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MAY/JUNE 2013 • VOLUME 3 ISSUE 5

Published By FLLC Media PUBLISHER RG DUNDAS publisher@ourvoice.ca

inside

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR DONNA MESSER editor@ourvoice.ca CREATIVE DIRECTOR IRENE OTILANO ADVERTISING INQUIRIES ads@ourvoice.ca PHOTOGRAPHY Fotografia Boutique www.fotografiaboutique.ca

COPYRIGHT 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT EXPRESS WRITTEN PERMISSION IS PROHIBITED.

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CONTRIBUTORS RG Dundas, Donna Messer, Jane Blaufus, Brandon Forder, Rania Walker, Maryam Manteghi , Darrin Robinson, Julia Hanna, Lynda Wallace, Judy Longstreet, Deepa Berar, Marilyn Klatt.

Michael "Pinball" Clemons Living Life in H.D.

10 Coincidence, Circumstance, Fate and Angels RG Dundas 12 Part of the Sandwich Generation Jane Blaufus

@oakvillevoice facebook.com/oakville.voice

18 A tale of two Hotels Rania Walker 26 What Will Really Make You Happy Lynda Wallace 28 The Dating Game Donna Messer 38 A Mother's Day Makeover Deepa Berar

100% CANADIAN BECAUSE IT MATTERS 4 May/June 2013

40 Making Retail More Profitable Marilyn Klatt


Rediscover Downtown Oakville this Summer Downtown Oakville is the hub of culture, shopping, fashion and fine dining in our town. Its upscale shops and restraunts nesttle into Olde Oakville and provide visitors and residents an exciting and eligant pocket of local heritage, entertainment and art.

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Tomany, our downtown core IS Oakville. Considered to be one of Ontarios finest shopping destinations, Downtown Oakville has something for everyone and is always alive with activity and events. When was the last time you took the time to walk our downtown core and enjoy everything it has to offer? This summer take the time to rediscover Downtown Oakville. You will be glad that you did. Here are two fabulous upcoming events that you won't want to miss Midnight Madness

FRIDAY July 19th, 2013 from 6:00pm-12:00am (MIDNIGHT) Oakville’s largest retail event of the year is back! With food, live music and lots of community spirit. Drawing more than 50,000 people every year to downtown Oakville, Midnight Madness begins at 6 p.m., closing the downtown stretch of Lakeshore Road for the event. Those who head down can expect live music featuring everything from classic rock, blues, and pop! Beautiful Olde Oakville and provide visitors and residents

Jazz Festival

FRIDAY August 9th till Saturday August 10th, 2013 The Downtown Oakville Jazz Festival is underway for August 9th and 10th with road closures on both days beginning at 5pm and re-opening at midnight. This year promises to be filled with great artists including Jen Chapin (daughter of the late Harry Chapin) and her trio, Juno award winner Liali Biali, Juno award nominees Jaffa Road, and a rising star guitarist from Brazil Diego Figueiredo. The Jazz Festival provides great opportunity for you to engage new customers who appreciate arts & culture and all that Downtown Oakville has to offer!

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Mike Murray, General Manager of Chartwell Classic Oakville (R) with residents (L-R) Bill Millington, Frank Sawden, Pio Piasentin, Mary Alcorn, Joe Bahr, Ruth Jensen, Barbara Bahr, Shirley Weir and Alison Hanson.

CHARTWELL CLASSIC OAKVILLE estled into the growing neighbourhood of Uptown Oakville, Chartwell Classic Oakville goes beyond the expectations of what a traditional senior's residence should be, according to General Manager Mike Murray. "We see our role as helping to make people's lives better," Mike explains. "We're here to offer residents and their families peace of mind and great service." Residents of the five-year-old luxury building located at Dundas and Trafalgar enjoy premium retirement living with abundant on-site amenities, activities and caring staff. It's located conveniently near local shopping, restaurants, theatre, parks, and a variety of activities, all within walking distance or a short drive. Offering both permanent housing and short-term care, the highly-skilled and caring staff work hard to ensure residents are given the best care, compassion and respect that they deserve. "There is an abundance of experience and wisdom inside our walls," Mike explains. "Many of the people living here have been through such life changing events as the Great Depression, WWII, and the dawn of the space age. They have helped build this country. We are very fortunate that they have chosen to live at Chartwell Classic Oakville. We benefit every day in hearing their stories and learning from their experiences." Oakville is a place for families, and many seniors living at Chartwell appreciate that they are so close to their family and friends nearby. 8 May/June 2013

"Many of our residents continue to actively participate in the community activities they've taken part in for many years as well as joining in on the many events that also take place at Chartwell Classic Oakville." Mike is a firm believer in fun and wants both the residents and staff to have a great time while at Chartwell. "Having fun is a top priority here at Chartwell Classic Oakville. That's why we offer a complete calendar of events and activities both on site and off. From fitness classes and outdoor excursions to bridge tournaments and cultural activities, we have something for everyone. Residents themselves decide how much or how little they want to take part in. We have a big, beautiful outdoor environment that we take advantage of for events." Chartwell Classic Oakville also offers delicious, nutritious and pleasurable dining; their food service team make sure residents enjoy a variety of fulfilling and

nutritious meals. All meals are freshly prepared on site daily by certified chefs and food service experts. To anyone who hasn't visited Chartwell Classic Oakville or hasn't stopped by for a while, Mike extends a personal invitation to come have a firsthand look at what the residence is all about. "Anyone starting to think about future living arrangements should come see our beautiful environment," he explains. "We're here to help seniors and their families as they consider what works best for their individual situation. "Our care and services, in addition to our beautiful suites and amenities, may help make that future decision a lot easier once you see what a wonderful atmosphere Chartwell Classic Oakville is," he adds. "The good news is, we still have some availability, but don't leave it too long. I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised with what we have created here."

Established 2008 - 180 Oak Park Blvd, Oakville L6H 0A6 - 905 257 0095 mcumpstey@chartwellreit.ca - jahunter@chartwellreit.ca - www.chartwellreit.ca


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Coincidence, Circumstance,

Fate and Angels How I Found Fatherhood

RG DUNDAS

The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone. ~George Elliot In 2003 I met an angel. It's true. Well, I can’t be sure but it is the best explanation I can come up with. As a child of science, it took me quite some time to come to grips with the angel, and even longer to manage to tell anyone about it. I am not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination, and have only begun to discover my own spirituality since it happened. It taught me that traditional thinking simply cannot explain the many complexities of life no matter how clever, scientific and level headed you are. The universe is not a logical place that can be explained on a chalkboard with formulations and predictabilities. There is something more to all of it. It was a Sunday and I had just endured what I believe was the most hellish and painful week of my life. A few months earlier, my common-law spouse had disappeared with my son. There were no previous discussions, no warning, no note, just an empty house and a missing son. As cold as it may sound, I have to admit that her leaving was no big deal to me. The loss of my son, however, tore me to shreds. The fact that she was pregnant at the time cut me even deeper. Even at a very young age, my son and I had formed an inexplicable bond that we still share today. He was like a divine gift; of course I didn’t believe in such things at the time. I was a newspaperman who lived his life both personally and professionally in the realm of black and white. I saw life as a series of random events that had no connection whatsoever. I would later learn that this might not be the case. I immediately sought help to find my boy. The authorities were no assistance as she and her family hid my sons whereabouts from me. To this day I hold a considerable 10 May/June 2013

grudge with the practices of the cops and their policies toward men. I know full well that if it was me who disappeared with our son that I would have been caught and put in jail within 24 hours. Of course I was the innocent victim here (as was my son), so I was certain that the law would do its due diligence to help me as best they could. Unfortunately, what actually occurred was that within three days of reporting my son as missing the police showed up to my door and arrested me for uttering death threats. Death threats! This report of the death threats, of course, wasn’t filed until after she and her family had discovered that I had reported my boy as having been abducted. The entire ordeal was a cold and calculated attack on my me and my abilities as a parent. It was designed to establish a position of power, and it worked. This assassination of my character stripped me of virtually all self-confidence and had a negative effect my life for years to come. I had no idea what to do. Every lawyer I spoke with told me that what had happened to me and my son was a common occurrence and to be prepared to wait for six months or more to see him again. What? Somehow, I found a kindly attorney. Laird Meneely was a gentleman to whom I will be forever in debt. When we met, he listened to my story and promised to get my son back immediately. Three days later my boy and I were reunited with a temporary order to spend 50% of

