muchmor Canada your journey starts here
The Canadian Military and how they’re helping to support families (part 2 of our exclusive series)
Canadian Snowbirds: Take advantage of the journey down to Florida, not just the destination.
Plus:- What you need to know when leaving the country for extended periods
Canada’s top 10 for adrenalin junkies Retreat to British Columbia - mind, body & spirit Discover Vuntut National Park, Yukon
Test driving the Porsche Cayenne V8 turbo. Was it any good? Real life relocation story: Things don’t always go the way you expect! Transfer your UK pension to Canada and unlock your nest egg Shopping, where to buy just about anything in Canada Employment, the key to researching your next employer
Over 1 million Canadians canâ€™t afford both. The high cost of housing forces many people to make choices no one should have to make. You can choose to help. To donate, participate or advocate visit www.habitat.ca
From the Editor Welcome to the latest issue of Muchmor Canada Magazine. In our last issue we spoke to two military wives about coping with their husbands deployments overseas and their constant relocations across the country. Since publication we have been in contact with two military bases in Trenton and Petawawa Ontario for their views on how they assist families at these difficult times. You can read their responses on page 50. We also have a couple of snowbird specials. With many canadians travelling down to Florida in the coming months we wanted to highlight some of the great places to visit on the way. It seems a shame that many people travel directly to Florida without considering all the possibilities en-route. We also look at some of the many things you need to take into account when considering the snowbird lifestyle. Our regular motoring guru Mark Atkinson takes a look at the Porsche Cayenne V8 Turbo. In the past this vehicle has taken its fair share of knocks over looks, but he promises us the new version is better looking. If you are unemployed or looking for a new career then you will want to read about researching future employers and how to go about it. Also, are you making yourself unemployable because of the way you look? This issue also sees an important article by our new partners at Investors Group regarding transferring UK pensions to Canada. If you are a British expat living in Canada and still have a pension in the UK then you should read this as your money may not be working to your best advantage. On the subject of expats we also hear from Terry and Marsha who have been living in Canada since moving from the UK back in 1998. We find out how Canada has treated them over the years and the twists and turns their lives have taken since being here. So please read on and enjoy. Jane Toombes, Editor 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial: email@example.com
Muchmor Magazine is a publication of Muchmor Media. All rights reserved in all media. No parts of this publication can be reproduced in any form, copied of stored electronically for commercial use without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Storing for personal use is acceptable. 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.
07 & 26 Out & About 07! ! ! 12!
Snowbirds head south for the winter: !Take advantage of the journey to Florida, not just the destination.
On the land in Vuntut National Park, Yukon
Canada始s top 10 list of thrills for adrenalin junkies
Retreat to British Columbia - mind, body and spirit
Shopping: Shop till you drop: Where to buy just about anything in Canada
Snowbirds: What you need to know when thinking of becoming a snowbird
Motoring: Test Drive the Porsche Cayenne V8 Turbo
Employment: Keys to researching your next employer
Employment: Be unemployed without looking unemployed
Realty: The real estate buying game
Saving energy might not be as difficult as you think
30 Community 39!
Peterborough welcomes you
Over 8.5 million Ontarians now have access to 211 service
Culture and diversity combined: Sensational Smiths Falls
Support this month始s featured charities
A multicultural mosaic community: ! Greater Sudbury
The Military - supporting families piece by piece
Immigration 56! !
UK pension transfers to Canada: Unlock your nest eggs potential
Choosing the right community: Lunenberg, Nova Scotia
Real life story: Things don始t always go the way you expect
Immigration latest news
out & about
Very few countries offer the variety of scenery and activities year round as Canada. In this section you will find places ! where you can relax and unwind in British Columbia or be more adventurous in the Yukon. In both locations everything from viewing wildlife to dogsledding is available. If you are really adventurous and donâ€™t mind a little danger thrown in then how about taking a look at the suggestions in our thrills for adrenaline junkies article? Everything from bungee jumping to kayaking can be found all over the country. For those thinking that winter is just around the corner and the thought of skiing or sledding is too much then we have you covered. How about a slow drive down to Florida taking in the sights and sounds as you do? Canadian snowbirds are growing in numbers and we show you why.
Snowbirds head south for winter
jwalton4th Every year thousands of Canadians head south for the winter and earn the name “snowbirds”. Although we all love Canada and are proud Canadians, for some, the harsh winters can be too much. Traditionally snowbirds are retirees who are able to spend time out of the country for extended periods without worrying about work or businesses. However these days many younger people, particularly those who own their own business are looking for this lifestyle too. With the ability to access their business via the internet pretty much anywhere in the world they are finding the freedom they could never have dreamed of just a few years ago. Many snowbirds, particularly the older generations prefer to spend the entire winter out of the country. They leave as winter approaches, perhaps late October or through November and we don’t see them again for six months. Others, who perhaps do not have such extended freedom, or actually miss Canada or their families choose only to travel for a few weeks or months. The exact number of snowbirds heading south is unknown, but estimates range from 1 to 1.5 million. As we all live longer and healthier lives, it is thought that this number can only grow over the coming years. In our lifestyle section this month you can also read about the logistics of being a snowbird and what needs to be taken into account when thinking of spending long periods of time out of the country. The majority of snowbirds choose to drive to their chosen destination. This might be in a car or more often than not an RV. The idea of owning your own RV and taking to the open road then settling somewhere warm is very appealing. You have no accommodation to book, no itineraries to keep to and the world (well North America) is your oyster. Some will obviously decide to fly, especially if they are choosing
Mexico, but the vast majority drive, so that is what we will be concentrating on. So, where are all these Canadians heading? Traditionally Florida has been the destination of choice for most Canadians, although those from the west also migrated to California due to its closer proximity. Over the last few years other destinations have been added to the snowbirds destinations of choice, including Texas, Arizona and Mexico. In fact in our November 2008 issue of Muchmor Canada Magazine we featured Arizona as a good choice for snowbirds looking for better climatic conditions and cheaper real estate for those looking to purchase holiday homes. In this issue we are going to be concentrating on those looking to travel from Ontario to Florida, the most popular option for all snowbirds. For many the destination is the key to the trip. But what about all those places that you drive through to get there? When we are looking at taking a one or two week trip then obviously the goal is to get to the destination as soon as possible so you can enjoy it. But when you are taking a trip lasting four, five or six months, what’s the rush? Often we drive through places that can offer excellent opportunities to relax, take in the sights etc, so why drive through - stop and take time to enjoy. There are two main routes to Florida from the Ontario region which you can see highlighted on the map on the previous page. The first and more scenic route assumes you are exiting Canada from Niagara Falls into Buffalo, New York. With the second route you enter the US via Detroit, Michigan. Of course there are other exit point such as the road crossings found in Eastern Ontario in the Thousand Islands region and Cornwall, but we will be looking at the two most used routes. One in this issue and another in the next issue (December 1st publication date).
