at the Grange, it is the idea of terroir that we want to show our guests. It is the whole that is greater than the sum of its part; and so it is only in the experience of it that the concept can truly understood. The land, its unique personality, is central to this idea; and so we try to bring together lots of experiences of things that come from the land in order to highlight the many facets of Prince Edward County’s personality. This year we are doing this with beautiful picnics catered to us by Harvest Restaurant. Filled with fresh deli-style sandwiches, home-style pickles, charcuterie- including foie gras terrine and rustic pork terrine, or roasted chicken, fresh bread, cookies, brownies and seasonal crumbles, these picnics are a wonderful way to taste what’s local. Then to pick your wine, another element of the bounty of the local harvest, and head back the lane to find the perfect mix of food, wine and location- truly what terroir is all about. www.grangeofprinceedward.com


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Enjoy the City of Greater Sudbury


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Canada 21

Timberwolf Golf Club

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. With 330 freshwater lakes, Greater Sudbury’s 157 thousand plus residents enjoy an abundance of recreational activities, a rich colourful heritage, several business sectors, and excellent educational opportunities. 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. The city is located 390 kilometres north of Toronto and 483 km west of Ottawa, where the Trans Canada Highway 17 and Highway 69 converge. With seasonal weather conditions, Sudburians are able to enjoy a vast array of festivals, events and recreational activities that can change as the seasons do. Greater Sudbury falls are rich with festivals including the Jazz Sudbury Festival, Summerfest, Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival, Canadian Garlic Festival and the Downtown Sudbury Ribfest. A host to tourist destinations like Science North and Dynamic Earth, and shopping and dining to suit every appetite, Greater Sudbury is a city for the creative, curious and adventuresome. Whatever your lifestyle, Greater Sudbury has something for you!

Education Take one look at Greater Sudbury’s educational system and you’ll see that Greater Sudbury has invested heavily in its future by developing outstanding schools from Kindergarten through 12 and beyond. As the regional centre for learning and applied research in Northeastern Ontario, Greater Sudbury is home to four school boards, private schools and several postsecondary institutions such as Laurentian University, Cambrian College, and College Boreal, one of only two francophone colleges in Ontario. Greater Sudbury educational opportunities offer comprehensive and challenging curriculums. In 2005, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine opened in Greater Sudbury and became the first new medical school in Canada in more than 30 years. Canada's first new school of architecture in 40 years, Laurentian Architecture is expected to open in September 2011 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.


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Advertorial

Science North and Ramsey Lake

Real Estate and Housing Greater Sudbury offers a wide variety of affordable

real estate options whether you are looking for a new personal or business address available in urban, rural and suburban settings. Imagine having the opportunity for work-life balance, with a 10-minute commute to work and only a short drive to your weekend escape. Take a drive through our city and you will get a glimpse of friendly neighbourhoods, thriving business sectors and a vibrant downtown filled with shops, boutiques, restaurants and entertainment. In comparison to other large communities, Greater Sudbury has the lowest average housing prices. The average sale price for a single family home in 2008 was $211,614.

Employment Greater Sudbury has a highly skilled, educated,

innovative and enthusiastic workforce. Once reliant on the cycles that came with mining, Greater Sudbury has grown considerably into a diverse and dynamic centre for technology, education, mining, government, and health services. A comparison to Ontario data based on the 2001 Census reveals that Greater Sudbury’s labour force profile has diversified significantly over the last three decades. Service activities, from retail to producer

services, now employ 80% of Greater Sudbury's labour force, compared to 20% in the goodsproducing 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 hospital-based acute, transitional, rehabilitation and continuing care. The HRSRH recently completed a major expansion to consolidate all hospital based services once offered across three sites. The new one site hospital allows for additional acute inpatient and intensive care beds, mental health, birthing facilities, emergency department,


Advertorial

Canada 23 multinational and multicultural heritage. The addition of 11 flags raised on June 30, 2009 brings the total number of countries and nations represented to 83.

Fall Climate and the Outdoors Greater Sudbury falls are still warm and sunny

offering its residents the opportunity to enjoy lakes, parks, golf, biking and walking trails, outdoor festivals and more. Temperatures range from 19°C to over 27°C, with most of the annual rain (656 mm) falling between the months of May and September. If you love the outdoors, several public parks provide access to water sports, hiking, board walks and cycling opportunities. Golf enthusiasts have a choice of over 15 golf courses to play. Greater Sudbury’s golf courses offer a variety of challenging layouts nestled amongst trees and natural beauty.

operating rooms and other diagnostic and support departments. With the world’s population aging, the need for long term care facilities is essential to any city. From Retirement communities including St. Joseph’s Villa, the Elizabeth Centre, Pioneer Manor and FinlandiaKoti to chronic care centres such as Extendicare, the City of Greater Sudbury is proud to offer a wide variety of healthcare accommodation options for our seniors.

Culture and Diversity 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, places of worship, festivals and events. The city’s diversity is most evident with the Bridge of Nations and its many flags. The flags on the Bridge of Nations were originally raised during a Canada Day celebration on July 1, 2007, to honour Greater Sudbury's

Key Websites: To find out more about the City of Greater Sudbury visit the following websites and find out what makes Sudbury so great! " www.mysudbury.ca www.mysudbury.ca/immigration www.mysudbury.ca/jobboard www.greatersudbury.ca www.mysudbury.ca/Tourism www.mysudbury.ca/Invest www.jazzsudbury.ca www.cinefest.com www.sciencenorth.ca www.rainbowroutes.com www.laurentian.ca www.cambrianc.on.ca www.borealc.on.ca www.nosm.ca www.ontarioimmigration.ca

Onaping River Falls


24 Money

Harmonized Sales Tax hits Ontario and British Columbia


Money 25 As of July 1st the new Harmonized Sales Tax was introduced in both British

Columbia and Ontario. This new tax combines the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and the Goods and Service Tax (GST) into one single tax. This brings these two provinces in line with New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador who all adopted the HST in 1997. In B.C. the HST is 12% (5% GST plus 7% PST) and in Ontario it is 13% (5% GST and 8% PST).

So what does this mean for the residents of British Columbia and Ontario? In fact it means different things for each province as each one has

decided to adopt slightly different rules. Depending on your lifestyle it will impact people in different ways. Many things previously attracted both the PST and GST and these will not change, so prices will remain the same. Likewise there are things that were exempt from GST and PST and again these will not change. Unfortunately there are many goods and particularly services that previously only had GST applied, but will now come under the HST rules and so in British Columbia these prices have increased by 7% and in Ontario by 8%. There are too many things to list individually, but we will give you an overview of some of the most common products and services and how the HST will impact in each province.

Product or Service

Ontario before July 1, 2010

Ontario after July 1, 2010

British Columbia before July 1, 2010

British Columbia after July 1, 2010

Household Furniture & Appliances

5% GST + 8% PST

13% HST - no change

5% GST + 7% PST

12% HST - no change

Books inc Audio Books

5% GST

5% - no change

5% GST

5% - no change

Magazines (retail)

5% GST + 8% PST

13% HST - no change

5% GST + 7% PST

12% HST - no change

Magazines (subscription)

5% GST

13% HST - increase 5% GST of 8%

12% HST - increase of 7%

Adult Clothing & Footwear

5% GST + 8% PST

13% HST - no change

5% GST + 7% PST

12% HST - no change

Children's Clothing & Footwear

5% GST

5% - no change

5% GST

5% - no change

Dry Cleaning

5% GST

13% HST - increase 5% GST of 8%

12% HST - increase of 7%

Basic Groceries (Dairy, Meat, Vegetables, Canned Foods)

No PST or GST

No HST - no change No PST or GST

No HST - no change

Snack Foods (Chips, Pop)

5% GST + 8% PST

13% HST - no change

5% GST

12% HST - increase of 7%

Restaurant Meals

5% GST + 8% PST

13% HST- no change

5% GST

12% HST- increase of 7%

Qualifying Prepared Foods & Beverages Under $4.00

5% GST

5% - no change

5% GST

12% HST - increase of 7%

Cell Phone Services

5% GST + 8% PST

13% HST- no change

5% GST + 7% PST

12% HST- no change

Municipal Water

No PST or GST

No HST - no change No PST or GST

No HST - no change

Home Insurance

8% PST

8% - no change

No HST - no change

No PST or GST


26 Money Product or Service

Ontario before July 1, 2010

Ontario after July 1, 2010

British Columbia before July 1, 2010 5% GST No PST, but subject to 0.4% ICE 10 Fund levy

British Columbia after July 1, 2010

Electricity & Heating (Natural Gas/Oil for home)

5% GST

13% HST- increase of 8%

Internet Access

5% GST

13% HST - increase 5% GST + 7% PST of 8%

12% HST - no change

Repair & Maintenance 5% GST (Electrician, Plumber, Carpenter)

13% HST - increase 5% GST of 8%

12% HST - increase of 7%

Landscaping, Lawn Care, Snow Removal, House Cleaning

5% GST

13% HST - increase 5% GST of 8%

12% HST - increase of 7%

Municipal Public Transport

No PST or GST

No HST - no change No PST or GST

No HST - no change

Hotel Rooms

5% GST + 5% PST

13% HST - increase 5% GST + 8% PST of 3%

12% HST decrease of 1%

Domestic Air, Bus & Rail Travel (Originating in each province)

5% GST

13% HST - increase 5% GST of 8%

12% HST - increase of 7%

International Air Travel to Continental USA (Originating in each province)

5% GST

5% - no change

5% - no change

International Air Travel outside Continental USA & Canada (Originating in each province)

No PST or GST

No HST - no change No PST or GST

Short Term Auto Rental

5% GST + 8% PST

13% HST - no change

Auto Insurance

No PST or GST

No HST - no change No PST or GST

No HST - no change

Child Car & Booster Seats

5% GST

5% - no change

5% GST

5% - no change

Gasoline & Diesel

5% GST

13% HST - increase 5% GST of 8%

5% - no change

Purchase of New Home up to $400,000 (Ontario Only)

5% GST

Housing rebate on 75% of Ontario component of HST, up to max of $24,000. Results in tax of around 5%

N/A

N/A

Purchase of New Home over $400,000 (Ontario Only)

5% GST

Maximum housing rebate $24,000

N/A

N/A

Purchase of New Home up to $525,000 (B.C. Only)

N/A

N/A

5% GST

rebate of 71.43% of the provincial portion of the HST, to a maximum of $26,250. Results in tax of around 5%

Purchase of New Home over $525,000 (B.C. Only)

N/A

N/B

5% GST

eligible for a rebate of $26,250

Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes

No PST or GST

No HST - no change No PST or GST

No HST - no change

Legal Fees (Home Purchase)