his time in my custody (Thursday through Sunday). It was a miracle. Laird was no angel, though. I’m pretty sure angels don’t appear as lawyers. That is likely an impossibility. Five moths later, Laird was dead. He died of a massive coronary on Easter Sunday while at the Toronto Zoo with his wife and two beautiful daughters. He was 40 years old. I was informed close to a week after about Lairds passing by my soon to be exfather-in-law, who was sickly elated at my lawyers passing; no doubt because he had been successful at what he had set out to do. I remember the overwhelming feeling of unfairness and powerlessness. This man who had returned to me what was the most important part of my life had been permanently torn from the people who, I knew, were the most important in his. Laird and I spoke often about family and our shared love for our children and I know that our common beliefs were the reason why he worked so hard for us. He fought as if it was for himself and his own family. I felt helpless and somehow responsible. It was unfair that I wasn’t given the opportunity to do for him what he had done for me. How could this happen? For a moment I stopped feeling sorry for myself and mourned for them. Life is ironic, unfair and ugly at times. Every Easter I think of his family and wonder where they are and if they are okay and send thanks to the universe for having allowed them to touch my life. Little did I know that the passing of my


lawyer left my gates open for an onslaught of family litigation that would last for eight long years. That is not the story at hand, though. The first course of action that was cast upon me was to ensure I did not get joint custody, and to reduce the time my son and I spent together drastically. It was no time before I was inundated with legal documents and court dates. I was stuck without a lawyer, alone, undefended, and vulnerable. Strike while the iron is hot, right? I began to forget the gift Mr. Meneely had given me. This brings me to my hellish week. As stated earlier, it was a Sunday and my son and I had just finished up at the single fathers group we went to weekly. Our routine on Sundays was to go to the group where there were crafts, activities and children my son’s age. It was important to me to make sure he had friends, and he met many. Afterwards we would always go to a chocolate shop that was in the same mall as the fathers group to get a treat and he would play on the little dollar rides that were there. Afterwards, we would always go to a tiny local free zoo and spend the afternoon. It was the place where we both discovered his fascination and love for animals. Despite the stress, I miss those days. In the week that was to follow, I had a court date that would determine my custody and time with my son. The week prior was filled with retaining a new lawyer, completing legal forms, sleepless nights, desperation, and worry. On the Friday prior to the weekend I am speaking of, I went to the bank machine to retrieve $1,000 from my rapidly dwindling bank account so I could pay off some of the many bills that were piling up. I was lost and empty. To be honest, I was borderline suicidal. I never remember feeling more destitute. It was like a living nightmare from which I couldn’t wake. As I walked away from the bank machine I looked into the eyes of the woman who was in line behind me. I remember that she had a strange, vacant, almost predatory expression, but everyone seemed to in those days. I said hello, climbed into my car and drove away. Within a block I realized that I did not take the money from the machine. When I returned to the bank, she and my money were long gone. I was now very short on cash. My stomach was in knots, and I hated myself for being so irresponsible and stupid. Everything in my life was going in the wrong direction and I was certain that I was about to be destroyed in court the next week. I felt that I had let my son down and that I was the worst father on the planet. How could I ever explain to him someday,

when he was older, that I was simply incapable of winning? What would he think of me? What seemed to me to be the final pin standing in my existence was teetering and sure to fall. I was his hero. I was a false hero. I didn’t deserve the feelings he had for me. I was an utter failure. As I sat on a bench that Sunday, my son playing happily near the dollar rides, an old woman spotted us. She slowly made her way toward the bench I was sitting on with her walker. I knew she was coming to chat and I felt like simply getting up, grabbing my boy and walking away, but something stopped me. She must have been ninety years old, and when she sat, she did so hip to hip with me and began to pat me on the knee as only an old woman can. Her fingers were gnarled and grey and looked sore. She was hunched over and wore old clothes that I could tell that she took good care of. She couldn’t have weighed more than eighty pounds. I did not want to speak with her. I did not want to speak with any woman. I was jaded and angry. Over the past several months I had learned to paint on a false face. Inside, however, I was filled with nothing but acid and bile. I hated almost everything. “I had to come over here and say hello”, she said, still patting my knee. “He is such a beautiful little boy with his overalls and blond hair”. “Thank you”, I replied blankly. “I like to think so”. “Where is his mother?” she asked, looking around the mall. “Who does he look more like, her or you?” I wanted to stand up and spit “she’s dead” at her, but I didn’t do that either. “His mother and I are separated, but I like to think that he looks more like me”, I said, faking a smile. “We only get to see each other part time now and it looks like we are going to have even less time together soon”. She looked at me with pale blue eyes and smiled a smile that must have been a sight to behold in her day. “Isn’t that just wonderful”, she beamed. “Excuse me?” I replied, dropping my false mask, thoroughly offended. “You boys are going to have the most wonderful life together”, she smiled, squeezing my leg. “What an incredible gift you both have been given. So many people take the time they have together for granted, but you two will always cherish the moments you have and never waste them. What a marvelous blessing.” In that moment my life changed

forever. I suddenly realized that even though the world seemed like chaos, unfair and ugly, every moment he and I had spent together was special. Everything was going to be okay… for Lairds family too. His family would cherish him forever and my son and I loved each other unconditionally and I was going to be a dad again. I had never passed up an opportunity to be with my boy, even when I was feeling low. Every experience we had together over the past several months was somehow more important and special and nothing could ever change that. Suddenly my life was real and untouchable. At that moment, my son came over. The old woman touched his cheek gently and then stood up to leave. “It was a pleasure to meet you both, I am so happy for you”, she said as she hobbled away. “Thank you”, I replied, a massive weight having been lifted from me by this frail stranger. For more than a year after that, my son and I returned to that very spot. We never saw the woman again, but I have tried to live by the philosophy that she had so graciously given us as best I can. Not to perfection, mind you, but now I have a template to return to when my feelings stray. I am thankful for every second in my life, regardless of how I originally perceive it. My ex and I also spend time together often with our children, and I relish every moment. I would not change a thing. The universe is not a logical place that can be explained on a chalkboard with formulations and predictabilities. There is something more to all of it. I do not believe there is a colossal allencompassing answer to everything, or anything for that matter. I do know that I should appreciate what I have right now, though. I am thankful for that period in time and all the events that happened and I look forward to the future for all of us. I realize that I have to see past a world that seems ironic, unfair and ugly at times and witness the true gifts that life offers. I don’t know how or why, but life is a series of coincidences, circumstance, fate and, if you pay careful attention… angels. My name is Robert Dundas and I am the publisher of the Oakville Voice. My opinions are mine alone and I am privileged to have the opportunity to be able to Voice them to you.Your input and comments are welcome and encouraged.I can be contacted at publisher@ourvoice. ca. I will reply. Let me hear your Voice. Please support local business.

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Part of the Sandwich Generation: Do you have the answers to some Jane Blaufus

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of these courageous questions? hese days do you sometimes find yourself pulled between the growing needs of your aging parents and the ongoing needs of your growing family? If you do, take heart, you are not alone.