Buffalo New York A lot of Canadians know Buffalo as that place on the other side of Niagara Falls that doesn’t get such a great view. But Buffalo is worth more than just a cursory glance across the river or a drive through to get to another destination. For those who love the theatre there are over 20 professional theater companies in the area. Performances can be seen year round at Shea’s Performing Arts Centre or the MusicalFare Theatre amongst many other locations. Music is also a popular attraction in the city. So if you like to relax to the sounds of opera or prefer a symphony orchestra then you will find it all on offer here. Many Canadians cross the border for some retail therapy and just because Buffalo is not your end destination it doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy the retail experience. There are many large malls in and around the city with the largest being the Walden Galleria. This mall has over 200 stores and restaurants and is currently being expanded to incorporate even more stores as well as a movie theatre. Another big draw to the area is the Factory Outlets Mall in Niagara Falls, New York. This is a large indoor mall with over 150 designer and top brand stores offering up to 75% discount on normal U.S. retail prices. You will find everything from housewares and cosmetics to fashion for all ages. There are also a number of restaurants located in the mall, so you won’t have to forsake bargains for hunger. If you love history then once again Buffalo will not disappoint. You can visit the Theodore Roosevelt National Historic Site where Roosevelt took the oath of office to become the 26th president of the United States following the assassination of William McKinley. The Buffalo Transportation/Pierce-Arrow Museum in downtown Buffalo offers an insight into the history of transportation and the Ira G. Ross Aerospace Museum offers everything you need to know about aviation history. Those of you who prefer sightseeing then once again you can find it here. Of course there is the famous Niagara Falls to visit from the U.S. side as well as many other sights and activities such as fishing, boating, kayaking, nature tourism, horseback riding etc. We are sure you will be glad you stopped off at Buffalo and not just driven through it.
George Washington and Jefferson National Forests Stretched across Virginia and extending into West Virginia and Kentucky you will find these National Forests. Jefferson is the closest to your route, but a few days can easily be spent exploring this 1.8 million acres of beautiful wilderness. Depending on the time of your visit you can experience hiking, fishing, camping, hunting, bicycling, horseback riding, bird watching, crosscountry skiing to name but a few activities on offer. George Washington National Forest was established in 1918 but was then called Shenandoah National Forest. It was renamed in 1932 after the first president of the United States. Jefferson National Forest was formed in 1936 by combining parts of George Washington and Unanka National Forests with some other public land.
Greensboro, North Carolina Although a little off-route, you might want to take a detour to Greensboro. Dating back to the early 1800’s this city offers many benefits to the tourist. If you are travelling back this way in March you might want to experience the annual anniversary of the 1781 Revolutionary War Battle of Guilford Courthouse. This takes place at Tannenbaum Historic Park and Country Park and is a must for history buffs. Castle McCulloch is a restored gold refinery originally built in 1830 and comes with its own drawbridge, moat and 70 ft tower.
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania Pittsburg prides itself on its history. The Fort Pitt Museum has recreated a fort which was originally built in 1759 by the British after the Point was captured from the French. You will find exhibits ranging from this era to the industrial age. The August Wilson Center for African American Culture presents performing, visual and education programs that celebrate the contributions of African Americans within the region. If history is your thing then a visit to Pittsburgh would not be complete without a visit to the Senator John Heinz History Center which is affiliated with the world famous Smithsonian Institution. Here you will find 250 years worth of history from the first occupation to the Second World War. The architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright is celebrated just south of Pittsburg and you will be able to visit three of his masterpieces. Fallingwater was named "The best all-time work of American architecture" by the American Institute of Architects, and named one of "50 places of a lifetime" by National Geographic. Duncan House Bed and Breakfast in the Laurel Highlands is one of only four homes build by Wright. As it is a B & B you can actually stay there and soak up the atmosphere. The third masterpiece Kentick Knob is located 2000 feet above the Youghiogheny River. With stunning architecture and magnificent surrounding this is definitely a place to visit. You can even stay in an adjoining property called Nextoknob to capture the true feel of the place. A great place to get a good view of the city is to take a trip on the Duquesne Incline. This is a railroad which scales Mt. Washington and is 240 metres long and 120 metres
Savannah, Georgia No self-respecting traveller would want to miss Savannah with its historic buildings, natural beauty and scenery. Dating back to 1733 this city is brimming with historic buildings and character.
high with a 30 degree incline. It was originally built in 1877 to carry cargo up and down the mountain. After falling into disrepair it was closed in 1962, but thanks to local residents and lots of fund raising it was reopened in 1963 and has since been totally refurbished. An observation deck is located at the top to offer magnificent views of the city.