5% GST

13% HST - increase 5% GST + 7% PST of 8%

12% HST - no change

5% GST

5% GST + 7% PST + $1.50 per day Passenger Vehicle Rental Tax (PVRT)

(drops to 5% , from 5.4%, after a 7% provincial rebate)

No HST - no change

12% HST (No PVRT)


Money 27 Product or Service

Ontario before July 1, 2010

Ontario after July 1, 2010

British Columbia before July 1, 2010

British Columbia after July 1, 2010

Real Estate Commission

5% GST

13% HST - increase 5% GST of 8%

12% HST - increase of 7%

Health Services Offered by Practitioner of the Service (Dental, Audiologists, Chiropractic, Physiotherapy)

No PST or GST

No HST - no change No PST or GST

No HST - no change

Massage Therapy

5% GST

13% HST - increase 5% GST of 8%

12% HST - increase of 7%

Pharmacist Dispensing Fees

No PST or GST

No HST - no change No PST or GST

No HST - no change

Over-the-Counter Medications

5% GST + 8% PST

13% HST - no change

12% HST - increase of 7%

Prescription Drugs

No PST or GST

No HST - no change No PST or GST

No HST - no change

Medical Devices (Hearing Aids, Walkers)

No PST or GST

No HST - no change No PST or GST

No HST - no change

Prescription Glasses & Contact Lenses

No PST or GST

No HST - no change No PST or GST

No HST - no change

Feminine Hygiene Products

5% GST

5% - no change

5% - no change

Adult Incontinence Products

No PST or GST

No HST - no change No PST or GST

No HST - no change

Cosmetics & Hair Care Products 5% GST + 8% PST

13% HST - no change

12% HST - no change

Vitamins

5% GST

13% HST - increase 5% GST of 8%

Admission to Professional Sporting Events

5% GST + 10% PST 13% HST decrease of 2%

5% GST

12% HST - increase of 7%

Movie Tickets

5% GST + 10% PST 13% HST decrease of 2%

5% GST

12% HST - increase of 7%

Music Lessons

No PST or GST

No HST - no change No PST or GST

No HST - no change

Sports Membership Fees (Golf Green Fees, Driving Range, Gyms, Lessons i.e. Hockey, Soccer)

5% GST

13% HST - increase 5% GST of 8%

12% HST - increase of 7%

Live Theatre Tickets & Music Concerts

5% GST

13% HST - increase 5% GST of 8%

12% HST - increase of 7%

Sports Equipment

5% GST + 8% PST

13% HST - no change

12% HST - no change

Condo Fees

No PST or GST

No HST - no change No PST or GST

No HST - no change

Long-Term Residential Accommodation

No PST or GST

No HST - no change No PST or GST

No HST - no change

Electronics (Televisions, DVD & 5% GST + 8% PST Blu-ray Players, Cameras, Cell Phones, CD Players, MP3 Players, Games Consoles, GPS, Computers, Printers, Stereos etc)

13% HST - no change

12% HST - no change

Child Care Services

No HST - no change No PST or GST

No PST or GST

5% GST

5% GST

5% GST + 7% PST

5% GST + 7% PST

5% GST + 7% PST

12% HST - increase of 7%

No HST - no change


28 Money Ontario before July 1, 2010

Product or Service Funeral Services

5% GST

Ontario after July 1, 2010

British Columbia before July 1, 2010

British Columbia after July 1, 2010

13% HST - increase 5% GST of 8%

12% HST - increase of 7%

Coffins & Urns (Purchased 5% GST + 8% PST Separate from Funeral Services)

13% HST - no change

12% HST - no change

Fitness Trainer

5% GST

13% HST - increase 5% GST of 8%

12% HST - increase of 7%

Hair Stylist, Spa Services, Barber, Esthetician Services

5% GST

13% HST - increase 5% GST of 8%

12% HST - increase of 7%

Cigarettes & Other Tobacco Products

5% GST

13% HST - increase 5% GST of 8%

12% HST - increase of 7%

Nicotine Replacement Products

5% GST

13% HST - increase 5% GST of 8%

12% HST - increase of 8%

Financial Services

No PST or GST

No HST - no change No PST or GST

No HST - no change

5% GST + 7% PST

#

The British Columbia government has decided that essentials such as gasoline and diesel for vehicles should not be taxed at the higher HST rate and has kept these items at the previous rate of 5%. Home heating fuel such as oil has also been left at the previous rate of 5%. In contrast Ontario made the decision to tax gasoline, diesel and heating fuel at the full HST rate and so Ontarians will be paying an additional 8% for these “essentials”. One area where Ontarians are better off is at your local Tim’s. Prepared foods and beverages costing $4.00 or under (from any establishment) will only attract 5% tax whereas in British Columbia the full 12% HST will be applied.

Government Help Each province has recognized that initially families may see an increase in their day-to-day purchases and have

put in place some rebates and benefits. In British Columbia, families with incomes under $25,000, or individuals with incomes under $20,000 will receive a $230 credit. In Ontario individuals with a net income of $80,000 or less will receive a $300 credit paid in three $100 installments in June & December 2010 and June 2011. Families with a net income of $160,000 or less will receive a $1,000 credit paid in three installments: $330 in June 2010, $335 in Dec 2010 and a final payment of $335 in June 2011. Certain conditions apply to these credits such as filing income tax returns before certain dates etc. It may seem at first glance that Ontario is getting a better deal from these rebates, however with items such as gasoline and heating fuels increasing by a full 8% people in this province will see a greater increase in their dayto-day spending than many in British Columbia. This is reflected in the payments. For full details of the HST and how it might affect you please visit the following websites: Ontario Ministry of Revenue: www.rev.gov.on.ca/en/taxchange/ What’s taxable & What’s Not in Ontario (pdf) http://www.rev.gov.on.ca/en/taxchange/pdf/taxable.pdf


Money 29

Average Canadian incomes Median after-tax income for families with two or

more people, adjusted for inflation, was $63,900 in 2008, virtually unchanged from 2007. This followed four years of growth.!For unattached individuals, after-tax income also remained unchanged, at $24,900. This was the first time in three years in which no significant change was observed. Click here to see previous reports and charts Provincially, median after-tax income for families of two or more people rose 5.7% in both Saskatchewan and British Columbia. After-tax income for families was highest in Alberta at $77,200. For unattached individuals, median after-tax income increased in Alberta (+13%) and Manitoba (+12%), while it was virtually unchanged in the other provinces. Families (excluding those headed by persons aged 65 and over) earned most of their total income from market income, which is the sum of earnings from employment, investment income and private retirement income. In 2008, there was virtually no change in median market income for any of the main family types. Families had median market income of $64,900 in 2008. Senior families, those in which the major income earner was aged 65 or over, earned $25,500 in median market income, compared with $72,500 for all other families. Unattached individuals had $21,300 in median market income. Median government transfers among families were $4,800 in 2008. Government transfers cover a range

of programs, including Employment Insurance, the Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan, Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement, and child tax benefits. Transfers varied widely across different family types. Senior families reported median government transfers of $24,100, while for all other families, they amounted to $2,900. Families paid a median of $8,800 in income taxes, including both federal and provincial, unchanged from 2007. In 2008, the 20% of persons with the highest family after-tax income had, on average, 5.4 times the family after-tax income as those in the lowest 20%. This ratio has been virtually unchanged since 2000. Just over 3 million Canadians lived in a low-income situation in 2008, virtually unchanged from 2007, using the after-tax low income cut-offs. This represents 9.4% of the population. About 606,000 children aged 17 and under lived in low-income families in 2008. This was unchanged from 2007, but below the 854,000 in 2003. The proportion of children in low-income families was 9.0% in 2008, half the peak of 18% in 1996. Roughly 218,000 of these children in low income lived in female lone-parent families. About 23% of children in female lone-parent families were living in low income in 2008, well below the latest peak of 56% in 1996.


30 Motoring

Test Drive BMW 5 Series GT

Story & Photos by Mark Atkinson


Motoring 31

The term Gran Turismo has a rich and storied

history, but also remains one of the most abused in recent memory. What started as rapid and luxurious two-door cross-continental transportation ended up as nothing more than a trim level on unforgettable econocars. So when BMW talks about reviving the GT badge on a vehicle with suitable charisma and performance, you can imagine the shock when photos released were of a four-door vehicle that shared its profile with the X6 SUV. BMW calls it “combining the characteristic features of a prestige saloon, a modern, highly versatile Sports Activity Vehicle, and a classic Gran Turismo in brand-new, unprecedented style.” So really, the new 5 Series GT is another BMW ‘reinterpretation’ that confuses more than clarifies. A drive doesn’t glean many answers. Those looking for a preview of the new-generation 5 Series sedan will be disappointed as the GT shares most of its hardware with the larger 7 Series. The 550i GT that we drove shares the same 407-hp 4.8-litre TwinPower Turbo V8 found in the 750i, and sends power to the rear wheels through a standard eightspeed automatic transmission that debuted in the V12-powered 760i. The wheelbase equals the 750i, meaning more legroom than you could expect in a 5

Series-based vehicle. The elevated seat height is halfway between the sedan and an X5 – or about equal to the lofty perch afforded a Rolls-Royce Phantom driver. That translates into a large, wide and heavy vehicle that’s difficult to define. The twin-opening tailgate design that combines both a traditional trunk and a wide-opening hatchback defies description. The trunk design provides added security by preventing access to the cabin through reinforced cargo covers and dividers, while the hatchback gives full access to 590L of cargo space. Folding the rear seats down expands that to a gargantuan 1,700L of room, enough to haul an apartment’s worth of IKEA furniture. Most of the cabin features are taken directly from the 7 Series, including the Black Panel gauges, HVAC and audio controls, updated iDrive unit and centre console. That equates to luxurious materials and exquisite finishing. Our tester’s two-tone leather interior was brightened immensely by the optional twin-panel panorama moonroof. The GT can be ordered with an optional Comfort package that removes the three manually adjusting rear seats and inserts two powered, heated and cooled thrones with a large fixed armrest between. Regardless of how many


32 Motoring

seats are selected, there’s enough room for six-footers to stretch out comfortably, and the headliner is sculpted to accommodate tall passengers’ noggins. Driving a mixture of four-lane freeways and two-lane twisties, the GT handled everything we could throw at it with aplomb – in fact, the easiest way to describe its character is to say it feels very much like a 7 Series. It’s heavier than a current 5 Series sedan, but still gets from 0-100 km/h in 5.5 seconds. One feature that helps keep the GT out of the ditches is standard Dynamic Drive Control, which adjusts steering, suspension, throttle and stability controls to make driving much more accurate with Normal, Sport and Sport + settings. The optional four-wheel Active Steering and Adaptive Drive add filters to the feedback coming through the steering wheel and an additional Comfort setting for the DDC, meaning the 550i GT feels more isolated than a regular sedan. The added height doesn’t help either. The other new feature to debut on the GT is BMW’s Brake Energy Regeneration system that captures electricity generated from kinetic energy, much like a hybrid. All of the accessories – power steering, air conditioning, etc. – are electrically driven, and are driven directly off the battery, rather than a power-sucking alternator. This requires a different battery, but the benefits are obvious, improving fuel efficiency by about 2 per cent. Overall mileage is 11.2 L/100 km combined, which isn’t terrible.