The “sandwich generation” is the fastest growing demographic within the baby boomers (1947-1966) and the first to struggle with both the financial needs of their kids and the financial/caregiving needs of their retired parents. The good news is that elderly people are benefiting from medical advancements and rising life expectancies, but the bad news is that their children – often parents themselves – are “sandwiched” in the middle, ultimately caring for two generations. For many parents, the big day they looked forward to, was having their kids finish college and university and move out of the house to make it on their own. Unfortunately, today many have moved back home due to increasing financial difficulties, marriage breakups, etc... For the first time in history, many kids are competing with their parents for entry-level jobs. Meanwhile, mom or dad maybe have outlived their retirement savings and 12 May/June 2013

not only be short on cash – they might also require a daily caregiver. The term sandwich generation refers to a generation that is simultaneously caring for parents and children. Dorothy Miller coined the term in 1981. Members of the sandwich generation face difficulties in allocating time and money and often describe themselves as being pulled in two directions. Emotional difficulties, especially depression, and marriage conflicts are common problems for those in this situation. (Sandwich Generation by Susan Adcox, About.com Guide) David Foot, a professor of economics at the University of Toronto says, “The people most likely to have dual obligations are around the age of 50 – the peak of the baby boomer generation.” The number of Canadians over the age of 45 providing care for aging parents and other adults increased dramatically over a five-year period,

according to a Statistics Canada study released in October 2008. • About 2.7 million Canadians provided unpaid care to people 65 and over with some form of long-term health problem in 2007, an increase of over 670,000 in 2002, the study says. Projections show that by 2056, the proportion of Canadians age 65 or older will more than double, to over one in four; similarly, the proportion of people 80 and over will triple to about one in 10, says the study, taken from figures compiled during the 2007 General Social Survey (GSS) on Family, Social Support and Retirement. According to the GSS, care giving is not just provided to seniors living in their own homes, but extends to those living in institutions and long-termcare facilities who still count on family and friends for help. In 2007, more than one in five unpaid caregivers provided care to seniors living in care facilities, the GSS said. About 43 per cent of caregivers in the study were between ages 45 and 54. In the US according to an AARP survey, some 35% of boomers have been responsible for the care of their elderly parents. That is up from 26% in 1998. Meanwhile, half of boomers are still raising a young child, in some cases


their grandchildren as well, or providing financial assistant to an adult child, according to Pew Research Centre. So good luck – just try to live your retirement dream! These obligations are not just expensive; they are time consuming, demanding and directly affect one’s ability to earn a living. According to a Hartford survey: • 68% of boomers missed work in the last six months or left early due to care-giving duties for either a young child or an elderly parent • 50% of those who missed work for care-giving duties in the last six months missed between eight and sixteen hours • More than three-quarters of boomers have taken as much as sixteen hours of paid vacation time to care for a child or parent • 47% of young boomers worry about how their care-giving duties affect their performance at work • The #1 concern of older boomers as it relates to care giving is that their duties will force them to postpone retirement I consulted a well-known private practice therapist, Heidi Cowie, RSW to find out her thoughts on this growing trend. “Care giving for family members creates a unique sort of stress. There is an emotional and psychological thread that knits together the family member and the Caregiver. We may feel fear, anger, and guilt when we are trying to balance our lives with our perceived obligation to family. I say, “perceived” because often we think or feel that we have a moral obligation or duty to care for our family. We struggle to balance our feelings of helping lovingly, versus

helping to avoid feeling guilty. This dichotomy between “want” and “should” is the perfect breeding ground for constant emotional stress.” Therefore, here are just a few courageous questions you need to have answers for or have thought about, to help if you end up becoming part of the “sandwich generation.” • Have you talked to your parents about what plans they have put in place if they were to become critically ill or require long term care? • Do you know if your parents have recently reviewed their wills and pre-estate documents for financial and health matters to make sure they are up-to-date? • Do you know where all of their important documents are? • If you are responsible for looking after your elderly parents, have you made sure there is sufficient life insurance in place, in addition to what you have provided for your family, to care for them after you are gone? • Do you know what youremployers policy is in relation to the demands you might potentially face? • Do you know where to get help for yourself if you become overwhelmed by the support that you might be required to provide? I would strongly encourage you to ask these questions before it gets to the point that you become a caregiver or before it is too late. Jane Blaufus is an Author, Professional Speaker and Catalyst for‘Courageous Conversations'. www.janeblaufus.comFollow her on Twitter @janeblaufus

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Should your dog

say goodbye to gluten? In my opinion, dogs should be fed an exclusively grain-free diet, which absolutely includes gluten.

Over the past few years, gluten sensitivities and intolerances have become the subject of ever-growing discussions in both human and animal diets. Gluten may be the source of several health related problems - from digestive issues, to predispositions to intestinal cancers. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let us take a minute to understand what gluten is, and the effect it may have on our pets.

What is Gluten?

Simply put, gluten is a protein derived from the processing of grains like wheat, soy and barley. Also found in some cosmetics and hair products, gluten is most commonly found in food products. Gluten has elastic properties, giving baked goods a dough-like texture, while assisting in the shape stability of the product.

Why is Gluten a Problem?

Many dogs can eat gluten-based products with no negative results. For these dogs, gluten is digested in the small intestine and that's the end of the story. There are, however, many dogs that cannot digest gluten (to varying degrees). For these dogs, gluten triggers an autoimmune reaction in the small intestine, which compromises the body's ability to absorb essential nutrients. As a result, your pet could potentially be malnourished regardless of the quality of his diet, or how much food he consumes. BRANDON FORDER

Dogs with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or sensitivity will manifest symptoms including (but not limited to): - Diarrhea or inconsistent bowel movements - Irritable bowel syndrome - Chronic ear problems - Excessive scratching/licking - Fatigue - Unexplained weight loss - Insatiable appetite - Gas/bloatedness

How is this Treatable?

Fortunately for most dogs, the solution couldn't be simpler: go gluten free! There are many gluten-free and grain-free diets on the market, so you do not have to limit your dog's diet as much as you may think. If your pooch seems to be showing any of these symptoms, and you suspect he may have a problem with gluten, talk to us - we can help!

is a Pet Health Professional and co-足o wner of Canadian Pet Connection, specializing in pet nutrition, behaviour and lifestyle for more than 17 years. Based in Oakville, Ontario, CPC is committed to providing their clients with the best advice, information and products the pet industry has to offer. www.canadianpetconnection.com

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STAYCATION SALVATION A Tale of Two Hotels

Rania Walker

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chool’s almost out and planning for summer vacation is top of mind for many parents. And with that planning comes decisions. Recently our travels took us to the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate NY. During our four day getaway, we stayed in two very different hotels, both offering varying amenities and appealing to different tastes and accommodation preferences. Staying at both back to back really highlighted for our family what our own expectations of ‘family-friendly’ really meant. I’m one who can appreciate a beautifully appointed room and reception area modern, new and posh win me over ever time. Yet, on this adventure we learned that ‘different strokes for different folks’ can extend to different needs, and traveling with kids means that what we’d prefer as a couple or solo traveler doesn’t necessary translate to my preferences traveling with kids or a group. The first part of our travels took us to Syracuse NY and a stay at the lovely Homewood Suites Hotel in Liverpool/ Syracuse. Upon entering we were greeted by the friendliest of front desk staff, and a 24 beverage service offering fruit and snacks, along with coffee, tea, lemonade, etc. The décor was country cabin motif, not my personal preference but super cozy and inviting. We were lucky enough to find that they had a real two-bedroom suite waiting for us. The room was expansive and bigger than some of my friends Toronto condos. Equipped with a kitchenette and fireplace, two large bedrooms, two bathrooms and three tv’s the kids were doing somersaults off the couch without disturbing us or fear of them knocking something over (not that I would ever condone that behavior…). They kindly had a bottle of wine and some Ben and Jerry’s waiting for us in the fridge, but not one to be easily swayed, we chose to leave the wine for later, once we had issued the Walker seal of approval. While there was no indoor swimming pool (they have an outdoor one for warmer months), their ‘Family Room’ /Breakfast Room encouraged us to chill and relax as a family and enjoy a prolonged breakfast with the kids. The complimentary Hot and Cold buffet was one of the best we have ever had and the staff replenished the food as quickly as it was being consumed. They had lots of healthy options and even doggie bags for picky kids who wanted to ‘save it for later’. The second night we arrived to our room after a long day of skiing to find towel Dogs on the kids’ beds, mugs with hot cocoa and marshmallows, and a plate of cookies addressed to the kids. When I inquired about the reason behind 18 May/June 2013