In the 1950’s the Historic Savannah Foundation was established to preserve the city’s history and architecture. During the last fifty years many buildings have been restored to their former glory including: The Pirates’ House which dates back to 1754 and is mentioned in Robert Louis Stevenson's book "Treasure Island". The oldest house in Georgia is the Herb House (1734) also found in Savannah. Juliette Gordon Law, a native of Savannah and founder of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. is immortalized at her birthplace which is now owned by the Girl Scouts. Many other buildings, including several churches have been saved from ruin and serve as reminders of times past. For shopping purposes you will find everything from antiques to Bohemian-style arts and apparel. Broughton Street and City Market Shops offer everything from the latest fashions to wonderful restaurants in a beautiful and pleasant environment. Of course if you want to relax then where better than one of the nearby beaches. With over five miles of beaches to choose from there will be a spot with your name on it. If you are feeling a little energetic then why not climb to the top of Tybee Light Station. This 154 foot monument was the first lighthouse on the South Atlantic Coast. whilst there visit the Tybee Island Museum to see artifacts covering 400 years of local history.
Image courtesy of Visit Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina
Brunswick & The Golden Isles of Georgia
Charlotte is a big city on route down to Florida and is worth spending time in. It is the largest city in North Carolina with over 700,000 inhabitants. With more than a mile’s worth of cultural facilities all within the Center City alone, it’s clear Charlotte has an ever-increasing commitment to the arts. And throughout the region, museums, historical sites and other experiences bring the city to life. The Levine Center for the Arts is the heart of the Center City cultural corridor, encompassing the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Mint Museum Uptown, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts & Culture, and 1,150-seat Knight Theater. There is a big culinary scene in Charlotte and it was named “Top 50 Cities that Sizzle” by Restaurant News Magazine. History buffs can pan for their own gold at Reed Gold Mine, the site of the nation’s first gold rush. Although there is no admission fee to the mine itself or the tours, if you want to pan for gold it will cost you $2 per pan. Other historic sites include the Rosedale Plantation dating back to the Civil War and Historic Brattonsville with its Revolutionary War re-enactments.
One of the last stops before entering Florida, Brunswick is a pretty historic town offering the visitor culture and recreation in abundance. The Ritz Theatre offers many events throughout the year. There are also many galleries such as the Gallery on Newcastle which is a restored 19th century building featuring the work of local artists. Downtown Brunswick offer ample shopping opportunities as does the Historic Norwich Street District. This area is home to the collectively known Golden Isles of Georgia: St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island. St Simons Island has a working lighthouse which has been in operation since 1872. It also has great beaches and a nature centre. Sea Island is home to The Cloister, a world-class resort renowned for its luxury and gracious service. Little St. Simons Island is a privately owned island which has remained virtually untouched for centuries. Only 20 of its 10,000 acres are developed and the island can only be reached by boat. Jekyll Island is a popular year round destination for tourists where they can enjoy the miles of beautiful beaches, dunes and forest. The island has ample activities such as golf, dolphin and bird watching, tennis and water activities such as kayaking.
Next issue we take a look at the route from Michigan to Florida.
Retreat to British Columbia by Cathryn Atkinson mind, body and spirit While the word “retreat” means to withdraw from battle, it can also signal a far more holistic escape for reflection and rejuvenation.! British Columbia – a haven of mountains, forest and sea - is home to many examples of this other important type of retreat.! Such places offer the ultimate refuge: experiences can shape new ways of living, aid in the pursuit of good health and inspire one to reflect on their own personal wealth – one that has nothing to do with dollars and cents. Here follows five vastly diverse opportunities for calm, seclusion, and, ultimately, the chance to breathe. !
and nourish people who are trying to make the world a better place.” !Bass Solomon says the ongoing stresses of everyday life are leading more people to take stock in what is important to them. !“Life is a little bit confusing right now and we are finding the types of gatherings we offer are a strong draw,” she says. !For more information: www.hollyhock.ca or call: 1-800-933-6339 .!
Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands
! Quantum Leaps Lodge, located on 11 acres in the Blaeberry River Valley near Golden, offers a wide variety of holistic pursuits for those eager to recharge their batteries – all within a glorious mountain setting.! !Retreats vary from the activity-based to the reflective: adventurous firewalking, dance, and shamanistic drumming workshops are scheduled alongside yoga, meditation and massage.! (Outdoorsy types can partake in river rafting in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.) !As an added draw, the lodge hosts many guest speakers and specialists who explore spiritual growth. !Annette Boelman, who co-owns the retreat with her partner Brian Olynek, says Quantum Leaps aims to provide visitors with the opportunity to explore ancient wisdoms from North America and around the world. !Boelman says they call their workshops “playshops” to encourage a lighter, more joyful path to enlightenment. !
! Hollyhock Centre, nestled on Cortes Island in hauntingly beautiful Desolation Sound, positions itself as Canada’s leading educational retreat centre. !Despite its isolation, the centre has been going strong for 27 years and is now a charitable foundation dedicated to learning and well-being. Here, you’ll unearth a wealth of activities, including yoga, kayaking, cooking and spa treatments; special weeks are also set aside for artists, writers and those seeking refuge from the pressures of daily life. !Hollyhock is also renowned for its ongoing series of speakers who fall under their theme of social change programming: each explore and explain alternative lifestyles, teach a variety of art forms and indulge in spa therapies.! !“We find programs that bring together personal and professional skills have such a high value for people,” says Dana Bass Solomon, Hollyhock’s CEO. “The aim is to inspire
Tourism BC/Albert Normandin
Yoga at Hollyhock Centre, Cortes Island Photo: Jaime Kowal