Motoring 33 All of BMW’s latest safety efforts are included or optional, including airbags galore, blind-spot warnings, lane-departure warnings, night vision, side vision, and a rear-view camera. The list of available entertainment options is twice as long, and includes a heads-up display and DVD entertainment systems. So we’re left with the question of what exactly the 550i GT is and where it fits with BMW’s current offerings? For size and amenities, the GT lines up well with a 7 Series, but power options mimic a 5 Series –especially with a new 300-hp turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine coming on line soon enough. The GT sits between the new 550i sedan ($73,300) and 750i ($108,600) and starts at $79,600 (or $79,900 with xDrive allwheel drive). In most aspects, it’s a 7 Series wagon in all aspects but the name, so that would make it a bargain... Despite the unfortunate name, BMW has created a useful, rapid and flexible vehicle that we should applaud, mainly because it will appeal to those who might have otherwise stepped up – literally – into an X5 or X6 to gain those qualities. But that still doesn’t make it a Gran Turismo. Mark Atkinson has nearly 10 years experience as an automobile journalist working for publications like Inside Track Motorsport News, Carguide, World of Wheels, Canadian Auto World, the Hamilton Spectator Wheels section, Metro Carguide, Suburban Life and West of the City. Besides writing for Muchmor Magazine, Mark also has his own blog, www.drivingguy.com, and appears in a number of other print and online publications.

Changes for the motoring industry in Manitoba Manitoba Public Insurance

(MPI) has announced that any administrative sanctions against vehicle dealers, driver-training schools, vehicle and parts recyclers, inspection-station operators and qualified inspection mechanics will be made public on the Manitoba Public Insurance website. “It allows for customers to educate themselves and make informed consumer choices,” MPI spokesman Brian Smiley said,“Hopefully it will inspire some companies to do a better job.” Companies or individuals who provide the services listed require permits. When permits are suspended or cancelled through lack of due diligence, the names of the offending company or individual will be posted on the MPI website. The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) welcomes the move saying it will allow consumers to make more informed decisions when purchasing a vehicle or having work done on them. “A car is a big purchase for a lot of people,” said Liz Peters the public and government affairs manager for CAA Manitoba, “and we constantly get asked

questions about how they decide to choose a company.” With this process in place companies who do not make the grade will be named and shamed and their details on public view. Any member of the public can visit the website and see exactly which companies or individuals to avoid. Smiley said that several steps will be taken before any company is placed on the website. “We check out the history of each business, we check out the work they have done,” he said. About the MPI: Manitoba Public Insurance is a non-profit Crown Corporation that has provided basic automobile coverage since 1971. Our services are available throughout Manitoba in claim centres and Customer Service centres.!Driver and vehicle licensing services are available at more than!300 Autopac brokers around the province. The link to the “named and shamed” can be found here: http://www.mpi.mb.ca/AdminDecisions/ Sanctions.aspx


34 Employment

Weird and wacky things actually written on résumés Kate Lorenz, CareerBuilder.ca Editor When Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs.com, was

hiring for her entry-level job site, one particular résumé stood out from all the others. The reason? The applicant claimed to be a "Pig Wrestling Champion" and included details like weight of the pig, number of competitors and months of training.! "[The candidate] definitely set himself apart from other candidates;!not so sure it was in the way he was hoping though," Fell said. "If the gentleman had been applying for a job with a company that's involved with county or state fairs, or with a health organization currently helping to prevent the spread of Swine Flu, then his pig wrestling championship would be acceptable (and in the latter application, pretty darn funny).! Otherwise, he should chalk it off as not acceptable." From religious beliefs to sexual preference, you name it and it's probably been on someone's résumé. Job seekers just want to make a statement and stand out from their competition; unfortunately they are often memorable for all the wrong reasons. "When candidates put things on their résumés that are completely irrelevant to the job position, you have to question their judgment," says Ty Mays, owner of Perfect Pitch Public Relations. "If you can't make smart choices or determine what's appropriate during the job search process, an employer is going to wonder what choices you would make if hired. And as a small business owner, I can't take the risk on a candidate who doesn't understand that." ResumeGuru.com's Robert Dagnall agrees. "The problem with these résumé entries is that they fail the test of relevance. Your résumé should be built around the intersection of your greatest strengths and an employer's greatest needs. Too often, job seekers fail to take into account the needs of their audience -and that's when the bizarre and narcissistic creep in." It's great to wow a hiring manager; there are certain ways to do it, however, without crossing the line. Patrick Scullin, founding partner and executive creative director for Ames Scullin O'Haire Inc. advertising agency, says there are certain things that are right for résumés and others that are just plain

wrong. Scullin says the following are acceptable on résumés: Interests that show you're an interesting person hobbies, passions, musical instruments you play, etc. show a dynamic that brings you to life. Scholastic achievements and high GPAs. Everyone wants smart people; if you've got proof you're one of them, serve it up. Interesting jobs you did as a young person. These show you're not afraid of hard work and you're adaptable. While these are areas that may cause harm: Big gaps in employment history with no explanation. You're begging questions that will only keep suspicions high. Full disclosure, always. Missing information. Remember Watergate - it's not the crime, it's the cover-up that gets you in trouble. Pessimism. Don't be negative in your job descriptions - no matter how bad the job or your boss was. It raises flags to potential employers that you're a griper. Spelling and grammatical errors. Whatever you do, proofread, proofread, proofread and then proofread again your résumé. A typo or bad grammar is completely unacceptable. And please, don't have exclamation points!!! Résumés are no place for forced drama. Narcissism. Have a little humility. While a résumé is a good place to present yourself in the best possible light, it does not excuse you from coming off so strong people will think you're an egomaniacal blowhard.


Employment 35 If you're still wondering what works and what doesn't, here's a list of real things that employers read on résumés that they deemed to be "weird and wacky:"

"I always tell people to include their relocation details up top of their résumé and I received one that read, 'Researching condoms in the local Washington, DC area.'" Heather R. Huhman, founder and president of!Come Recommended "One of the weirdest résumés I ever received was from someone who had a statement at the top about how dependable he was and then a doodle of him on a skateboard." Huhman "I once received a résumé with three pages worth of résumé packed onto one page by putting it in 7 point font. You needed a microscope to read it" Huhman "People have sent me résumés with the words 'fast paced' spelled incorrectly. I have seen 'face paced,' 'fast paised' and my favorite one of all times, 'fast paste.'" Abby Kohut, president and staffing consultant at Staffing Symphony, LLC "Some people do not know how to abbreviate 'assistant.' You really should not be abbreviating titles (or much else) on your résumé. To me, it indicates laziness in that you don't want to spend the time typing the extra letters. But if you're going to abbreviate 'assistant,' please use 'Asst' not 'Ass'." Kohut "I once reviewed a résumé that was handwritten on lined yellow paper. One of the jobs was listed as 'Central Intelligence Agency, Langley, VA,' and the description of the job was, 'I'm not authorized to divulge the nature of my job duties while in the employ of the CIA'."!Sue Thompson, The Potentialist at Set Free Life Seminars LLC "I once had a candidate for a marketing assistant position who had worked in a supermarket very early in his career and, for that job; he listed as one of his responsibilities, 'cut the cheese'."! Anonymous hiring manager at a large staffing firm "A résumé from a part-time model.!Included with her résumé was a 4x6 card showing her in various poses and at the bottom it read 'good hands.'! She was applying for a corporate position."Cathleen Faerber, The Wellesley Group, Inc. "The gentleman that included his picture (not a flattering one) and the declaration that he was single and lived with his mother -- this was disclosed right under his picture and was the initial comment on his résumé prior to any career objective or work information." Faerber "Under 'reason for leaving' [the applicant] stated 'threat of death'." Faerber "It seems that my credentials would be a good fit for what you are looking to accomplish, however, I don't wish to make a career of it." Michael Becce, CEO of MRB Public Relations Inc.

"I think the goofiest thing I saw on a résumé was a person who listed one of their special skills as Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. They were applying for an accounting position, so it makes absolutely no sense why they would have that on there." Sky Opila, online résumé service BriteTab.com "The other one was a gentleman who put his marital status as 'single, but looking' on the résumé! I don't understand what these folks were thinking..." Opila !"The résumé said 'ecxellent attention to detail.' Yes, 'excellent' was misspelled!" Molly Wendell, a job-networking expert and author of "The New Job Search" "Excellent composer of song lyrics." Isabel Huntsman, Seneschal Advisors, LLC "Hobbies: Sleeping, etc., etc." Carrie Rocha, www.pocketyourdollars.com "One day when I returned to my office, after the ad was published, I found a 2x2 post it note on the door, with a name and Web address, written in very tiny penciled letters.! It was intended as an application for the position. Unfortunately, I concluded that the applicant would need some social skills to work on the project. I still have it, filed under the topic: minimalist résumé.! This was in 1999, before the world was half as electronic as it is now." Barbra Lancelot, Montgomery Health Care ACTION "An e-mail address: pinkpoodle@...com (How seriously can you take this person? How professional does this e-mail look if used on our behalf?)" Kitty Werner, Chair, Central Vermont Crime Stoppers "A résumé that included drawings of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, then when we called the applicant in for an interview, his twin brother came as well. They had duplicate résumés and showed the same portfolio of work." David Langton - Principal, Langton Cherubino Group, Ltd. "[The applicant] had blank spots on his cover letter and résumé that he filled in by hand. He had whited out info - like the 'To' and 'Objective' and hand wrote info for the current job." Anonymous "'I have never trapped a man.' A woman offered this as evidence of good character."Robert Dagnall, RésuméGuru.com "Personal accomplishments: Getting back together with my boyfriend upon his release from prison." Dagnall "And here's a new favorite that arrived in my mailbox this morning as part of someone's e-mail signature:!'I am the Master, and Technology my Slave.'" Dagnall "Number of grandchildren." Ty Mays, Owner of Perfect Pitch Public Relations "Homecoming king." Mays