this, it turns out this is standard practice whenever they know there are kids in the room – talk about a big win with the kids. We decided to order in from Salvatore’s (huge portions, super affordable and some of the best Italian we’ve had highly recommended). The staff at the Homewood was beyond compare – friendly, kind, attentive and like family. Next stop on our journey was Rochester NY. We were booked into the beautiful and what looked like newly-renovated Strathallen Hotel by Double Tree. We were greeted by a free Valet service and warm oatmeal cookies at the reception. The front entrance was very posh, much like a high-end boutique hotel in any major downtown. With Char, their elegant restaurant and bar welcoming us, and pianist serenading well-dressed patrons, my husband and I started calculating how quickly we could feed the kids and pop in a movie before we could head down for a peaceful drink by their entrancing fireplace settees. But the indoor pool trumped those plans and the kids had a great evening swimming, splashing, racing and releasing all that energy that had been pent up in the car. Swimming left them famished and we headed down the restaurant to order some food. The prices were a bit to precious for our budget, and while we did order a few of the items that


patrons around us were rightfully raving about, we opted to go out and get some groceries that we could use for a simple dinner and breakfast. That’s where we hit a bit of a roadblock. We hadn’t realized that breakfast wasn’t included and as we quickly learned neither was a microwave, kitchenette, cups, cutlery or much else in the room. While large,

welcoming and impeccably decorated, these rooms were geared more towards the business traveler or family that wants to come and sleep and run. And the valet we thought was so great upon arrival became a bit of a thorn in our side when we needed to run back and get some luggage we’d forgotten, and then leave again to get some groceries.

The 10 minute wait, with groceries in hand and car running, for the valet person to come back from break, was an inconvenience that quickly turned to annoyance. Yet, once we finally dove into the selections we’d ordered from Char, all was forgiven. Ultimately it becomes a question of preference. Do you prefer to stay in a hotel with all the comfort, amenities and feel of home, or do you prefer to be surrounded by lovely décor and the feel of a getting a get-away in a highend hotel? We definitely appreciated what each had to offer, and in reviewing both, it’s not fair to compare apples to oranges, so we won’t. We’ll just say Thank You for giving us a memorable few nights in two very safe, inviting and fun environments for our family getaway. What are your family’s favorite types of places to stay? Share your thoughts with us @lrgfamilytravel. Thank you to the fine folks at the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance for all their help and recommendations. And thank you to the Homewood Suites in Liverpool/Syracuse and The Strathallen in Rochester for their hospitality and kindness during out stay.

Rania Walker

is a busy mom of three kids who loves to travel and is always looking for deals and tips to allow her to explore, experience and bond with her "large" family of 5. Through SparQ Street Communications she offers Media Training and On-Air Presentation Skills; P.R., Branding & Marketing Consultation; Media Relations and Corporate Communications.

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Let’s get moving

What is the

Metrolinx

Big Move project? Julia Hanna

The question is not if we need new transportation infrastructure but how are we going to fund it. Infrastructure is the backbone of our economy and benefits the entire province. Ontario’s transportation network is a major part of the province’s infrastructure and a significant economic enabler of trade and economic investment. Sixty-two percent of Oakville’s residents who are employed leave the community each day to commute to work. This number is 50% above the provincial average. Transportation improvements can make a significant difference to Oakville commuters’ quality of life, allowing them to spend more time with their families. Why is new revenue for transportation infrastructure important? A significant lack of investment in infrastructure over the last several decades by successive governments has resulted in a dire problem. At the Oakville Chamber’s recent roundtable with representatives from Metrolinx and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) as well as a broad mix of our members, there was unanimous support that the provincial government must look for efficiencies within its existing budget to help finance the Big Move. But we can’t wait; we recognize that additional funding is necessary. We also know that the status quo is simply not an option. We cannot let the problem worsen for future generations. Businesses understand the cost of congestion. The ability to get people moving helps the bottom line – opens

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up new markets, allows goods to move freely, and grows the pool of potential employees from which they can draw. Current traffic congestion costs the economy an estimated $6 billion per year. For every $100 million invested in infrastructure, 1,670 jobs are created. What is the Metrolinx Investment Strategy? The OCC and Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) chambers recently released a report based on consultations with GTHA businesses entitled The $2 Billion Question: GTHA Business Opinion on Funding the Big Move. This report informed the Metrolinx Investment Strategy. The Metrolinx Investment Strategy proposes a fuel tax as a revenue source, which is in line with what GTHA businesses identified as a high potential (potentially viable) tool. Additional revenue tool recommendations coming out of the Metrolinx Investment Strategy include a sales tax, commercial parking levy and development charges. None of the OCC’s non-starter (not viable) tools (employer payroll tax, property tax or Vehicle Kilometres Travelled (VKT) fee) were put forward by Metrolinx as recommendations. Variances between the regions on tool preferences were clear but the chambers agreed that we all must get beyond our parochial perspectives and recognize what is critical for the GTHA region as a whole. This discussion is not about

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he Big Move is a 25year, $50 billion plan designed to coordinate, integrate and build transportation and transit infrastructure across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). preserving 905 versus 416 interests. According to the Investment Strategy, 41% of funds will be raised in the 416 area code and 42% of investment will take place within it. Fifty-nine percent of funds will be generated in the 905 area code and 58% of funds will be invested in this same area. It is not about partisanship or politics but about clear, guiding principles. The Chamber’s GTHA caucus – comprising 22 chambers – created the following principles and The Metrolinx Investment Strategy must be based on these principles: • All new revenues must be dedicated; • The collection of revenue and distribution of funding must be transparent; • The cost must be distributed and the funding allocated fairly; • Revenue tools should not impact economic competitiveness. The chamber’s roundtable built on discussions that the Chamber GTHA Caucus started with Metrolinx a few years ago. This caucus meets regularly to inform municipal, provincial and federal discussions about regional GTHA issues and to ensure that the unique issues and needs of each community have a voice. There is power and strength in the chamber network.

For more information about the recommendations, visit http://www.metrolinx.com/en/regionalplanning/funding/IS_Executive_Summary_EN.pdf


Ditch your overweight

or saboteur friends Darrin Robinson

Ok, I'll admit this sounds rather harsh, but it isn't if you are serious about your fat loss goals. I have seen it a thousand times and lived it myself, friends are often less supportive than you would like when it comes to achieving your body image goals. When trying to change to a healthier lifestyle some friends can be more saboteurs than supporters, they rarely mean to be that way but they are. This is especially true of the friends that may not be in as good as shape as you are already. Women often say sneaky subtle things to knock their “friend” offtrack and men often belittle their dieting friend to make him seem less of a man for dieting. With this type of friend socializing becomes very tricky as they typically want to indulge in the items you no longer can. So you end up sipping water or diet pop while

out with your friends partying or eating a salad while your friends pound back your favourite foods (and if your friends are like some of mine they wont mind throwing the fact that you are missing out not having what they are). I found for me personally staying away from certain people or at least reducing my time with them was the only way to move forward towards my goal. I became anti social within my group as I would disappear for weeks at a time. However those were the weeks I saw the biggest changes, the weeks that I socialized the results were slow or non existent. For the record I am not the only one in this situation, like I stated earlier I have seen it a thousand times with clients. Peer pressure never ends, its high school for life. Clients in average shape that want to get into exceptional shape have friends suspect

them of having an eating disorder or body image dis-morphia issues. Heavier than average clients don't get much more support either (even though they deserve the most support), mainly since they tend to socialize with other larger people. They have to subject themselves to friends indulging when they can not, obviously we don't expect our friends to change their eating habits because we are but we often expect more support than we get. I even hear it from the competitors I work with, they too have friends telling them “you have 12 weeks until your show one piece of cake isn't going to hurt you” or “you workout all the time you can burn this off”. They don't understand what goes into getting in shape, the physical or the mental side. That one piece of cake could start a downward spiral into an all out binge that could last a day or days. It goes on and on and I'm sure everyone has their own story. One of my fitness industry friends posted on Facebook recently, “Time to become anti social again” which tells me someone is behind on their fat loss goals and needs to kick it up. I'm not saying that you can't be social and still stick to your healthy lifestyle, you can. However you have to do it with the right people that support your goals and don’t pressure or lead you into eating or drinking foods you know are going to effect you negatively.