“We’re generalists when it comes to a spiritual path; we believe in using the best from international spiritualism. It all provides an excellent path. ” And within such a wide schedule of programs is the theme of exploration for self-knowledge and peace. “We try to provide a safe sanctuary for inner and outer explorations,” says Boelman. “Some of our guests come for the beauty of the Rockies, some for rejuvenation. We’re very flexible with what people want to create.” For more information: www.quantumleaps.ca or call 1-800-716-2494. Yasodhara Ashram, a yoga retreat and study centre on 140 woodland acres along the shores of Kootenay Lake, attracts visitors from around the world. The ashram was founded in 1963 by Swami Sivananda Radha – an early pioneer of yoga in the West, unique particularly because she was a woman. As a westerner, she was able to bridge eastern yogic practices to everyday life in North America. The teachings offered at the ashram are both practical and inspiring. “We are a very vital spiritual community. Families come with little children and our oldest resident is 85,” Janet Gaston, the ashram’s manager of admissions, said. “Yoga goes beyond Hatha, beyond the postures. It is an entire system of living we try to follow.” Gaston said that along with yogic movement typified by Hatha, the retreats they offer work with symbolism through dreams, chanting mantras and the invocation of divine light. Newcomers to yoga are just as welcome as longstanding enthusiasts. Visits can be as short as a few days or last
Yasodhara Ashram Mandala House
three months or longer, and the ashram is open year round. “In terms of wellness, a lot of what we teach creates a balance in our lives… a focus. Typically visitors speak of finding rest and renewal, and they comment on how happy they are to meet other people with similar questions,” she adds. Along with those who want to explore the spiritual meaning of yogic life, the ashram is also popular with those who need to remove themselves from the stresses of city life, make a major life decision, or seek healing after health problems. For more information: www.yasodhara.org or call: 1-800-661-8711. Mountain Trek near Nelson is a retreat for the body that is good for the mind. Here, you’ll find a weight loss and fitness centre that combines the luxury of a spa and the discipline of a boot camp using the alpine trails and flowery landscape of the Kootenays as a backdrop. General manager Kirkland Shave says Mountain Trek staff aim to provide a challenging outdoor experience to destress guests, using the retreat’s FitPath program to change the unhealthy habits of a lifetime. Participants can go for one week or several. “We’re pretty scientifically-focused. Weight loss is our visitors’ primary, conscious objective. The experience is very in-depth and we give them a tool bag so they can go home and integrate what they’ve learned into a subtle lifestyle change,” Shave says. He added that in the first three or four days many participants go through emotional moments as buried feelings surface. He attributes this to the rigours of the boot
camp and the detoxification experienced thanks to the combination of organic diet and exercise. Most guests, Shave says, are “traditional” people who generally don’t try alternative therapies like yoga. “They are coming to us without having explored a lot. We make it safe and comfortable for them,” Shave adds. “By the end of the first week there is quite a transformation. The lines in their faces have dropped, they sleep more deeply and by the time they go home they are pretty pumped.” For more information: www.hiking.com or call: 1-800-661-5161.
Exercise at Mountain Trek
Mountain Trek Cariboo Chilcotin Coast The Hills Health Ranch near 108 Mile Ranch is nestled in the heart of the province’s cowboy country – a setting that the destination takes to heart. Surrounded by 20,000 acres of ranch land, the fitness spa and resort boasts a wide range of wellness services with the added bonus of time spent in the saddle. Guests are drawn to the retreat to decompress and to focus on personal well-being through quality fitness, food and fun, says the ranch’s wellness director Regula Wittmer. They stay from a week to 90 days, with longer stays increasing in popularity. Weekend breaks are also in demand. “It’s not the Hilton; we’re a ranch,” says Wittmer. Our packages and programs are luxurious and our staff…well, we are always getting compliments on how caring and nurturing they are - they are our strong point.” Face time with these professionals is indeed paramount; Hills Health Ranch offers over 40 fitness classes and weekly workshops, all with a focus on fitness in Mother Nature’s backyard. Along with their year-round programs, from hiking to skating, depending on the season, The Hills Health Ranch is also family-oriented, offering an array of children’s summer riding and winter ski camps. “Parents can do their own thing and their kids are well taken care of,” Wittmer says. For more information: www.spabc.com or call: 1-800-668-2233. For more information on retreats in BC, visit www.HelloBC.com/healthandwellness.com. For more on British Columbia’s destinations and travel information, call 1-800 HELLO BC® (North America) or visit www.HelloBC.com
Dogsledding at The Hills Health Ranch
The Hills Health Ranch 15
By Edward Readicker-Henderson The sun doesn’t set; nor does it exactly rise. The closest way I can think to describe it is that it skitters around the edge of the sky like a banking pool ball, working a circle around the horizon. Every now and then it ducks behind a cloud, lighting up the puffs like a dragon skin stretched out to dry; and once a day, just for a few minutes, the sun dips quickly behind a mountain—but it’s back out quickly, as if it couldn’t stand to be away from the Yukon’s Vuntut National Park any longer. High latitude is, after all, where light goes to play. The helicopter sets us down about a hundred and sixty kilometers north of the arctic circle, in a dry spot in the center of Black Fox Creek. Over the week we camp, the creek will dry up, bit by bit, until we’re walking fifteen minutes for water, but these first days, the water is clear and cold and tastes as pure as glacier ice. I’ve come out on the land with the Vuntut Gwich’in, the First Nations people who have used this land for thousands of years, hunting ducks and muskrats in the vast flats at the southern edge of the park, and hunting moose and, most importantly, caribou, in the interior. Their phrase “on the land” is the best description I have every heard, from anyone anywhere, of what home means. Still, it’s really the caribou who own this land. Each year, as many as 35,000 animals, a third of the Porcupine herd, migrate through Vuntut each year. Vuntut National Park was created in 1995, 4,345 square kilometers of land set aside both to preserve this territory for the caribou, as well as to “recognize Vuntut Gwitch’in
On the land in Vuntut
history and culture and recognize and protect their traditional and current uses.” Inside Vuntut, Gwitch’in have full rights of usage: it’s both their grocery store and their connection to home and the past, a place they feel very proprietary towards. “It makes me feel like something belongs just to us,” Parks Canada warden Lance Nukon tells me. A Gwitch’in himself, he grew up with the park as his backyard. For me, it’s a chance to come into the arctic, a place where few travelers from Outside ever appear. When I ask Tourism Yukon how many people go into Vuntut each year, the best answer they can come up with is “maybe a handful.” When the helicopter takes off, the only sounds are what we make as we set up camp, and the call of whiskey jacks in the low willows that line the streambed. I am a lucky, lucky boy, I think, carrying my tent past arctic ground squirrel burrows to look for a flat spot of land to call home for the next week. Black Fox Creek is historically important, because it’s the site of one of the seven known caribou fences in the park. A caribou fence is a simple idea: put up long, low wooden fences to herd the migrating animals into a central corral, where they can be killed. A couple families working together could get a year’s supply of meat in a fairly short time. But the fences themselves are enormous, with wings as long as six kilometers, corrals 350 meters long. They were used, season after season, until the introduction of guns brought a new way of hunting to the land.