36 Employment

Careers 33

September is hiring month

Duties of this fast-growing profession If you want to make the case to a Market Research Analyst include writing and editing text, creating potential employer or your boss to let you Market research analysts, whose job graphics, converting photos and drawings numbers are expected to grow 20 percent work from home, keep a few things in into digital images, designing page layouts by 2016, gather data on competitors and mind. If possible, provide concrete Get your resume examples reviewed to ensure that it’s the The month of September is when employers get back and developing presentations. of how this arrangement was analyze prices, sales, and methods of best it can be to work in full swing. Job postings and hiring successful in the past or how it will marketing and distribution. Theyaoften Make list of relevant recruiting and personnel decisions Data that had been put off due to summer succeed. Suggest that you ease into it -Entry Clerk design surveys, compile andtoevaluate thenext firms contact month vacations Like will administrative get completed. spending a few days to a few weeks in the assistants, job data and make recommendations toon their Brush up your phone skills for making those You want to be ready for the rush. To prepare office at the outset, meeting people and prospects should be best for those with client or employer based upon their important calls yourself and stay ahead of the pack, there are several getting to know procedures. Then, during expertise in computer software findings. Have someone you know do a mock job interview steps you can take. Planning in August puts you at the the first three to six months on the new applications. By typing text, entering data with you and get critiqued front of the line for the mid-September dash. job, make frequent visits. into a computer, and performing other Paralegal clerical duties, these workers ensure Ready. Set…You’re Employed: An additional step ultimate Set Up Networking Meetings: Since some ofWhile thelawyers assume Katefor Lorenz is the article advice a companies keep up with information and you can take to get ready September isand to have responsibility for legal work, they delegate people you may want to meet with as part of your job editor for CareerBuilder.ca. She technology. at your financial situation. You should try to much of their work tolook paralegals. hunt are on vacation in August, try to schedule researches and yourself writes about jobmaximum search arrange things so that you give the Paralegals not only assist in preparation appointments with them for the second or third week strategy, career management, hiring amount ofcorporate time to search for the right kinds of jobs. Insurance Underwriter for closings, hearings, trials, and of September. By then they ought to be back at work trends and workplace issues. By September Insurance meetings, they also perform a number of 10th or so, as the tempo begins to and in their grooveunderwriters again. serve as the pick updraft in workplaces across Canada, there you’ll be main link you between vital functions including Meanwhile canthe goinsurance throughcarrier your listother of contacts all set to and the insurance agent.updates. Underwriters contracts, mortgages, separationapply for the jobs that you really want to go and make any necessary Have you met new after: just when peopleanalyze lately insurance that you’d like to add to youragreements, networking applications, calculate trust instruments and may people return from vacations, a rash of new jobs list? Have you checked to make sure that assist the in preparing tax returns and gets posted to Monster, and people who the risk of loss from policyholders, decide make the hiring decisions are ready to invite information have each as their whetheryou to issue thefor policy andcontact establish – such planning estates. With employers reducing candidates in for interviews. phone appropriate number, place ofrates. work, title and e-mail premium costs address by replacing duties once tended to Make the most of the next three to four weeks and – are current? Did you keep track of meetings, phone by lawyers with paralegals, growth of this be ready for the upturn. Why not be among those who calls and e-mail exchanges you have had profession with specific is expected. are front of the line? contacts? Also complete any of the follow-up activities you’d committed to doing. Send outstanding thank you notes to the folks you’ve chatted with. And pass on any articles or Web links of interest to particular contacts.

Create Or Update Your Target List of Employers To Approach: Now is a good time to determine which employers you will be targeting next month. By Subscribe to Muchmor Magazine and picking the ones where you are most likely to find a suitable job, which youyou would like to work for, not or only will bemost reminded when you can save time and effort. every new issue is job published but Here you A good starting point is our search page. you willwill find aalso widebe selection employer information, placedofinto a draw to win jobs by province and other useful information. In this a $50 TimCard™ section employers may detail the types of jobs that they offer, providing position descriptions and an overview of the the work environment. Some even include a video for that insider viewpoint. Look for news of new product or service launches, mergers or acquisitions, shifts in staffing, and any other info that will assist you in drafting your cover letters or cold call scripts.

read muchmor for the latest winner

Other Ways To Prepare For September Job andsearch to subscribe atsomewhat Openings: If your job has slowed due to people taking their summer vacations or delays readmuchmor com in hiring decisions, you may have some extra time to do the following preparation for September:

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Employment 37

Would you hire yourself? By Audrey Prenzel, CARW, CEIC, B.A., B.Ed. There are many crucial actions,

some more subtle than others, to elevate your attempts to secure the ideal job. Aligning these 6 considerations will benefit you during your employment search or advancement in Canada. 1. The Paper Trail Even in this electronic age, sending or hand delivering a hard copy document is recommended. So, the first point of contact with a decision maker will not be you; it will be your résumé. I’m not focusing on résumé content here, rather the appearance. Is the document folded or crumpled? Did you scratch out an old phone number and pen in a new one? Busy employers do not want to try to decipher text through coffee cup rings, grease marks or smudged text. Quality paper carries smells, so be careful if you smoke or wear strong perfume or cologne. Stand out the proper way. 2. Looks Count Be cognizant of how you look. This obviously refers to wardrobe, manicure and hair during interviews for men and women. I applaud those individuals who care enough about their appearance that they look fantastic when they are not pounding the pavement. Remember what they say about never knowing who you will bump into while waiting in a supermarket line. So, dress up and look the part of a busy, employed person and you will be soon. 3. Be Positive If you maintain a confident-rich demeanour, others are sure to notice. When you’re functioning with an optimistic mind-set, others will adapt the same perception. Operate under the assumption that once a job with a good fit crosses your path, you’ll consider it. If you demonstrate a desperate or defeatist manner, this slashes your marketability. Positive affirmation works for some, but you need to be positive from the inside out. Employers can tell when you have worked on yourself. That matters in every job. Apply this upbeat nature when discussing former employers, colleagues and work places. 4. Be Responsible Make sure you are on time for interviews. Arrive about 10 minutes before it is supposed to start. Do not show up earlier than this. Ensure you have any

reference letters, additional copies of résumés or portfolio ready if this has been requested. Follow through with keeping subsequent scheduled interviews, phone calls and forms completion. 5. Speaking Practise saying good things about yourself. Rehearse the phrases that will undoubtedly be asked of you in an interview in front of others and in front of a mirror. Thinking about the answers is not enough. Actually plan and say your answers aloud. Thought fillers - uh, um, hmmm - or slang phrases - like, man, and that type of thing, you know what I mean - or simply taking too long to respond to the questions indicates you were not prepared. Diminished credibility with the hiring manager likely follows. Closely linked with our verbal message is the information we send with our body. 6. Body Language Your mom told you to sit up straight and she was right. Slouched posture, weak eye contact, nervous facial expressions, and excessive hand gestures can be distracting and work against you. It’s amazing how many tics and weird things you’ll observe when using the mirror as outlined above. Don’t weaken your chances by ignoring this. If not a professional, have a friend interview you with a video running. In face-to-face situations most of our communications are nonverbal. It documented that 55% of communication success stems from nonverbal body language and behaviour. The balance comes from words, tone, inflection, volume and meaning. Reflect on these tips to see if you’re the kind of candidate that you would hire. The labour market is competitive and it takes every ounce of smart thinking to outpace the competition and secure employment offers. Best of luck! !Audrey Prenzel, CARW, CEIC, B.A., B.Ed. is the founder of Résumé Resources, an international career transition firm. She holds numerous roles with Career Directors International including Mentor, Canadian Advisor, Director of International Relations, Military Transition Expert Program Leader, and Aerospace / Defence Program Leader. Audrey is the author of "Military to Civvie Street: The Complete Job Transition Guide for those Leaving the Canadian Air Force, Army & Navy". Visit Audrey's website www.resumeresources.ca


38 Immigration

Living Together? Things same sex and heterosexual couples need to know before applying for Canadian residency


Immigration 39 When applying for immigration to Canada via

Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) you must always have a principal applicant. This is the person who can fulfill the criteria of the particular immigration route you are choosing. It does not have to be the head of the household, nor does it have to be the male in a mixed sex relationship. You should look at the criteria and determine which family member will gain the most points or have the correct work history in order to qualify. The principal applicant can then name spouses and dependent children as family members to be included in their application. Many people wrongly assume that a couple has to be heterosexual and married in order for their relationship to be recognized by CIC as valid, but this is not the case. CIC recognizes common-law relationships as well as same-sex relationships, but you do have to be aware of certain criteria that have to be met in order for your relationship to be accepted.

CIC Definitions: Spouse: Two people of opposite or same-sex in a legally recognized marriage. Common-law: Two people of opposite or same-sex who are living in a conjugal relationship and have been doing so continuously for at least one year. Conjugal: Two people who live together and have significant commitment to one another i.e. financial, emotional, children etc. Some issues may arise when applying for immigration to Canada that may never have been a factor before and could actually prevent the CIC from recognizing your relationship as common-law. If you know before hand what these issues might be you can prepare in advance and get your affairs in order so that when the time comes you have no problems proving your relationship. When CIC accepts common-law relationships both heterosexual and gay or lesbian it has to receive proof from the couple that their relationship is real and not being used for the benefit of immigration. This means that you will need to prove that your relationship is conjugal. Evidence that you share a home, support each other financially, are in an emotional relationship and perhaps have children will all be taken into account. This might not sound as if it could be a problem, but lets take a look at a couple of scenarios:

Scenario 1: Jack and Ben are a gay couple who have been in a

relationship for six years and have been living as a common-law couple for four years. Jack owned the

property they live in before he met Ben and all the bills, mortgage etc are in his name only. Ben contributes toward the food and general living expenses as well as holidays the couple take. They each have separate bank accounts. This arrangement has worked well for them both and they have seen no reason to change. Problem: Because on paper Ben has no connection to the property they live in there is no proof that they are living as a couple, other than their "word." Although Ben pays as much financially into the relationship he has no bills, mortgage or household costs that can be shown to the CIC. Neither do they share a bank account and do they have no obvious financial commitment to each other. Therefore this may give rise to CIC rejecting their common-law relationship and refusing their application.

Scenario 2: Mark and Sue have lived together for two years.

Mark works full-time and is the only earner in the home as Sue is a stay-at-home mum to a daughter she has by another relationship. Mark has always looked after the bills and rent and Sue's name is not on any of the official documentation i.e. rent, utility bills etc. They do have a joint bank account, but this is used for savings and holidays and not for the payment of household bills which come out of a bank account in Mark's name only. Problem: As with Scenario 1 CIC could refuse to accept their common-law relationship as on paper Sue has no connection to the joint home and cannot prove commitment to the relationship. Although they share a bank account, this does not prove a relationship as any two individuals can open a join bank account without being in a relationship. Remember all the bills come out of an account in Mark's name.