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Are Olive Oil And Balsamic Vinegar Bars A Fad? Since olive oil is in the news, everyone wants to know more about it both in Europe and here in Canada! Here are some interesting tidbits from the publication, “The Olive Times”.

Who knows – but we are seeing, olive oil and balsamic vinegar bars becoming something of a have popular cultural phenomenon. Is it a flash fad that might fade into the background again? We asked Georgette Theodore of Olivo Fresco, for her feedback and according to her it’s not a fad, it’s something that is here to stay! Shops like this have been around for years in Europe and the United States. It appears that these olive oil and vinegar bars will likely become similar to the coffee, tea and chocolate specialty shops that have been popping up around the country. “These are long-standing, traditional products that are integrated into our culture and our diets,” says Georgette. “My feeling is that olive oil and balsamic vinegar are here to stay.” Let’s take a walk around Olivo Fresco and watch clients toss back shots of olive oil or balsamic vinegar in tiny individual cups. While it doesn’t sound particularly pleasant if you haven’t experienced this new phenomenon of oil and vinegar bars, clients are raving about the experience and the tastes! Shoppers who walk into Olivo Fresco see stainless steel drums called fustis, these are the containers that house premium extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar aged a minimum of 12 years. Customers can sample an incredible array of olive oil flavours that include White Truffle, Dark Chocolate and Espresso. For the balsamic vinegars, there is a choice of dark or light, in such flavours as Pomegranate, Blackberry Ginger

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and Vermont Maple in dark balsamic and Cranberry Pear, Ripe Peach and Sicilian Lemon in light balsamic. Shop owner Georgette Theodore is a former teacher, a restauranteur and caterer. She is always delighted to see the puzzled look on people’s faces as they walk in the door – it give her the chance to “teach” a little as she explains what they experience will be like. “Five years ago, this would have been really pushing people’s limits,” she says. “Ten years ago, I don’t think there would have been much uptake. But in the last two years, the North American consumption of olive oil has increased by 800 per cent.” “Canada AM recently showcased how to shop for olive oil, said Georgette, and we are happy to share our knowledge and resources. When our clients come in and taste test, we provide education in a fun and informative way.” Located in trendy Kerr Village, the shop appeals to those who want to be healthy and knowledgeable about the features and benefits of olive oil. “It is well known that extra virgin olive oil is good for the body – boosting heart health and even lowering the risk of certain kinds of cancer. But not all olive oils

DONNA MESSER

are created equal, said Theodore. Olive oil has to be fresh in order to maintain its health advantages. It’s important to pick your oil like you would pick your wine. You want to take into account when it was bottled, the kinds of olives that are in it, and the region from which it came.” Olivo Fresco is not your average retail shop. They have developed a comprehensive program for companies wanting to sample a variety of products while learning about the nuances and science behind olive oils and balsamic vinegars. According to Theodore, “You can even bring your friends into the store and celebrate weddings, showers, birthdays or any special occasion.” They even host fundraisers! And if that’s not enough, they will come to you with a home tasting party. As an educator, Georgette has developed an educational program for local schools. Students are offered the opportunity to taste and learn more about the features and benefits of both olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Olivo Fresco is located at 81 Florence Dr. at Kerr St. They’re open 6 days a week. www. olivofresco.com

• Olive oil helps lower levels of blood cholesterol leading to heart disease • Olive oil is the highest in mono-unsaturated fat, and doesn’t oxidize in the body. • Olive oil can help decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure • Olive oil, although high in calories, has shown to help reduce levels of obesity. • Olive oil appears to improve bone mineralization and calcification.


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What Will Really Make You Happy?

Lynda Wallace

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Research Reveals 4 Common Misconceptions

he idea of a happy and meaningful life has become unnecessarily complicated in some circles, says author and certified positive psychology coach Lynda Wallace, who left a highpowered executive career with Johnson & Johnson to pursue her real passion – helping individuals and groups achieve greater happiness and success. “Happiness has been appropriately cited as a goal in political debates on issues from taxation to the social safety net to marriage equality, but the debate is often confused,” says Wallace, author of “A Short Course in Happiness: Practical Steps to a Happier Life,” which topped Amazon’s Self-Help Best Seller list. “Some people claim that happiness is all in your DNA or bank account. The truth is that happiness is largely a matter of everyday choices and actions. There are straightforward, well-researched and effective things every one of us can do to create greater happiness in our lives and in the lives of those we care about.” The essential elements of a happy life are not mysterious, she says. Research shows that the happiest people do four basic things that make the difference: they focus on what is good and positive in their lives; cope effectively with life’s inevitable challenges; develop strong relationships; and pursue meaningful goals. “We can all become happier by putting our efforts into these areas,” Wallace says.

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One of the first steps we can take is to get past some of the common misperceptions about happiness that can stand in our way. Wallace offers these four examples. • Misconception #1: Happiness is about getting the big things right. It’s natural to think that if we were suddenly rich, beautiful and living on the beach somewhere, we’d be happy. But that type of good fortune turns out to have a surprisingly small impact on happiness. The happiest people are most often not those in the most enviable circumstances, but those who cultivate positive emotional outlooks and actions. So how can we do it? “Take concrete steps to practice optimism, gratitude, kindness and self-compassion in your everyday life,” says Wallace. “The cumulative effect of those everyday choices can have a tremendous impact on how you experience your life.” • Misconception #2: Happy people suppress negative emotions. Happy people actually experience sadness, grief, worry and other so-called negative emotions nearly as frequently as unhappy people do. The difference is what happens when those feelings occur. Happier people are generally able to experience negative feelings without losing hope for the future. “They give themselves permission to feel sad, angry, or lonely, but they remain confident that things will get better. As a result, their sadness progresses into hope and action rather than regressing into anxiety and despair.” • Misconception #3: Pursuing happiness is self-centered. The strongest of all conclusions drawn by researchers into emotional well-being is that our happiness is determined more by our relationships with other people than by any other single factor. The happiest people build their lives around good, trusting relationships. “If other priorities are getting in the way of your relationships,” says Wallace, “take steps to shift the balance back to where it will really make a difference.” • Misconception #4: I’ll be happy when I achieve my goals. Have you ever noticed that when someone wins the Super Bowl or an Academy Award, or when you achieve a longsought ambition, that wonderful sense of accomplishment and happiness seems to fade faster than you’d expect? “That’s just the way our brains work,” says Wallace. “Committed goal pursuit is one of the keys to a happy life, but most of the happiness we get from striving for goals comes while we’re making progress toward them, not after we achieve them. That’s why it’s so important that we choose goals that are in synch with what we love and value, and that we make a conscious effort to enjoy them along the way.” Lynda Wallace

was a highly successful executive with Johnson & Johnson where she was responsible for a billion dollar portfolio of businesses including Band-Aid, Neosporin and Purell. Today, she is a soughtafter speaker and the author of the #1 Amazon Self-Help Best Seller “A Short Course in Happiness: Practical Steps to a Happier Life.” www.lyndawallace.com.