Yukon Government / M Berkman
Yukon Government We hike over to take a closer look at the fence. There’s not much left of it now, lines of sticks lying in the tundra, but it was clearly a work of genius: the fence’s lines follow the lie of least resistance through the land, exactly the path an animal would take. We sit to take in the scope of the fence, but when one of the kids with us gets out an electronic game, Lance grabs it away. “Show some respect for your ancestors,” he says. It’s a sense of history and rootedness I can never share, coming from a background of migrants from four countries. And, in fact, at the same time, Canada created Vuntut and Ivvavik, the country my ancestors migrated to set aside the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But there’s a major difference: Vuntut and Ivvavik, national parks, are forever safe from development; ANWR’s “refuge” designation means that, sooner or later, short-sighted interests will start drilling for oil there, disrupting the land and doing who knows what to the caribou’s life cycle. “We might be poor in money,” Lance tells me, when I ask him about local feelings towards ANWR and the possible damage drilling could do to the migration, “but we’re always rich in caribou.” If the caribou stopped coming, it would be like trying to live in a small town where every factory suddenly closed, every store suddenly shut, and there were no roads out. I spend my days hiking the drying streambed, looking at fossils—this whole area was once under the ocean, and I find barnacle fossils three inches long, fossil worms that stretch more than a foot—and shed antlers, watching the birds moving forever just a few steps ahead of me: whiskey
jacks, long-tailed jaegers, a few things that do not appear in my bird book, and the ptarmigan, looking grumpy about the whole idea of wings, the way ptarmigan always do. Out of the river bed, the tundra stretches as far as we can see. The Richardson Mountains are a distant horizon line to the east, and the evening brings clouds down from the arctic ocean; the always-up sun lights their edges with rainbows. This is the arctic, but it’s not the polar arctic: it’s an incredibly rich landscape where the plants are tinier than in the fussiest Japanese garden. Willow trees in tundra can be an inch high and a hundred years old. Berry bushes carry ripe berries bigger than the entire bush. Very late one night, I get out of my tent; the sun is still up, of course, but the sky is the kind of pale, powdery blue that offers the only excuse a person ever has for using the word “lambent.” I hike away from camp, past chittering arctic ground squirrels, around a shoulder on the mountain so that I have the entire landscape to myself. The land falls away, a pure gold color, and I have never in my life been so happy to be somewhere. To be on the land. I do the only thing I can think of: I bow to each of the four directions, and whisper, “Thank you.” Our last morning in camp, we pack up to wait for the helicopter south. But the landscape has something a lot more interesting in mind than just a trip out. At the base of the mountains across from us, a line of caribou appears, walking single-file, stretching out over maybe a half mile or more. We all count, and we all come up with different numbers. Fifty? More? The biggest of them have antler racks that must weight fifteen pounds or more, curling three feet over their heads. It’s the leading edge of the migration. There are 35,000 or so more caribou headed this way.
Yukon Government / C Archbould!
Canadaâ€™s top 10 list of thrills for adrenalin junkies
By Kathy Eccles
Photo: Great Canadian Bungee
Great Canadian Bungee, Wakefield Quebec
For the action-oriented, Canada’s great outdoors are where adventure stories are born and boasted about. Here’s a top 10 list of lifetime thrills for those who think there’s no mountain high enough, no rapid swift enough— and that relaxed poolside vacations are strictly for wimps.
shark fishing is hook-and-release by law, except for tournaments. Much of British Columbia’s best deep-sea fishing can be found on Fishing BC Online. The prize catch here is wild salmon and halibut, and the raw rugged scenery is all part of the package.
From the site of an old quarry, just 20 minutes outside Ottawa, in Wakefield, QC, Great Canadian Bungee is home to North America’s highest bungee jump. The “Goliath” is a 61-m (200-ft) leap over a limestone ampitheatre and aqua-blue lagoon the size of three football field. The “Center of Gravity” in the gargantuan West Edmonton Mall (in Edmonton, AB) is the world’s highest jump from an indoor bungee tower, looming 30.5 m (100 ft) over the Blue Thunder wave pool. It’s also where the Guinness World Recordwas set for most bungee jumps by one person in 24 hours. WildPlay Element Parks built North America’s first dedicated bungee bridge, which rises 46 m (150 ft) over a river canyon in Nanaimo, BC. A new WildPlay Maple Ridge location just opened this past summer near Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge, BC.
Gnarly, epic, killer… the superlatives all apply to mountain biking in Canada, where some of the country’s best ski hills become optimum bike terrain in the summer. Mont-Sainte-Anne in Quebec lays claim to one of the best mountain-bike networks in eastern Canada and is the only place in the world where a mountain-biking world cup has been held every year since 1991. Mont-SainteAnne just hosted the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships. Go off-road in Ontario on the Alcoa or Black Ash trails in the gorgeous scenery of southern Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe. At Whistler Mountain Bike Park in Whistler, BC, get air on green-circle, blue-square, black-diamond and double-black-diamond trails like the World Cup Single Track, Ho Chi Min, Hornet and Boneyard. The Garbanzo area offers 671 vertical m (2,200 vertical ft) of single-track trails, while the Air Dome is 780 sq m (8,400 sq ft) of indoor space filled with jumps, ramps and a foam pit for downhill, Slopestyle, Dirt Jump and BMX bikes.
Deep-sea fishing Reel in the biggest fish of your life on Canada’s Atlantic Coast, where giant bluefin tuna is a prime catch of the day. Check out the photo of a championship 392-kg (865-lb) bluefin caught on one of MacNeill’s Deep Sea Fishing charters in North Lake, PEI, the “Tuna Capital of the World.” Lunenburg Ocean Adventures, based in historic Lunenburg, NS, books deep-sea fishing charters; you can also fish for giant mako, blue and porbeagle sharks (that can weigh in at 136 kg or 300 lbs). Note, though, that
Rock climbing Climbing in a province fondly known as “The Rock” also means scaling million of years of geology in Newfoundland and Labrador’s breathtaking, yet barren, climbing zones. In Newfoundland, consider the 100 routes of Flatrock or ice climbing in Stiles Cove.