Scenario 3: Sally lives with her same-sex partner Amy in a rented

apartment. The rental agreement is in Sally's name as she lived there before she met Amy about 18 months ago. The rent includes all utilities, so no living expenses other than groceries and everyday living costs are payable. If they add Amy to the rental agreement it will prompt a new contract being put in place, increasing their monthly rent, so they have left things as they are. They both have separate bank accounts. Problem: Once again one partner in the relationship cannot prove that they are in any way committed to the relationship or the property they


40 Immigration live in. Again CIC could refuse to accept this relationship and refuse their application.

Solutions Fortunately most of these issues can be easily

rectified well in advance of you needing to supply the information to CIC. The key to this is preparation and timing. As soon as you know you will want to apply for immigration to Canada you should look at mortgage or rental agreements, utility bills such as electricity, gas, water, internet, television etc. bank accounts and investments. Make a list and note who's name is included on each. The next thing is to try to get as many of these items in both names as possible. Some will be easier than others, but perhaps the easiest is a joint bank account which you then use to pay your bills. If you can show that both your incomes go into one account and all your expenses are paid from that account it helps prove financial commitment to one another and a shared liability for the "marital" home. Next try to add the additional name onto utility bills. Some companies will do this readily, others may take some patience and paperwork. If you cannot get all changed over, don't worry. As long as you can show that many of your bills are in joint names this is

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okay. After all even legally married couples don't always have all their bills in both names. The biggest obstacle will be mortgage or rental agreements as these will require a legal change and may it may be to your financial disadvantage to change them. This is something you will have to discuss with your mortgage lender or landlord. Again if you cannot easily get this changed, do not despair. As long as you can get a joint bank account in place and can prove you share all or most of the household expenses you should be good to go. The CIC understands that not every couple married or common-law will share absolutely everything. Many married couples still have separate bank accounts or pay separate bills or only have one wage earner who pays everything. But it is taken for granted that a married couple living in the same house are financially and emotionally committed to each other. The same consideration is not extended to common-law couples who rightly, or wrongly have to prove this fact. Because CIC require you to be in a common-law relationship for at least one year before applying, you should get all these things in order as soon as possible. The information you give on your application needs to be relevant at the time you complete it, not at the time you expect it to be processed by CIC. Always read, re-read and read again the application criteria to make sure you are complying correctly. It is easier to start things off right than to have to correct things later which may delay your processing time, or mean it gets rejected altogether. As with most things, preparation and planning are key.

Useful Links: Citizenship & Immigration Canada www.cic.gc.ca Sponsoring Your Family www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/sponsor/ index.asp


Immigration 41

Live, Work, and Play in Greater Sudbury Newcomers visit www.mysudbury.ca

Vivez, travaillez et divertissez-vous dans le Grand Sudbury. Nouveaux arrivants, visitez le site www.ouisudbury.ca


42 Immigration !

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Advertorial

Welcoming events highlight of summer on Nova Scotia’s South Shore The newly immigrated can

sometimes feel lost or even invisible. New geographies, new people and new ways of doing things can be exhausting and difficult to navigate at first. Settling into a new home and beginning new routines can feel isolating. A new family can feel as if they exist in a bubble – as people all around them go on about their daily lives; while they struggle to understand where things are and interpret new customs. No matter how friendly the new neighbors are, it’s always nice to be welcomed by more than just a few people. A series of welcoming events in our region are helping to bridge the settlement gap. Held in local schools or neighborhood parks, these welcoming receptions create an opportunity for area newcomers to meet one another as well as other local residents and community leaders. An afternoon spent meeting people and both asking and answering questions can go a long

way toward building those initial human bonds so critical to successful settlement. In turn, the community gets to a chance to shine and boast a little, while helping to establish a feeling of familiarity and connection with the area. It’s a great way to build new friendships and foster a sense of belonging. “Welcoming newcomers is an important issue for Nova Scotia and especially the South Shore,” says Corey Pickens, immigration navigator for the region’s economic development agency. These newcomer meet-and-greet events are a simple way to let people know that we are a welcoming community and that we appreciate having new neighbors and friends.” A casual afternoon with refreshments and conversation can assist new families in small, but meaningful ways. Where is the closest playground or the best bakery in town? How did you find your first winter here in Nova Scotia? A sociable chat with new friends can help a new family feel less isolated and more confident in a strange new place. This summer local municipalities, in partnership with the Lunenburg Queens Regional Development Agency, are hosting several community newcomer


Advertorial receptions on Nova Scotia’s beautiful South Shore. The Saturday afternoon events have an informal atmosphere, with lots of cake, Canadian flags, friendly exchanges and introductions to many new friends. During the receptions, newcomers arrive with food to share and big smiles as they interact with other new friends. Exchanging email addresses and personal stories of settlement adventures, the afternoon is filled with conversations and laughter. “A positive immigration experience is so much more than just statistics,” says Pickens. “Reaching out and welcoming newcomer’s means caring about the things that are important to them—namely, their kids, their heritage and their culture. Organizing a welcome reception for new friends and neighbours is a step in the right direction.” “Newcomers choose to live in Nova Scotia for all kinds of reasons,” Pickens continues. “Attracting visitors and retaining our newcomers helps our economic development and builds cultural diversity. The Newcomer Meet and Greet events are a simple way to let people know that we are a welcoming community and that we appreciate having new neighbours and friends.” From our beautiful coastline to a sense of freedom and security, we have much to share with immigrants who choose to make this region their home.

Immigration 43

Corey Pickens is the Immigration Navigator for the Lunenburg Queens Regional Development Agency in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. For more information, visit www.LifeinFullColour.ca Or drop us a line at: immigration@lqrda.ca

If life seems a little grey and you are ready for some colour... Discover the perfect work-life balance on Nova Scotia’s South Shore.

Becoming a permanent resident of Nova Scotia is a life-enriching decision. Most people intuitively know. They know that there is more to life. More richness, more experience… more colour! Lunenburg Queens has a quality of life that blends natural beauty and wide open spaces with excellent opportunities, superb education and warm, welcoming people.

Immigrating? Want to start or grow a business? We are here to help. Visit us Online @

LifeinFullColour.ca Lunenburg Queens

Regional Development Agency


44 Immigration

Big changes to Canadian immigration categories explained


Immigration 45

If you haven’t already submitted your application you will need to read this. Federal Skilled Worker At the end of June, Citizenship and Immigration

Canada (CIC) announced big changes to the Federal Skilled Worker category of immigration. Effective immediately upon announcement anyone looking to apply via this route must either have a job offer, or they must have experience in one of 29 indemand occupations (listed later). In addition to these changes the government is limiting the number of applications considered for processing to 20,000 per year. Only 1,000 applications per occupation will be considered. If someone applies within an occupation that has reached its 1,000 limit the application will be returned to them and any fees refunded. These limits do not apply to anyone with a job offer. The reason behind these limits it to slow down the number of applications received in order that CIC can reduce the backlog within the system. Once CIC begin to catch up on the backlog it is thought that the cap will be removed or reconsidered. Because the applicants already in the backlog will continue to be processed, it is not thought that the overall number of skilled workers admitted into Canada will drop, indeed it could actually increase as the backlog is cleared. The first year cap will run from June 26th 2010 to June 30th 2011. Subsequent years will be calculated from July!1st to June!30th. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said, “Canada will continue to welcome historically high numbers of immigrants, but we need to manage the number of new applications or risk creating new backlogs and longer processing times. We have more than enough applications on hand now to fill many of our needs, and we want to be fair to those people who have been waiting the longest.” The authority for the changes, known as ministerial instructions, comes from amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act approved by Parliament in 2008 as part of the Action Plan for Faster Immigration. The instructions are meant as a flexible tool to allow the government to keep the intake of applications for economic immigration in line with the number and types of jobs available in Canada, as well as reduce application backlogs and processing times. In November 2008 the number of applications in the backlog was 640,000 with many people waiting up to six years for a decision.

Today the backlog is reported to be 380,000 with the majority of decisions made on new applications within 12 months. However, CIC saw a significant rise in new applications during the first quarter of 2010 which has prompted them to announce these measures. “These changes bring Canada in line with the practices of the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, our main competitors for skilled immigrants,” said Minister Kenney. “They help match the supply of applicants to our processing capacity and today’s post-recession job market needs. This is the only responsible way to manage our immigration system.”

Changes to occupations in demand Previously CIC listed 38 occupations that were

considered in demand. The new list now contains 29 occupations as follows: 0631 Restaurant and Food Service Managers 0811 Primary Production Managers (Except Agriculture) 1122 Professional Occupations in Business Services to Management 1233 Insurance Adjusters and Claims Examiners 2121 Biologists and Related Scientists 2151 Architects 3111 Specialist Physicians 3112 General Practitioners and Family Physicians 3113 Dentists 3131 Pharmacists 3142 Physiotherapists 3152 Registered Nurses 3215 Medical Radiation Technologists 3222 Dental Hygienists & Dental Therapists 3233 Licensed Practical Nurses 4151 Psychologists 4152 Social Workers 6241 Chefs 6242 Cooks 7215 Contractors and Supervisors, Carpentry Trades 7216 Contractors and Supervisors, Mechanic Trades 7241 Electricians (Except Industrial & Power System) 7242 Industrial Electricians 7251 Plumbers 7265 Welders & Related Machine Operators 7312 Heavy-Duty Equipment Mechanics 7371 Crane Operators 7372 Drillers & Blasters – Surface Mining, Quarrying & Construction 8222 Supervisors, Oil and Gas Drilling and Service The number preceding the occupation title refers to the National Occupation Classification (NOC) code. You can visit the NOC website and enter the code to find out more specific details of the occupation.


46 Immigration http://www5.hrsdc.gc.ca/NOC/English/NOC/2006/ Welcome.aspx. By doing this you will see job titles that are considered under this classification, main duties, employment requirement and any other information relating to the role. During the last shake-up of the skilled worker category CIC introduced the Simplified application process whereby the applicant was only required to submit initial application paperwork and only submit supporting documentation when requested. This is no longer the case as all applicants will now have to complete the paperwork and send requested documents and fees upon initial application. CIC says that this will speed up the application process.

again be accepted. Under the proposed changes investors would be required to have a net worth of $1.6 million CND and make an investment of $800,000 CND. This is an increase from the previous levels of $800,000 net worth and $400,000 investment. Jason Kenney, Immigration Minister said “Canada needs investor immigrants. These changes are necessary to keep Canada’s program competitive with that of other countries, and keep pace with the changing economy.”