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The Dating Game Donna Messer

Networking and relationship building is a lot like dating – you have the freedom to choose who you meet, where that meeting takes you and ultimately, if you want to make it a long term commitment. Freedom: The absence of necessity, coercion or constraint; the quality of being frank and open. This is the real definition of freedom and could be used when you reflect the true currency of relationships. Being able to speak freely without feeling compelled to say what someone wants to hear is a gift that most of us don’t give to ourselves. As someone who knows the importance of relationship building, I can’t stress often enough how important it is to generate trust. And that trust comes from being honest, forthright and unafraid of what might not be a perfectly positive comment. I speak all over the world and regardless of my audience I tell them that relationships must benefit both sides of every introduction. I stress taking the time to “tell not sell” and to really get to know each other before beginning to do business. The business relationship process is a lot like dating. You

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think about what that “date” should look like; you make a list of all the qualities that you would like to see that would make them a “perfect” date. You finally meet them and you start to tick off in your mind if they actually do meet your list of requirements. If they do, or are at least close, you might consider setting up another “date”. You want to find out more, see what you have in common. You know that the more you have in common the easier it will be to move from the dating stage to the engagement. With engagement comes intimacy, you get to know them even more, you find out all the little things that may or may not be on your list. You weigh what you learn and you decide to move forward. It’s time to tie the knot, to cement the relationship – you realize that you have to put your words on paper, to divulge your commitment. You need witnesses and you want to make it a special event. Often there are differences in opinion when it comes to the final stages of agreement – can you overcome any hurdles and finalize the relationship? You’ve been advised to have an agreement in place that protects both sides – so that neither party will lose out if the relationship doesn’t last. Does this sound like a strategy for success when it comes to building a long lasting relationship that will benefit both sides? In my opinion it does. We met, we danced a little, we liked what we saw, we dated, got to know each other, and we made a verbal commitment. The relationship grew and we felt comfortable putting that verbal agreement into a written one. We signed on the dotted line, exchanged vows and as of now, we are “married” and in a relationship that should bear fruit. Our off-spring should be a blend of both sides with a measurable reward from our commitment. We have the freedom to choose our relationships, to present who we are with truth and honesty. The results should be measurable for both sides.


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Michael “Pinball” Clemons Living Life in H.D. RG Dundas

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suppose we all make thatlist at some point or other. The list of things we either wish we could accomplish or wished we had. You know the things I mean, racecar driver, rock star, astronaut, maybe an unmentionable item or two…

As I wait outside Fotografia Boutique on a blustery April morning I began going over the list of accomplishments of the man I was about to interview; Michael Clemons.It’s a resume I think most men would certainly be proud to own. Let me see… drafted to the NFL, won three Grey Cups as a player (number retired), MOP, Hall of Famer, championship winning professional head coach, vice president, philanthropist, National celebrity, renown public speaker, parent and businessman. It is all pretty impressive, to say the least. What is more, whenever I have brought his name up in conversation, people always say something along the lines of, “Apparently he’s a great guy.” It doesn’t get much better than that, does it? Actually, it does. All of these things were accomplished

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after starting from the position of what might be consideredthe underdog. Michael Clemons came from humble beginnings in the projects of Dunedin Florida, raised by a single mother. He was undersized for his sport of choice and did not catch on to academics naturally. In short, nothing was handed to him. I love success stories and this one seemed perfect, a Cinderella story. It’s almost too good to be true.


Wait a minute… Since when have Canadians been easy on any celebrity, especially a sports celebrity, extra especially a Toronto sports celebrity? It is the Canadian way to criticize our famous sons and daughters. Nobody gets away unscathed. Plus, he’s American born. This story just doesn’t add up. I had to get to the bottom of it. What happened next I did not expect. I did get to chat with Mike Clemons and discuss his achievements, but what I found was a man who is much more than his resume. I found a man who, I believe, deserves the great reputation. I met a man who taught me how to live in H.D. The following is the script of the conversation we had that day. “You are best known as a football player and have had some wonderful moments in your career from being drafted to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1987, to moving to the Argos in 1989 where you won three Grey cups. You were recognized as the CFL’s most outstanding player in 1990 and have become one of the most recognizable players in CFL history, among many, many other achievements. To you, what was the most outstanding moment of your playing career?” “All the Grey Cups are special, and all for their own reasons. Your first is always your first, but that was also “The Dream Team”. The “Dream Team” was the 1991 Argos who put together an amazing 13-5 season on a run to becoming Grey Cup champions under the new ownership of Bruce McNall, John Candy and Wayne Gretzky. Players included wide receiver Raghib “Rocket” Ismail, who was signed that year to what was then the richest deal ever signed

in North American football, and quarterback Matt Dunigan. “It was a whimsical, wonderful year. We were not what was considered a conventional football team, but everything came together.We beat the Calgary Stampeders 3621 for the Grey Cup. Having John Candy there made it even more amazing. The great thing about John Candy wasn’t that he was funny. He was funny in a natural way, without trying. But what made him wonderful was when he was around you, what you got was an authentic person. He genuinely wanted to get to know you and your family. He took an interest in your life and wanted to know you outside of the game. He was really one of the most thoughtful, conscientious people I have ever been around. Interestingly enough, I never saw him end a conversation. The other person would end it or he would be pulled away, but when he was

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engaging you, you were the only person in the world. He would have Wayne Gretzky on one side and some Hollywood star on the other, and when he was talking to you, he was talking to you alone. John (Candy) was truly one of the loveliest men to ever walk the face of the earth. The back to back championships were a totally different level. In 1989 I came to Toronto and got a nickname, 1990 I was MOP of the league, 1991 we won the Grey Cup with the “Dream Team”. It was almost too easy. Then we had the years from 1992 to 1995 that were leaner. When the 1996 season hit I had a greater appreciation of what it meant to win. But managing to win back to back, from a career aspect, really was the cream of the crop. The ability not only to get on top, but also to stay on top is something that is rarely achieved in professionalsports. The 1996 team was a team that was trying to find itself. There was Doug Flutie and Robert Drummond on the offensive side and Mike Kiselak and Timmy Cofield, and Kenny Benson on the defensive side. It was a talented team but an eclectic bunch because it was our first year together. By 1997 we knew who we were and we knew what the mission was. I remember thinking in 2005, when we were going for our repeat with me as

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the coach, that winning is great but it’s not that special because someone wins every year. It’s that ability to do it back to back that is really something magical.” “So do you miss playing and coaching? Is the position you are in right now, engaging people and being involved in charity work, the place you have been striving to get, or do you miss the sports aspect of your career?” “This part of life is the sweetest part. I’m just in a really good space, when I was coaching, it was the sweetest part in my life, when I was playing, it was the sweetest part in my life, when I was growing up, it was the sweetest part as well. Where we are is where we are meant to be and it is important to appreciate that. My mom sacrificed so much for me to get me here and I have embraced the journey. They say that your circumstance is responsible for who you are but you are responsible for who you become and my mom understood and taught me that.” I told the Argos in 2004 that 2007 would be my last year. My oldest daughter was starting high school in 2008 and it was the going to be last four years that all four girls would be home together and I knew it would go by fast, and boy did it.” There is a saying that every successful man is not a successful father, but every successful father is a successful man and that has always resonated with me. People often describe me as a football player and I always say that what I am is a husband and father. All the rest is just what I do.” “You have made several difficult decisions in your career.


When you came to Toronto, your career in football was essentially over in the NFL after playing one season. This must have been a huge decision for you.”

opportunity at Honeywell. So, I went back to school to finish my last two classes and that’s when the offer came in from the Argonauts.

“No doubt. I had a job at Honeywell, where I had interned throughout College. They had dedicated themselves to me and were going to wait for me to get my MBA, so it was a very hard decision to come to Canada to play football.”

“After all those years of hard work, being cut must have had some sort of affect on you.”