Photo by Dru
Chaudiere, sunk in 1992; it’s now a lush undersea ecosystem of orange plumous anemones and white tube worms. Others claim the coves, lush marine life and warm waters of Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park are what prompted Cousteau’s famous declaration. On Canada’s east coast, cold-water diving can come with a dose of danger. Nova Scotia’s Lunenburg Ocean Adventures, along with its aforementioned shark-fishing charters, also offers one-day shark cage diving trips, where a slick of chum salmon attracts blue sharks, which, at their most daunting, range up to 4 m (13 ft) in length and 159 kg (350 lbs).
Riding the tidal bore
Ice climbing Tackle 2,700 million-year-old rocks, some of the oldest in the world, on Mount Razorback in Labrador’s Torngat Mountains. Check the Newfoundland Climbing Guide. Chrome and azure ice, and some 800 frozen waterfalls, attract ice climbers to the Canadian Rockies in Alberta and the Columbia Icefields. Experienced local guides, Rockies Ice Specialists, operate out of climbers’ base towns Banff, Canmore and Lake Louise, AB.
Snowmobiling In Canada’s frozen Far North, snowmobiling is both a recreational sport and a necessary mode of transportation. Snowmobiling in the Northwest Territories includes guided tours around Great Slave Lake, one of the largest lakes in the world, snowmobile treks packaged with an overnight stay in an igloo and chances to see pingos and the Northern Lights. Yukon snowmobile guides lead frozen lake tours with a bout of ice fishing. Nunavut snowmobile guides will take you to on a once-in-lifetime tour to the ice-floe edge, home to whales, walruses and polar bears. Quebec’s White Triangle is a winter paradise for snowmobile enthusiasts.
Photo by Daniel Roehe
Ice climbing in Oregon Jack, B.C.
Riding the highest tides in the world is a sport found on both sides of the Bay of Fundy in the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Ride the tidal bore at the mouth of the Shubenacadie River, NS, a tributary of the Bay of Fundy, and experience the equivalent of a tidal wave. When the tide changes, millions of gallons of seawater rise up to 3.4 m (11 ft) and surge nearly 12 km/h (7.5 mph) inland—in a mere two hours—creating Class IV rapids. Ride the bore in a five-m (16-ft) Zodiac with guides from Tidal Bore Rafting Park & Cottages. In New Brunswick, Bay of Fundy tides meet the Saint John River —as the tides begin to rise they become higher than the river level and eventually the river begins to flow upstream; this phenomenon is called the reversing falls. In Fallsview Park in Saint John, you can leap, surf and climb the resulting rapids on a Reversing Falls Jet Boat Rides. Expect to get doused.
Temperate-water diving The late oceanographer Jacques Cousteau was famously quoted as saying that the waters of British Columbia and its Vancouver Island are “the best temperate water diving in the world, and second only to the Red Sea.” West coast scuba-diving hot spots: Sechelt Inlets Marine Provincial Park, where the scuttled WWII Royal Canadian Navy escort destroyer, the 112-m (366-ft) HMCS
Riding the tidal bore
Kayaking on Tutshi River, Yukon
Tundra trekking A tundra buggy adventure to the Arctic tundra in Churchill, MB, comes with a massive adrenalin rush. This is the “Polar Bear Capital of the World,” and tundra trekkers get a chance to go face-to-face with these rare white bears, which weigh up to 680 kg (1,500 lbs) and stand three m (10 ft) tall. In neighbouring Saskatchewan, you can go on a dune-buggy trek to a different kind of tundra: 100 km (62 mi) of active sand fields at the Athabasca Sand Dunes, Canada’s largest active sand surface and one of the world’s most significant sand fields. The rush here is the remote, otherworldly landscape; access is by floatplane only. Labrador, or “The Big Land,” is one of the last remaining wilderness regions of the world, where harsh terrain and weather extremes are best tackled with a knowledgeable guide. Camp, hike and explore in Torngat Mountains National Park to see one of the world’s largest caribou herds, polar bears at the floe edge, plus Inuit and pre-Inuit archeological sites.
Whitewater kayaking Whitewater kayakers will find Class IV challenges on a Yukon kayak adventure on the Tatshenshini, Tutshi and Alsek rivers. Whitewater paddling in Canada can be found pretty much all across the country in places like Thunder Bay and Ottawa, ON,Saskatoon, SK, and Slave River, AB. For an extreme kayak adventure, paddle the famous Skookamchuck Rapids in Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park on BC’s Sunshine Coast. But kayaking or surfing the tidal whitecaps and whirlpools at high tide is for experienced paddlers only; up to 200 billion gallons of tidal force surge through the narrows between Sechelt and
Jervis Inlet at over 30 km/h (19 mph), whipping the tides up to three m (9.8 ft) high.