Language testing

All new applicants under this category will be

Federal Skilled Worker applicants must also submit

the results of an independent language test in order to be considered, regardless of their home country or native tongue. Previously, applicants also had the option of proving their language ability via a written submission. The written submission was intended for people whose first language was English or French. However, non-native English and French speakers frequently used this option, making it difficult for visa officers to perform an accurate assessment of the applicant’s true language ability. As a result CIC now only accepts designated third-party language tests as proof of language ability. This means that even if you originate from an English or French speaking country or if you have only ever spoken English or French, you are still required to take the language test and submit the results with your application. These tests are available at a number of locations worldwide. Full details of the test and where it can be taken can be found at this website: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/ language-testing.asp

Immigrant Investor Program Effective immediately CIC will not be accepting

any new applications within the Investor Program. This is because new eligibility criteria are being proposed and until these are finalized no new applications will be considered. The proposed changes to the criteria will result in investors contributing even more the the Canadian economy and reflect the fact that this category of immigration has remained unchanged since 1999. Once the changes have been approved and put into place it is expected that applications will once

Canadian Experience Class required to submit the results of an independent language test in order to be considered, regardless of their home country or native tongue. Full details can be found above in the Skilled Worker Category changes. No other changes have been announced for this category of immigration.


Immigration 47 By Valéria Bedout, Idéal Canada

Immigration Immigration

Q Visas Q Work permit Q Study permit Q Permanent residency Q Citizenship

Settling-in g sservices ervices i

Q Welcome organisation Q Administrative assistance Q Housing & schooling Q Family & Spousal Services

Integ Integration gration

Q Language training Q Intercultural coaching

International Inte ernational mob mobility bility

Q Cost of living analysis QHR consulting QPolicy Development

Qué Q Québec uébec ec - Montréal Mon ntréa réal - Toronto oron r nto - Vancouver Va Vanc V Vanco Van a ancou uv ve err Your partner for success in Canada… Ideal Canada is your Single Point-of-Contact to ease your immigration, settling-in and integration in Canada.

Let us guide you…

CSIC SCCI

idealcanada.com d

contact@idealcanada.com

When you arrive in a new country, be it long term or short term, it is definitely an adventure. The initial transition period is quite challenging, you are filling out forms and documents, researching and learning the ropes; trying to find out what is familiar to you, the feeling of insecurity is overwhelming. The key to success in settling abroad requires; meticulousness preparation and planning for the correct integration of both personal and professional plans. Our role is to find familiar scenarios and to instill a welcome feeling, for newly settled families even before they arrive, this is what we take pride in offering; professional international mobility. Our Mission is based on being able to visualize their lifestyle, to understand & empathize with them- be it looking for a daycare center or a school for their children, to planning social/cultural activities to sporting events to family outings. All this constitutes an essential support for the family’s “new life.” We are dedicated in making it happen. To give a concrete example of how important it is, in filling these needs, here is a true to life example: A family from Finland arrived; the father was a PHD mathematician who was hired by a large Canadian University. The university’s human resource department handled the newly hired family’s relocation affairs. Well after four weeks of their arrival there was a complete melt down. The family started to prepare to return to Finland. No one could have imagined but the mother/wife, also a PHD in mathematics, who had a full time professional job in Finland, was found totally isolated taking care of her two children in a francophone neighborhood, utterly in despair and on the verge of depression. Idéal Canada intervened to find out that she never wanted to relocate to Canada and she never wanted to quit her job to be a stay at home mom. She thought she would be able to find a job quickly, but there was a snag, since her children only spoke Finish and German it was impossible to place them safely anywhere, she lost all hope. If the people in charge of handling the relocation of this family took time to analyze the needs of the wife and of the family at the start, their situation would have been very different: The family could have been set up in an Anglophone neighborhood, a Franco German daycare could have been located, giving the wife/mother a opportunity to set up her own network personally and professionally. I can list other incidents where newly settled families and individuals have found themselves trapped; at immigration services because certain entry paperwork were not in compliance, or their drivers permits could not be obtained due to missing paperwork from their mother country, or they followed misleading information on the internet guaranteeing them entry to university studies- which was not the case.etc.. With all these uncalled for frustrations, their dreams and hopeful adventures are turn into nightmares. The role of an international mobility coordinator is to think of everything: all the little details, arranging unforeseen obstacles bringing success!


48 Immigration

Temporary foreign worker program not working in Alberta Thomas Lukaszuk, Alberta’s employment and immigration minister has said that Canada’s temporary foreign worker program is no longer working for the province. He says, “The program has fulfilled its mandate by providing large numbers of workers to an economy that had a shortage of workers, but that the program was a temporary solution to a permanent problem.” During the fall a number of discussions will take place regarding the temporary foreign worker program. This will result in a number of recommendation that will be submitted to Ottawa to suggest changes to the program. In recent years immigration rules for temporary foreign workers have been eased, allowing people with a variety of skills and educational backgrounds to enter Canada with working visas valid for up to two years. In the last five year Alberta has seen a rise in temporary workers from 16,000 in 2005 to nearly 66,000 in 2009.

Canada/US border security Meetings have been taking place to discuss security and immigration issues between Canada and the United States. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Minister Jason Kenney also signed a Terms of Reference to formalize the long-standing Visa Policy Working Group—institutionalizing this joint forum that aids bilateral consultations and information sharing about US and!Canada visa, admissibility, and screening policies. “Canada’s longstanding geographic, economic and social ties with the United States are a source of strength for both countries,” said Minister Kenney. “By sharing information and working together we can redefine approaches to identifying and screening travelers to expedite the flow of individuals moving legitimately across our borders, while protecting against those who would threaten our shared peace and prosperity.” Secretary Napolitano and!Canada Immigration Minister Kenney also discussed the progress made since they last met in May 2009, and identified further opportunities for information sharing and collaboration relating to immigration, refugee policies, and the traveler identity verification process.

Quebec pressing for consultant regulation The Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC) has praised Quebec!Immigration Minister!Yolande James!for pressing ahead on consultant regulation. Since 2004, only members of CSIC, a provincial bar, or a!Quebec!notary have been authorized to appear before the Federal government on behalf of a prospective immigrant or to advise a person with a pending application for immigration. CSIC members, known as Certified Canadian Immigration Consultants (CCICs), are held to a strict code of professional conduct and must constantly develop their professional skills in order to stay abreast of issues that could affect their immigration practice and, ultimately, how they represent a client. In addition, all CCICs must carry errors and omissions insurance and pay into a client compensation fund. Members are subject to a formal complaints process where every complaint is reviewed and every effort is made to resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of all parties concerned. “This measure draws a clear line between unlicensed and licensed immigration consultants. Further, it provides much needed protection to the integrity of the!Quebec!immigration system,” said CSIC Chair,!Nigel Thomson.“The fact that the!Quebec!government has made the regulation of immigration consultants in!Quebec!a priority speaks volumes about their commitment to consumer protection. These measures will ensure Quebec!consumers of immigration consulting services will be afforded competent and up-to-date skills and knowledge.”

How Canadians feel about immigration The Association for Canadian Studies (ACS) recently conducted a survey about how Canadians feel about immigration to their country. Jack Jedwab, executive director of ACS said that the survey found that while Canadians don’t believe there are too many immigrants and 70% have a favourable view of newcomers, many Canadians also believe immigrants should put their customs and traditions behind them once they arrive. “There is a disconnect,” said Jedwab, “Canadians want immigration…they are favourable to immigrants, we value their different customs and traditions, but half of us don’t want them to hold onto them very long.”


Immigration 49 Overall, 45.1% of Canadians agree immigrants should become more like the rest of the population — 16.2% said they strongly agree and 28.9% said they agree somewhat.!The survey found 42.5% disagree with that idea — 16.5% strongly and 26% somewhat. However, there are variations depending on where people live, their ages and their mother tongues. For example, francophones and those 55 years or older are the least in favour of immigrants keeping their customs while those under 35 years old and allophones are the most in favour. In Quebec, 53.6% of respondents said immigrants should become more like the rest of the population compared to 36.9% who disagreed. In Manitoba, however, 52.8% oppose the idea compared to 34% who support it.!Ontario and Alberta are fairly evenly split while in B.C. and Nova Scotia opponents of the idea outnumber supporters.

Record number of immigrants enter Manitoba During 2009 Manitoba saw record numbers of immigrants land in the province. In total 13,520 people chose to call Manitoba home. This is the highest number since records began in 1946.

According to the provincial government, nearly 10,000 of those people chose to settle in Winnipeg while another 3,520 chose other parts of the province. Premier Greg Selinger credits the provincial nominee program for the high numbers, saying more than 75 per cent of new immigrants came through that program. “Manitoba’s immigration initiative has been very successful, not only because more and more newcomers are coming to Manitoba, but because the settlement and language-training assistance being offered are helping them succeed,� said Selinger. “Evidence consistently demonstrates that Manitoba’s immigrants experience one of the highest employment rates and lowest unemployment rates in Canada.� The majority of the 2009 immigrants came from the Philippines, Germany, China, India and Israel.The Winnipeg numbers are more than Quebec City, Regina, Saskatoon, Victoria, Fredericton and Red Deer combined, according to the province. www.immigratemanitoba.com

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50 Relocation !

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Military Relocations We talk to two military wives about military life and how they cope with constant relocation. When we talk about relocating to a new property,

new town or even a new province or country, no one knows the process better than the military. Many of us probably don’t realize that the families of our military personnel are also subject to relocation. We know that members of the air force, army, navy etc unfortunately by the very nature of their jobs have to travel to different countries in order to serve their country, however their loved ones may also have to relocate in order to be close to where their military family member is based. Muchmor Media is located very close to CFB Trenton, Canada’s largest forces base and so we decided to speak with some military wives to see how they cope with relocation and the separation from their husbands. In this article we will speak to two wives and get their view on what it is really like to have to move around the country and never really settle in one place. We will also discuss the issues relating to long separations and the effects that has on them and their family. Jacki Hollywood-Brown is 42 years old and has been a military wife since 1991. Originally from Kingston Ontario, she first met her husband-to-be in 1990 at his graduation from the Royal Military

College. In fact she was his blind date at his graduation ball. The couple have two children, a son aged 13 and a 10 year old daughter. We first discussed where Jacki and her family had lived over the course of her husbands military career. Between 1990 - 1992 she lived in Guelph, Ontario whilst she finished her M.Sc. but her husband was based in Victoria, British Columbia and Wainwright, Alberta and she moved to Victoria to join him in 1992. In 1993 they moved to Ste-Foy in Quebec, then in 1995 to Oromocto, New Brunswick where they lived for five years. In 2000 it was back to Quebec, this time to Shannon, then in 2005 they relocated to North York in Ontario. 2006 saw them moving yet again to Quebec, to Montreal on this occasion and then most recently in 2009 to Trenton, Ontario. The family currently live in military housing at CFB Trenton, but know they will be relocated again in 2011 but have no idea where. Karen Smith (name changed to retain privacy) is also 42 years old and was born in Oshawa, Ontario. She met her future husband when they were both in high school, but she knew he had ambitions to become a pilot in the Air Force. By the time they married he was enrolled and was married in his uniform with an honour guard.