In Michael’s first game the commentators were discussing him as the game began. They mentioned that he was listed at 5’6” but that was likely only on his tiptoes. Clemons received the first kickoff on his first CFL game, ran it downfield and fumbled. “Everyone makes mistakes and everyone has rough days. When I think of that moment in your career when you were just starting and then fumbled, it reminds me of the difficulties most people face on a daily basis. I’m sure there have been many moments like that for you. How do you drive through the more difficult times?" “I think about pivotal moments and it is hard for me to say anything specific. In life the work is hard, the commitment is hard, and it is an everyday decision to do your best, to put a smile on your face that is difficult. It is a philosophy that is not just for some days; it is for everyday. To me, that is the discipline, the rigor. It is the tough part. When I was released from the Kansas City Chiefs and had a chance to go down to Tampa Bay and then was released from there, I was at a crossroads. I had to ask myself “What am I going to do?” Because of the work that had been put inapart from football, I had an

There is that moment when you hear “You are released now” and I remember feeling contentment. I knew that everybody didn’t get a chance to do this. There is a piece of Biblical prose someone gave me “All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose” So the thing that rang true to me is that all things work together for good. That verse gave me some comfort but I was already in a place of gratitude. When I went to the College of William and Mary I didn’t go to play professional football. Having the proper dispositionin those times is the difficult part. Everybody has to deal with adversity. I used to tell our guys all the time when I was coaching “As long as you live you will have adversity. It is notwhether you will experience adversity, it is how you deal with adversity that will determine your success in life.” It’s about acting on our convictions, not our emotions. When we act on our emotions we end up apologizing a lot. So, when it comes to the question of difficulty, I really believe my mom had the difficult part as a single parent”. “I know that your father wasn’t there for you in your life. How did that influence you becoming a father yourself?” “I think it is impossible to separate who I am from not

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having a dad at home, but the one thing I never wanted was my mom to feel was she wasn’t enough. There were some times that I was disappointed when my dad was supposed to come over and didn’t, whether it was Christmas time or whatever it was, and he didn’t show up. But I never wanted to show her that disappointment. I never wanted to have her feel that she wasn’t enough in any way. That was extremely important to me a kid. I wanted to let her know that she was sufficient and I didn’t need anything else. “When my dad died, he lived in Bradenton, Florida about an hour away from Dunedin where I grew up. The article in the paper when he died said “Bradenton Loses Local Hero”. He was a school teacher, he was a coach of several different teams, he was a physical therapist and helped with sports injuries, he was the president of the Sickle Cell Foundation, and he ran the local youth centre. He was a leader in his community so there are a lot of things that I did gain from him. In my particular situation he wasn’t there that often, but I believe that if there were a need, he probably would have been there more. You think of all these things that you believe you are supposed to have as a child. We grew up in the projects for a big part of my life and I didn’t have that extended family on my

father’s side. My mom’s mother died long before I was born. What I did have was love and a great sense of community. Everyone got together to help each other and I wouldn’t trade my childhood with anyone else’s.” “What has your biggest challenge been so far as a father?” “My biggest challenge is that I don’t know how to push my daughters. I don’t know if I should push my daughters. I don’t have any challenge relating to them or encouraging them. As a person that the public sometimes perceives to have achieved a lot I am happy that I didn’t have boys. With my girls I always air on the side of caution. I don’t want them to be like, or feel like they need to be like, me. I want them to be their own people. I am comfortable being uncomfortable, if you know what I mean. They are constantly growing and changing and evolving and I am not always comfortable with the change, but I am comfortable with being uncomfortable. Their character and integrity is what matters to me. There are a lot of people who are very successful in life who are unhappy. I think the key is to ensure they have good emotional balance and from there try to nurture their gifts. “Do you have any advice for fathers in general?” “Number one thing, love your kids mom. You teach them how you want to be treated and how you should treat other people by the way you treat their mom. If there is some reason that you are a father and you are not together, that should not make a difference, especially when things are difficult. Your reaction to situations teaches your kids

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how they should react. Everyone can smile and be happy when things are going well, but the true measure of a man, the true measure of a person’s character is how you react in those more difficult times. Number two is to communicate, through your actions, that you will always be there for them regardless of what happens. Third, your kids are not a construction site. If you have to tear down your life and start anew, there can be no collateral damage felt by your children. If you tear them down as you rebuild your life there will be scars there that can never be erased.” “Michael Pinball Clemons Foundation was launched in 2007. Is there anything you can say about your interest in philanthropy and the importance of giving back?” “Again, my mom was a walking example of giving back. Her philosophy was a part of my life. If you can give back, you should. It’s the right thing to do.Philanthropy begins with the little things you do every day. Helping those people around us who need it. Maybe a neighbor has a sick child. What is often forgotten is that when there is a sick child in a household the siblings suffer. So maybe it is taking the siblings to a game and giving them some relief. It’s about rallying around our community. Winston Churchill said “You make a living by what you get but you make a life by what you give” and I believe that is true.” “You have gone through many transitions in your life. Looking back at all of your successes and failures and changes in your life, if you could choose, what legacy would you leave behind? When people think of Mike Clemons, what would you like to jump to


mind? How do you want to be envisioned as a symbol? Do you want them to think of an athlete, or a coach, or a parent, or a philanthropist?” “That is a very interesting question. When I speak, people often say “Oh, what a great speech and so on.” But Ben Franklin said, “Well done is better than well said”. Life really is about living it. So, if someone thought of meand it encouragedthem to live their own life better, I think that would be the ultimate. I used to always tell the guys, when I was coaching “if what you did yesterday still sounds good to you today, then you haven’t done much today.” What I am going to do is still ahead of me. I’m not a yesterday guy. It’s important to learn from yesterday, but onward we carry.”

my local community and so on. It’s hard to say you love God, who you don’t see, and not love the people you do see.” “Getting drafted into the NFL is no small task, nor is becoming a Hall of Fame CFL player. You did this with a stature of five foot six. You are unconventional. What is your secret for achieving things that I’m sure some people told you along your way that you could not do?”

“It seems to me that most people are looking for something in their lives, whether it be getting in shape, or more money, or a relationship… people seem to always be searching. Talk a bit about what role faith plays in your life.” “For me the question is already answered. I believe we are not here by mistake, so that question is already answered. I believe in divine intervention, so I can just move on with my life. To me, the biggest manifestation of a love of God is how you treat other people. That is the focus of my life. It doesn’t matter what my job is, whether it be a football player or a coach or an executive, my purpose is to honour people through that process. It starts with my own family; they are my first team and then it bridges out to

“Vision is the art of seeing that which is not seen. We all need to be able to see past our present circumstances. That is what my mom gave me. When everyone told me I can’t, she said, “Yes you can”. The key is to do it in H.D. There is a process here. “H” is for humility; “D” is for discipline. When a better team is beaten by a lesser team, when there is an upset, more often than not it is because they went in believing that they were

better and did not have to give their all to be successful. So if you want to defy the odds you have to be humble enough to believe that it’s going to require your best. It’s not good enough to just believe that, though. You have to do it daily. That is the discipline part. The greatest luxury in life, beyond money or a yacht or anything else… is time. If you have a big yacht and no time, what good is it? So the greatest skill in life is discipline, or how you spend that time. Say there is a guy who can do fifty pushups in a row, and once a month he gets down and does fifty pushups just to prove he can still do it. Another guy can only do ten at a time, but he does ten every day. At the end of the month the guy that can only so ten at a time has done three hundred, while the guy who can do fifty has only done fifty. At the end of the year the guy who can do fifty at one time has done six hundred, while the other guy has done over three thousand six hundred. That is the difference. That is what discipline does. Whatever you do it is that discipline that makes you work at it and stay at it and grind at it. It does not matter what you choose to do with your life. It does not matter what career you pick, if you are humble enough to know that you have to try your best and disciplined enough to work at it every day, success will come to you. Just live your life in H.D.

For more information on how you can become involved with the Michael Pinball Clemons Foundation visit www.mpcf.ca For more information on the CFL visit www.cfl.ca

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Making a

Mother’s Day with a Mother’s Day Makeover Deepa Berar

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e all know what Mom’s do for us, from the minute we are put into their arms right down to every want and need throughout the rest of our adolescent lives, mothers care for us in a way that is immeasurable and without any regard for their own needs.