Wild caving Caving Canada is a prime resource on some of the country’s most extreme caves, plus info on local caving groups and organizations. Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park on Vancouver Island, BC, is the site of over 1,000 caves and karst formations. The Underground Extreme tour is a five-hour expedition into an underground cave that includes rappelling down a seven-storey waterfall and climbing back out on a cable ladder. Canmore Caverns Ltd., based out of Canmore, AB, and set in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, lets you explore Rat’s Nest Cave. Challenges and discoveries include chambers of limestone stalactites and stalagmites, fossils and animal bones, and rappelling down narrow 18-m (59-ft) passages. Explore a fascinating (less extreme) underworld at Scenic Caves Nature Adventures in Collingwood, ON. There are selfguided tours of a labyrinth of caves, including a deep ice crevice, inside Blue Mountain in the Niagara Escarpment. Article courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission Media Centre. Writers Bio: A Nanaimo, BC native, Kathy Eccles opened her own communications and writing business in June 1998. She has worked as a radio copywriter and PR professional (Palmer Jarvis DDB Canada, Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and Worker’s Compensation Board of BC). At the WCB, she and the writing/ design group were recognized with a number of awards for creative excellence. Eccles has written for InnFocus, CityFood, Meetings & Incentive Travel Magazine andPharmasave Living Well. She lives in the Yellowpoint area, where she enjoys watching
eagles and deer from her home-office window. Beats: west coast travel, in particular, Vancouver Island. firstname.lastname@example.org
A. Moore Photography
Continuing our snowbirds theme we take a look at the things you need to think about when deciding to leave Canada for an extended length of time. It is no good having a few months away if you come back to chaos and financial ruin. We highlight some things to take into account when deciding to become a snowbird. Motor heads amongst you will enjoy our regular motoring feature. This month Mark Atkinson gives us his view of the Porsche Cayenne V8 Turbo, which he assures us is a little prettier than its predecessor. We also have shopaholics covered with or guide on what to buy where. Job hunters will appreciate our look at the employment market and how to make yourself more employable and also how to research future employers.
Shop till you drop The guide for shopping for just about anything in Canada Shopping for that perfect piece of furniture, the right computer or a gift for a loved one is not always easy. Whether you have always lived in Canada and consider yourself a shopping expert, or perhaps you are a newcomer or visitor, unsure where to shop for the things you need, hopefully this quick guide will help you find your way around Canadian shops. Obviously we cannot include all shops, but we can give guidance regarding the big box stores and many of the national chains that are available. Some of these stores overlap the categories, but we have tried to get them into some sort of order. Also, we have not listed clothing stores as these are too numerous and can be easily found in malls etc.
Department Stores Sears is one of the biggest department store chains across Canada and the United States. You will find everything from furniture and electronics to clothing and beauty products. Sears can be found in most of the malls across Canada or you can shop online. www.sears.ca. The Bay is part of the Hudson’s Bay Company, the oldest company in Canada. As with Sears, The Bay sells everything from bedding to kitchen wares, appliances to clothing. The Bay has stores across Canada, but not in Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland & Labrador or any of the Territories. www.thebay.com. Zellers is another large department store owned by Hudson’s Bay Company. They sell home furnishings, electrical goods, health and beauty products as well as limited food items. You will find Zellers everywhere except the Territories. www.zellers.com
Costco is a wholesale company which requires membership to shop. The membership fee ranges from $50 to $100. At Costco you will be able to shop for appliances, electronics, furniture, housewares, fashion, food an lots more. www.costco.ca. Holt Renfrew is a high end department store selling fashions, footwear, cosmetics etc. Holt Renfew stores can be found at select locations in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia. www.holtrenfrew.com Walmart Supercentres are springing up all over Canada and differ from regular Walmart stores in that they are far bigger and sell just about everything. Many also has garden centres, food outlets and vehicle service centres. You can also shop online at www.walmart.ca Winners offer cut-price shopping along with its other brand Homesense. Between the two stores they offer housewares, clothing, furniture, gifts etc. www.winners.ca or www.homesense.ca
Furniture The Brick is one of the largest furniture chains in Canada. They sell all types of furniture as well as appliances and electronics. Stores can be found throughout Canada with the exception of Newfoundland & Labrador, Nunavut and Northwest Territories. www.thebrick.com Leons is also one of Canada largest retailers and sells furniture, appliances and electronics. Leons can be found in all Canadian provinces but not the Territories. www.leons.ca Lastman’s Badboy is the unusually named furniture, appliance and electronics chain located in and around the Greater Toronto Area. They have the catchphrase “Who’s
“Ontarians spend the most on personal care products, but British Columbians spend more on clothing. People in Saskatchewan spend the least on food” Statcan better than Badboy? Nooobody.” Hence their website address www.nooobody.com. Pier 1 Imports are a specialist retailer of imported furniture and furnishings. Because they are imports you can often ﬁnd something a little out of the ordinary here. They have stores in all provinces except PEI and none in the territories. www.pier1.ca IKEA originates from Sweden and sells furniture, home furnishings and home wares. The have stores in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. However their products can also be ordered online at www.ikea.ca Sleep Country sells more mattresses than any other store in Canada. They also sell pillows, bed frames and some linens. www.sleepcountry.ca Home Furniture is a Canadian company selling furniture and decor items. They do not have stores in the Territories or Saskatchewan or Quebec. Lazboy specialize in reclining chairs and sofas but also stock beds and other furniture items. www.la-z-boy.com
Home Improvement Home Depot is the world’s largest home improvement retailer and caters to the do-it-yourselfers as well as professionals. Locations can be found all over Canada except the Territories. www.homedepot.ca Rona is a Canadian home improvement store again catering to both professionals and DIY enthusiasts. They have stores in all provinces except PEI. There are no stores in the Territories. www.rona.ca Lowes is an American chain of home improvement stores recently introduced to Canada. At present they only have stores in select location in Ontario, but plan to expand to other provinces in the future. www.lowes.ca Home Hardware is a Canadian company operating under three banners: Home Hardware sells tools, house wares and garden supplies. Home Building Centre sells building, electrical and plumbing supplies and Home Furniture which sell furniture. www.homehardware.ca
Home Outﬁtters is Canada's largest kitchen, bed & bath superstore and is part of the Hudson’s Bay Company. You will ﬁnd their stores in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Quebec. www.homeoutﬁtters.com Bed Bath & Beyond is an American company which as its mane suggests sells itms for the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. They have stores in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia and PEI. www.bedbathandbeyond.ca Linen Chest is a Canadian company selling home wares and speciﬁcally kitchen, bathroom and bedroom products.