Relocation 51 They have two young sons aged 7 and 9 years and live off-base near Trenton. Like Jacki, Karen and her family have been relocated several times. In 1994 they were in Greenwood, Nova Scotia, then lived in Cormox, British Columbia between 1994 and 1996. Then it was off to Moose Jaw in Saskatchewan for two years, then back to Greenwood Nova Scotia in 1998. They stayed in Nova Scotia for several years before finally being posted to Trenton in 2008. After getting this background information Muchmor asked each of them about relocations, separations and the effects on their families. This is how the interviews went. MM: First of all, where have your husbands been deployed and for how long? JHB: He did two tours in Croatia, one for 7 months in 1992 and one for 6 months in 1993. In 2002 he was in Bosnia for 6 months and spent 4 months in Haiti in 2004. His last deployment was to Afghanistan for 7 months in 2009. KS: His first deployments to war have been this year and he's!done 2 tours to Afghanistan previously he went away just to train.! MM: On the subject of relocation. Do you have any say in where you are relocated? JHB: In a word no. The military member can express preferences but the member is positioned where the current military need is. Other factors that determine postings are rank, trade and performance review. KS: If a member is requested to relocate somewhere and they resist it can put a black mark on their record and even prevent future promotions. MM: How much notice do you normally receive before being relocated? JHB: Usually members start hearing rumors sometime around December/January. Posting messages are issued anywhere from March to May. Members move during the summer months also known as APS - Annual Posting Season. There are some postings that happen outside the APS. The member may not get much notice (we had 1 weeks notice before our move to Oromocto in 1995). There are stipulations that allow the member to move and have the family move at a later date if required. KS: It varies, but as Jacki says it normally starts with rumors long before it actually happens. MM: How much does the military help with the relocation? JHB: There is a huge document explaining all the obligations and benefits of the military member and families. Military members are provided with real estate contacts and are eligible to take a househunting trip under certain conditions. However, there are lots of things they don’t help with such as finding family doctors, public services etc.

KS: Yes, they do help with all the packing, loading, moving etc. They also offer reimbursement for things like food when on house hunting trips and the first few days of the move. A lot is still up to you though, especially if like us you choose to live off-base. MM: What is the typical length of time at each location? JHB: The typical length of time at each location is dependent upon the military's need for certain trades in certain places. Some members have spent their entire career on one base, others have moved every 2-3 years. KS: Three years, unless you are on a course or switch professions, which my husband did from navigator to pilot. MM: Do you have a choice to buy your own home or live in military housing? JHB: Members have a choice. However, at some bases and stations, the military housing is limited. Also, many bases only have smaller homes that may not accommodate large families. For postings less than one year in duration, military members are not permitted to purchase a home and if they do, they will lose certain benefits on their next move. KS: Yes, you have the choice. We lived in military housing until we had children. It was convenient at that time, but having a family made it more practical to purchase our own home. MM: Are there benefits to military housing over private purchase? JHB: Financially there is no real difference. Rents for RHUs (residential housing units) is set by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation and so is very similar to renting privately or paying a mortgage. The difference is that there are no contracts to sign and you can move in and out at any time, so you don’t have to worry about the housing market, selling conditions etc. Living in an RHU has some disadvantages. You may not be able to run your home business in your RHU especially if you expect clients to come to your "home office". Also, you cannot deduct your RHU rent from your business income. You cannot modify the RHU in any way - even painting the walls is not permitted unless there are exceptional circumstances. One benefit I love is the fact we are surrounded by other military families who know your situation. KS: Living in a RHU is great if you are not going to be posted at a location for very long. It is also great if you don’t want the hassle of having to buy and sell. You are not at the mercy of the real estate markets. MM: Do you have any choice in the type of military housing? JHB: Depending on the availability of RHUs on the base, there may be some choices available. For example, families with 3 children get priority for 4


52 Relocation

bedroom RHUs. It is rare that a couple with no children would get a 4 bedroom RHU. At one time there were designated homes for designated ranks (e.g. a unit's commanding officer's home) but that is not the case anymore. KS: Not really, when we moved, we just drove around the military area looking for our allocated address. MM: How much flexibility is there with relocations? JHB: Not much. The member is given a COS date (change of strength) which is when his records officially transfer from the losing unit to the gaining unit. The transfer of the member's family is usually done as close to the COS date as possible unless there are extraneous circumstances such as a move during the school year or if a family member has special needs. Also, the member can opt to go IR (imposed restriction) meaning the member moves to the new location and the family does not. The member must supply good reasons for applying for IR. The member would have rations and quarters at the new location but I believe there are also restrictions on this. KS: They ask you to list three choices, and usually give you your last one! Unless someone likes you, or maybe doesn't like you! MM: Is your husband normally with you when you move? JHB: According to the CFAOs (Canadian Forces Administrative Orders) and DAODs (Defence Administrative Orders and Directives), the member is supposed to be present for the move. Personally, my husband has only been with me, at the house, during one move and that was because he had a dislocated shoulder. KS: So far he has been with me, yes. We had to fly the cat a few times, while we drove and have each!driven a car to the new destination before. MM: Do you feel you have enough support as a wife from both the military and your family etc? JHB: I've always been an independent person and I've always been happy with the support and communications that I have received from the Canadian Forces. There are many ways the CF through the CMP has improved its services to members and their families over the years. It is very different now (more supportive & communicative) than it was when we first got married. KS: Not really, you kind of find out things on your own such as the free babysitting I only just!found out about. If you live off-base, it's harder to find out what's going on. Now that I have some contacts at the resource centre, I seem to know a bit more.! MM: Are you in close contact with family members?

JHB: It hasn't been easy staying in contact with distant relatives but we are in contact with parents and siblings frequently. The electronic age has certainly made things easier, email, Facebook, etc. My family is still in the Kingston area. My husband's sisters are in BC and his brother is in Nunavut. His parents are moving from Abuja to Aklavic this summer. KS: Yes, especially now that we are back in Ontario where our families are. My husband switched aircraft so we could get back to Ontario to be near family. This was a good and a bad move, as now he keeps being sent overseas. MM: How do you personally cope with your husband’s deployments? JHB: I try to focus on all the positives about the deployment, as funny as it sounds, things like not having to readjust the rearview mirrors in the car, less laundry, less cooking... Sometimes all it takes is the small things to get you through. Just one day at a time. KS: We are lucky they are only 8-10 weeks at a time but this year he will miss Christmas for the first time so that will be hard. The boys are in school full time so it's easier for me than if they were younger and I was a single parent. I have started to go to the base,!once a week to a program for deployed spouses and kids, which helps. I try to not feel too sorry for myself when he's gone. He has it much worse over there, with the danger and the heat and the stress and loneliness. Sure he has time to read a book, but he'd rather be home with us. MM: Has you husband ever been wounded in action? JHB: He dislocated a shoulder parachuting in 2009. KS: No, thank goodness. MM: Thinking of your children. How do they cope with their father being away? JHB: They know their father is doing his job. It is a bit stressful but email helps and so do the phone calls. We have a routine that we do when Daddy isn't home (eat fish, eat in front of the TV from time to time). KS: My youngest didn't sleep in his own bed the whole first deployment. He was better!with the second one but there have been a few teary nights, even now, when he thinks about his dad going away again. We don't talk about it too much beforehand. I inform their teachers so they can keep an eye out for!odd behaviour but I think they've done okay. !MM: How do they cope with relocations? JHB: They are just at the age where their friends are becoming more important. My son has a Facebook account that he uses to keep in touch with his friends. My daughter relies on email and postal


Relocation 53

Essential supplies arrive in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Photo by Sergeant Carole Morissette

The trailer unloaded from a United States of America C-17 aircraft and will later be moved to its rightful location. Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency (CFPSA) and the Canadian Forces are working in conjunction with Tim Horton’s to improve the well being of the Canadian troops while stationed in Afghanistan.

mail. When we move often we connect people we knew on previous postings and that always helps. KS: This is their first move, after spending their whole life in Nova Scotia. The good thing is that our families are here so that made it better. They did adapt okay but it takes a while.! MM: Do they understand the severity of his situation? JHB: Yes. They understand that there is risk in everything - a truck can hit you on the 401. They understand that Daddy is trained in what he does and he doesn't take unnecessary risks. KS: They don't watch the news, but likely know about the Canadian soldiers!being brought back who have died. We don't really talk about it but I am glad he's a pilot and not in!the army. MM: How openly do you talk to your children about military life in general and its implications? JHB: We do talk openly about military life and it's various aspects - the advantages and disadvantages - age appropriate of course. KS: One of my boys thinks he wants to be a pilot but at this point, we haven't had deep discussions about!military life. It's been a difficult career for my spouse with constant testing and stresses and I don't know if he'd recommend!it for the boys. At least he'd have some advice to pass on if they did join. I would!not!encourage them to join the army, for sure.! MM: Do they have regular contact with their father whilst he is away? JHB: Modern technology has made things much easier that’s for sure. We can email and keep pretty

much up to date with him. We also have a webcam and the children can see their Daddy on the computer and know he is safe and well. KS: Yes, by video chat. Even with the eight hour time change it works okay.!My spouse is diligent about it though. MM: Any final words? JHB: If you have kids it is a good idea to make sure you know which vaccinations they have or haven’t had. Each province is different as far as when they vaccinate and by moving from one province to another your child might miss a vaccine or be in danger of receiving one twice. I keep a record of who has had what and when, so that when I get notified by the school of an impending vaccination I know if it is required. Likewise if we move to a different province and the children of their age group have already received certain vaccines that my children haven’t, I can arrange with a doctor for it to be done. KS: I realize now, at this age, that I don't have my childhood friends any more, like a lot of people do. We have been gone from Ontario for 14 years and are now an hour from where we grew up. Some of my friends still play baseball and golf together and I am sad I no longer have that. It is hard to meet friends at my age and often people forget to welcome newcomers as they have their own set of friends. When the boys complained about missing their friends, I told them I missed my friends too and didn't have any new friends yet either. It was harder than I thought in that way.