In the spirit of Mother’s Day, we embarked on a quest to give one special, welldeserving mom a little thank you with a head-to-toe makeover. It wasn’t just about putting on some new clothes and updating her make-up, it was more about allowing her to feel that YES!, she was entitled to have a few really nice pieces in her wardrobe that she could accessorize to update later, and YES!, she was worthy of it! So many moms we know get into rut of feeling like they can’t, shouldn’t or don’t deserve to don a designer dress or trendsetting fashion. Knowing that, we decided to take the reins, and enlisted our friends at Milli to help! Chantal Kelly-Neves is an Oakville mother of 3 who has been a stay-at-home for the past eight years. Now that her kids are grown up, Chantal is looking to re-enter the workplace and a little fun to her social life!

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We started with the makeup. Now if you’re not much of a makeup person, don’t worry no one is expecting you to be all Kim K all the time. Start slowly and with the basics. This is the biggest areas we find women are lacking – updating their looks every so often. They get into a groove and never venture out of it. Once you’ve gotten the basics down, you can build from there. The main staples of any woman’s everyday makeup look should be: Under eye concealer mascara blush lipstick/gloss She had a hair refresher courtesy of Madison Salon in Hamilton. They updated her layers and injected a little vibrancy into her color. If you can manage to, invest in regular salon dye jobs, the quality of the hair color can save a ton of stress on your tresses and wallet. We took Chantal to Milli’s Clothing Boutique in Hamilton, a long standing business with a devoted clientele and a roster of serious designers in their showroom.


Look #1

The first outfit we put together was a back-to-work look. We opted to go for a twist on the traditional black/ grey/navy suit and inject some fun & color! Chantal is wearing: • Marc Cain lime green waterfall jacket • Marc Cain crochet white tank • Valentino lime green/gold studded shoes

Look #2

The next outfit we wanted for her was a versatile dress that can go from dinner to cocktail to wedding reception. Chantal has on: • Rachel Roy cobalt blue hologram dress • Cole Haan slingback heels • Rafe Shell clutch

Look #3

The final outfit is the perfect girls night look! We put a little twist on the look with a neutral top and colorful bottoms. Chantal is really rocking this look in: • Cambio Watermelon pants • Robert Rodriguez black cut out jacket • Robert Rodriguez black burn out tank • Stuart Weitzman heels • Halston Heritage clutch Finally here are some tips I’d like to leave you with if you need help building your wardrobe:

1. Try to envision each piece you purchase as part of at least 3 different outfits. If you can’t make 3 different outfits work, don’t buy it

2. Set a clothing budget and spend it every

month. Most moms are riddled with guilt over buying things for themselves, but if you set a budget that is reasonable at least you know you can afford it. Begin with key staples (i.e. black blazer, pencil skirt, Little Black Dress) and expand from there.

3. Broaden your color range. Color is hotter than ever, in fact has been so for quite a few years now and doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon so don’t be afraid to play! Happy Mother’s Day every day to all the mothers out there! If you have any questions please feel free to connect with me on twitter @deepaberar. Thank you to all the wonderful folks at Milli Hamilton (especially Emily, Nancy and Anita) and at Madisson Hair Salon in Hamilton for making this possible. Deepa Berar

is a successful make-up artist and stylist who’s been featured on CHCH Morning Live, CTV News at Noon, Access Peel (Rogers) and Eye on Asia. She hosts makeover workshops for back-to-work, mature women, teens and models. You can find her video tutorials on YouTube, Missmalini.com, and her Blog on DeepaBerar.com.

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Making Retail More Profitable Marilyn Klatt

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ell we have all heard the facts that it is getting harder and more competitive everyday to run a successful and profitable business. So what is it that the competition is doing that perhaps you are not?

It is more than the product you sell. You have to sell your “Brand”, which is you. The heart of your business has to come with you and the interaction you apply with your customers. People want to know that they can trust you and what you are selling to them. Are you being honest and passionate about your business? What do the Big Box stores have over the small independent store owners? It’s Space! They fill the stores full of product, shelves and aisles of goods to entice the customer. It is Eye Candy to the shoppers. Ask yourself - Is it really what they want or need? - Is there anyone there to support or talk to them about these goods that they will put in their cart? - Do they feel that moment of ‘Yes I made a good choice here today’ or did I just Bulk buy something I really don’t need or even know how to use it? The big box stores use a model that is called a margin generator. There will be the loss leaders, the bulk buys or even items that they will lose money on. Just so that they get the foot traffic in the door. So now you are asking yourself, how can I make a profit? This is a question that rattles through the mind of retailers on a daily basis. Retail is a 40 May/June 2013

very competitive game and you have to put on your armor and helmet to get into that game, be smart- learn to play hard and play with passion. Success comes from knowledge and you must know what you are selling and why. As an independent owner you are the expert for the goods and services you supply. You are willing to take the time to teach your customers that they made the best decision that day when they walked into your store. You showed them that you care about their needs and experience. A true reflection of you is your store presentation. It speaks and it greets the customers as they walk into your store environment. Is it clean and well presented? Do you sparkle? That first impression is critical. You would not go out on your first date without looking your very best; the same needs to be held true to you store. It is truly is a reflection of you. The key to success is to make someone so comfortable in your store that they browse and feel like they have found the best place in town. To know you are engaged with them and will want to offer them the best products or services. This is your moment. You are on!! Your shop is not like the mass retailers where people wander aimlessly. Where there is no one there to greet them or give them that personalized service. You are that

owner/operator as soon as someone enters your store. Look your customer in the eyes and welcome them as you would into your own home. Engage them and they will spend time with you and spend money in your store. Everyone wants attention, they want to be recognized. Do this and it will give you a sale. If you get them to stay longer than 5 minutes – you have them! The elements of Brand Foundation are: • Core Purpose - Why we exist • Vision - Where are we going, and how we are going to get there • Mission - What we do every day to get there • Values - What we believe in, our principles • Position - How we make a difference • Positioning Statement – How we say our difference • Character- How we act; our voice When you get them in your store – What is your most amazing item? Be proud to show off your product; call it out and introduce them to something they have not seen before, it’s your stage and your show. So how do I get the best out of my business? The 5 Principles for Success: 1) Give exceptional Customer Service 2) Have an innovative Store design, planning and product placement 3) Have a marketing strategy 4) Teach yourself and your staff to sell 5) Make money Marilyn Klatt is the owner of Creative Solutions 24/Seven. To connect: Marilyn.klatt@gmail.com


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Hiring a Foreign Worker:

How to Get a Work Permit in Ontario Maryam Manteghi

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oreign workers are a pillar of the Canadian workforce and have historically been an important component of our economy. Canada welcomes foreign workers which consist of skilled, educated and valuable foreign workers who sustain our economic growth and maintain our edge in the fields of medical sciences and technology. Foreign workers fall into two categories: Those who require a visa to enter Canada and those who do not or are visa exempt. If you are a business owner you may find yourself wanting to hire one or more individuals who are not Canadians or Permanent Residents. Hiring a foreign worker is a process managed both by Human Resources and Development Services Canada (HRDSC) as well as Canada Immigration and Citizenship (CIC). Since the Canadian government has already introduced working holiday visas for countries of the European Union passport holders. Under this program, individuals who are citizens of the European Union and qualify under this program can work in Canada for up to six months under an open work permit. If their employer offers them a position, these individuals need to go through the process of applying for a new work permit at the end of the six months. This process requires the employer to advertise the position they are offering the foreign worker in order to receive a positive Labour Market Opinion. The good news is that once

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a foreign worker has secured a new work permit, they can renew it easily. Also, after working legally in Canada for a year or more, foreign workers may be eligible to apply for Canadian Permanent Resident status under the Canadian Experience Class. Some foreign workers are not yet in Canada and have been identified by an employer as a suitable candidate for a position the employer is advertising. Either way, an experienced lawyer can make the process of hiring a foreign worker a successful venture for any employer. Maryam Manteghi , Barrister and Solicitor 416 898 6349 , manteghilaw@gmail.com


May/June 2013

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