54 Realty 1 Canada

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Realty 55

Real Estate Market News Figures released by the Canadian Real Estate

Association (CREA) in July show that activity in the real estate market declined in June across the country. Much of this is thought to be related to the new mortgage regulations recently imposed along with anticipated mortgage rate increases. Across the country sales were down 19.7% in June 2010 compared with June 2009. Home listings on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS) also decreased by 6.8% on the previous month. The national average sale price of homes listed on MLS actually rose 4.9% on the same time last year to $342,662. City, Province

June 2009 aveʼ price

June 2010 aveʼ price

National

$326,689

$342,662

Vancouver, BC

$575,949

$657,934

Victoria, BC

$476,689

$511,498

Edmonton, AB

$328,285

$335,271

Calgary, AB

$392,601

$415,431

Saskatoon, SK

$276,867

$295,963

Regina, SK

$245,097

$274,673

Winnipeg, MB

$212,542

$233,567

Toronto, ON

$403,918

$435,064

Ottawa, ON

$307,793

$328,238

Montreal, QC

$276,291

$307,403

Quebec City, QC

$218,104

$237,530

Fredericton, NB

$171,784

$175,812

Halifax, NS

$240,093

$262,992

Summerside, PE

$148,885

$137,335

St Johnʼs, NF

$211,844

$237,489

Yellowknife, NT

$331,696

$418,492

Whitehorse, YK

$218,420

$333,898

“The housing market is becoming more challenging for sellers,” said CREA President Georges Pahud. “Buyers are in less of a hurry, so sellers should consult with their local REALTOR® on how to best price and present their home to attract purchase offers.” The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reported a downturn of 23% in sales in June 2010 compared to June 2009. Across the province the average sale price via MLS was $499,908 an increase of 8% on last year. “Market conditions have shifted from balanced conditions at the start of the year to a buyers’ market this summer,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. The Greater Vancouver area remains the most expensive area to purchase in and the northern areas of the province the cheapest. The Realtors Association of Edmonton (RAE) saw fewer listings in June, but higher sales prices than last year. “There was less external pressure on the market from incentives or rate changes last month and as a result the market seems to be operating in a normal controlled manner,” said Larry Westergard, president of the RAE. Toronto saw a record number of home sales during the first half of 2010, but this has slowed over the last couple of months. “The pace of home sales has moderated from record levels over the past two months with the prospect of higher mortgage rates.” said Bill Johnston, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). “With more homes to choose from in the second quarter, many home buyers have been making lessaggressive offers. This has resulted in less upward pressure on the average selling price,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis. “The annual rate of average price growth in the second half of 2010 will be in the single digits.”


56 Realty

Rent-to-own For many buyers and sellers a rent-to-own option might be the perfect answer to home ownership


Realty 57 Although not widely publicized, rent-to-own can be a

good option for people who find themselves in a situation which prevents then from purchasing a property in the usual manner. It may be that you have sold a property but don’t have enough money for a downpayment on another, or your credit history is poor and the bank won’t qualify you for a mortgage. It may be that you are a newcomer who doesn’t yet have a Canadian credit history preventing you from applying for a mortgage. If you are a seller having trouble selling your property it may be a way to rent the property to someone to receive an income, secure in the knowledge that in an agreed number of years the renter will buy the property from you at the preagreed price. Some home builders also offer rent-to-own options on new build properties.

What is rent-to-buy Put simply it means you rent a property with the

option to buy after a set period of time. A percentage of the rent you pay to the landlord is used as a down payment towards the agreed purchase price. Obviously there are many things to consider when entering into this type of arrangement for both the landlord and the renter and as with any major purchase, careful consideration and legal advice is recommended. Process: The seller decides on the price they wish to sell the property for and the monthly rental amount charged until that time. As with all real estate transactions this is negotiable between both parties. The rent paid is divided into two portions, one agreed amount is income to the seller and the other portion forms part of the down payment. There is also normally a option fee payable at onset which will then be credited to the down payment. It is not unusual for rent-to-own monthly payments to be slightly higher than an equivalent straight rental amount. However you must remember that you are investing in the property and not just paying money to a landlord. An example of a rent-to-own arrangement might be: A property is valued at $220,000 and this amount is agreed by both the seller and buyer. The buyer agrees to pay a $5,000 option fee and $1,200 rent per month. Of that amount $300 per month is credited to the down payment. The agreement is for three years. Over the three year period the buyer will have paid $15,800 towards the down payment. During this time they will have built up a credit history and should be in a better position to purchase.

If at the end of the three years the buyer decides not to purchase then all monies paid are forfeited and the seller keeps the money and the house.

Advantages for buyers: •

Allows time to build up credit history and improve income before purchase • Easy way to save for a deposit • Able to live in property during rental period • Can walk away from the agreement at any time, subject to forfeit of amounts already paid • Price locked in at start of agreement

Disadvantages for buyers: • •

Upfront option fee required Any repairs on the property are the responsibility of the buyer even during rental period • Any late rental payment forfeits that months credit towards down payment • Locked in sale price may be a disadvantage if houses in the area decrease in price

Advantages for sellers: •

Locked in price can be an advantage if local house prices fall • Property will be well-maintained as renter is treating the house as their own, not a rental • Even if the buyer backs down the seller keeps all money paid

Disadvantages for sellers: •

Locked in price might be a disadvantage if house prices rise drastically • If buyer backs down the seller is back to square one trying to sell the property • If the seller receives a better offer for the property they are locked into the rent-to-buy agreement

It goes without saying that if you consider entering

into this type of contract you need good legal advice. As a buyer you need to know the price you are agreeing to purchase at is fair and that the money you are paying the buyer is secure. Know exactly what you are agreeing to and who is responsible for things such as maintenance during the rental period. Both buyer and seller need to be comfortable with the agreement in order for it to work. But done right this can be an excellent way to get yourself onto the property ladder.


58 Realty

Colour 101 – Understanding the Colour Wheel & Colour Schemes for Your Home


Realty 59 One of the most personal design elements of décor

for your home is colour! The colour that you choose to paint your walls, cover your furniture, hang on your windows or finish your floors with will tell a story…a story about you and the person that you are, whether you are quiet, romantic, flashy, young (or not so young), sporty or a social butterfly…… your home will reflect that. The best compliment we ever received from a guest was that our home was like a Venus flytrap… once you came inside you could not get back out as it was so comfortable. Our colour palette choice is one of warm neutrals with loads of dark chocolate accents. The wall colour is called Havana Cream but my husband calls it Melted Chocolate Ice Cream. Can you imagine it and see why it is so comfy! Our monochromatic colour scheme of warm neutrals continues in our other finishes; microfiber overstuffed sofas, plush wall to wall carpeting, cozy blankets & throw pillows adding the dark wood keeps things from being to “beige”. Having texture variation is very important as well with this colour scheme as it adds relief and interest. Another type of colour scheme to consider is an adjacent colour scheme. This means colours that are

beside each other on the colour wheel. For example: if you live in a colder climate you may want to choose colours from the warm side of the colour wheel that are beside each other, yellow & orange. This will warm up your space visually by taking clues from nature. The sun being many shades of orange is very warm and this will transform into your interior space. Adding splashes of yellow brings more warm vibrations into the room, while adding accents of black gives anchor and avoids monotony. Next, let’s look at a complementary colour scheme. Here we are going to use colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel. For example: purple & yellow an exhilarating combination that would be a hit with any tween girl’s bedroom. I normally suggest using one of your colour choices as the main colour and then adding splashes of the other, this keeps the room from feeling overwhelmed with colour but with a complementary colour scheme balance works best…equal amounts of colour bouncing around the room. A little trick of the trade is to take a piece of fabric, a painting or anything that has the colour


60 Realty combination that you are drawn to and build your colour scheme from that, choose your colours for each element of the room. I have designed a whole house based on a quartz counter top, getting my inspiration for the cabinetry colour, flooring, walls & fixtures! Finally, embrace colour and surround yourself with what makes you happy…your home IS a reflection of you, enjoy! Tool - http://colorschemedesigner.com/ Cindy L. Dow has over 25 years experience, continues to provide design services for all your home improvement needs. From start to finish Cindy will help you create the home decor of your dreams while working within your budget. Whether it is a new construction project or renovation of your existing home, she will walk with you through the potentially overwhelming process. http://www.interiorsbycindy.ca

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Realty 61

Ontario’s Tarion home warranty program to be reviewed Complaints about Ontario’s home warranty program

would be investigated by the provincial ombudsman under a proposed private member’s bill being introduced shortly. “We need consumer protection for people who buy a new home or who buy a new condo,” said Cheri DiNovo, the New Democrat MPP for the Toronto riding of Parkdale-High Park, who is proposing the new legislation. “I’m not seeing that.” Tarion Warranty Corp. is supposed to protect homeowners against defects in work and materials for up to two years and against major structural defects for up to seven years, covering up to $300,000. It is governed by the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act, which it has been assigned to administer. However, some homeowners, like Aline and Claude Martel, have complained that Tarion refused to cover problems with their new homes. The Martels said their new house in Ottawa’s Kanata North district turned into a nightmare of defects that the builder wouldn’t fix and Tarion wouldn’t recognize. “There was 19 fractures in my foundation,” Claude Martel recalled. “The soil was unstable, the house was cracking….[But] nothing was ever serious enough for consideration.” DiNovo thinks the problem is that Tarion operates independently of government. It is a private corporation financed by builder registration, renewal and home enrolment fees. Her bill aims to change that, putting Tarion under the scrutiny of Ontario’s ombudsman, an arm’s-length officer of the provincial government whose job is to investigate public complaints about government services. Claude Martel said he hopes it will prevent others from going through the pain suffered by him and his wife. “It was hell having to fight the city and having to fight the builder and having to fight supposedly the warranty protection group, which was not there for us.” Legislation concerning the Ontario New Home Warranties act was previously amended in 2005 to deal with previous service issues. Visit Tarion at www.tarion.com

Century 21 Canada launches mobile web platform Century 21 Canada has launched a mobile web

platform for users of popular hand-held devices and smart phones, including Blackberry, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Google Android phones. Additional devices will be added as development continues, the company says. The mobile website offers mobile-device-optimized property search, real estate agent/office search and agent pages; proximity search, enabling users to find homes and offices near their current locations; functionality for consumers to view and save favourites; the ability to add properties and notes on the go; full integration with the Century21.ca website and more. iPhones users currently account for the majority of visits to Century21.ca from mobile devices, with iPods and Blackberry users coming in second and third, respectively. “Most of the approximately 900,000 monthly visits to Century21.ca still come from home computers,” says Century 21 Canada president Don Lawby. “But mobile search optimization is the future of online real estate marketing, in my opinion.” Alex Blyakhman, president and chief product officer of WhereToLive.com, which developed the platform, says, “Many smart phones today have search functionality equivalent to home computers. Their technology lets potential home buyers tour neighbourhoods, view properties, download pictures or videos and then share their favourites with friends anywhere in the world. As a marketer, your website had better provide a positive and problem-free experience for these users or they’ll go somewhere else.” All CENTURY 21 real estate professionals in Canada can now market listings and property features using the mobile website. The site is currently available in English, with French and Chinese platforms due for release in the summer of 2010. Visit Century 21 at www.century21.ca


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