They have stores in Quebec and Ontario. www.linenchest.com JYSK is a Scandinavian company pronounced yi-sk. They stock home decor products for bed, bath and living room. They also stock furniture. Locations can be found in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec. www.jysk.ca Wicker Emporium is located on Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and PEI. Contra to what their name suggests they sell things other than wicker for the living room, dining room and bedroom. lwww.wickeremporium.ca Crate&Barrel sell contemporary home decor products and furniture. They have store locations in Ontario and Alberta. www.crateandbarrel.ca
Electronics Best Buy is a specialty retailer of consumer electronics such as computers, TV’s, cameras etc. They also stock entertainment software, DVD’s etc. Stores can be found in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia. www.bestbuy.ca Future Shop is owned by the same company as Best Buy and sells the same sort of things with the addition of small and large household appliances. They have branches in every Canadian province, but no the Territories. www.futureshop.ca The Source sells home entertainment goods, cameras, phones, music and games. They have stores throughout all Canadian provinces and territories with the exception on Nunavut. www.thesource.ca Tiger Direct sells computers, business and consumer electronics and accessories. They have large stores in Ontario but all items can be ordered online at www.tigerdirect.ca Apple sell their own brand of computer hardware, software and accessories as well as iPods, iPads, iPhones etc. They have stores in all the big cities across Canada and are expanding. You can also order online at www.apple.com/ca Sony have a number of stores across Canada selling their professional and consumer electronics. www.sonystyle.ca
Ofﬁce & School Equipment
Staples sells everything for the ofﬁce such as furniture, computers, electronics, janitorial supplies, software, stationary as well as offering copy and print services. Staples stores can be found everywhere in Canada apart from Nunavut. www.staples.ca Ofﬁce Depot sells ofﬁce supplies, technology, furniture and like Staples has a copy and print center. They have
“Canadian families spend on average per year $8,000 on food, $2,000 on furnishings, $2,000 on personal care items and $3,000 on clothing” Statcan stores in every province and territory except Nunavut. www.ofﬁcedepot.ca At Work ofﬁce furniture is based only in Ontario and sell new and used ofﬁce furniture. www.atwork.ca
Supermarkets Walmart is one of the best known North American supermarket chains. Their superstores sell pretty much everything,but their regular stores tend to sell mainly groceries, cosmetics, toiletries and some clothing. They are located in all provinces and Yukon. www.walmart.ca Metro is a supermarket chain located in Ontario and Quebec. Their own brand ranges include Selection and Irresistibles. www.metro.ca Loblaws is a Canadian supermarket operating in Ontario and Quebec. Their own brand is President's Choice. They also sell clothing and home wares. www.loblaws.ca No Frills is a budget supermarket owned and operated by Loblaws. It stocks the President’s Choice brand. They have stores in Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, British Columbia and Alberta. www.shopnofrills.ca Real Canadian Superstore is another Loblaws owned company. They started off in Eastern Canada but are expanding across the country and can now be found in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario Yukon and Saskatchewan. In New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland & Labrador they are known as Atlantic Superstores or Dominion superstores. www.superstore.ca Sobey’s is the second largest food retailer in Canada and is found in all provinces but not the Territories www.sobeys.com Safeway has expended from the United States into Canada and now has over 200 stores across the country. www.safeway.ca Independent is another Loblaws owned company with stores in Ontario only. www.yourindependantgrocer.ca Thrifty Foods is found in British Columbia and is the largest supermarket chain on Vancouver Island. www.thriftyfoods.com T & T is Canada’s largest Asian supermarket chain. They have stores in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. www.tnt-supermarket.com Price Chopper is owned by Sobey’s and is their budget supermarket brand. Stores can be found in Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI and Newfoundland. www.pricechopper.ca
Other stores to consider
Canadian Tire sells everything for the vehicle, home and garden. They also sell sporting goods and some stores also sell food. They have stores in locations throughout Canada except Nunavut. www.canadiantire.ca
London Drugs is a Canadian owned company selling home wares, health and beauty products, electronics, food etc. They have stores in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan or you can shop online at www.londondrugs.com Shoppers Drug Mart has health and beauty products, magazines, pharmacy etc. They have stores throughout Canada. www.shoppersdrugmart.ca Rexall Pharmacy is Canada’s largest pharmacy network selling health and beauty products as well as health services. With stores throughout Canada you can also ﬁnd them at www.rexall.ca Sally Beauty Supplies offers cosmetics, skin and hair care products as well as salon supplies. They can be found in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and New Brunswick. www.sallybeauty.com Michaels is North America’s largest arts and crafts chain.They also offer picture framing services and some hold training events such as how to paint, or scrapbook etc. www.michaels.com Chapters Indigo is Canada’s largest book retailer. They also sell magazines, both domestic and imported. Other than books they also sell music and gifts. They have stores throughout Canada some under the Chapters name and others as Indigo Books. www.chapters.indigo.ca Toys R Us is Canada’s largest toy retailer. They sell toys, games, and baby products as well as gaming and electronics. They have locations throughout the country except the Territories. www.toysrus.ca Henry’s is a specialist retailer selling camera and video equipment. They sell both professional and consumer goods and also offer training facilities. They have stores in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Manitoba. www.henrys.ca Fitness Depot is an exercise equipment superstore. Stores are located in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. www.ﬁtnessdepot.ca Sport Mart sells sporting equipment and clothing. They are located in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta. www.sportmart.ca SportChek sells sporting goods and apparel. They have locations in all provinces except Quebec. PetSmart has everything for pets including food, accessories, training, grooming and even doggie hotels. Stores are available across Canada. www.petsmart.ca Global Pet Foods is Canada's largest chain of pet food stores specializing in natural, holistic and organic foods and supplements. Stores in provinces except British Columbia, Manitoba and Newfoundland & Labrador. www.globalpetfoods.ca
Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Thinking about becoming a Canadian snowbird? There are many things you need to consider when thinking of leaving the country for extended periods of time.
Snowbirds Deciding to become a snowbird might seem like an easy decision to make - spend the frigid cold winter in Canada or somewhere hot and sunny like Florida. Although the initial idea sounds great there are some fundamental things you need to think about before you embark on this type of adventure. You will of course need to decide where you are going to go. Florida is historically the number one choice for Canadians but it can be quite humid and this will not suit everyone. Texas and Arizona are gaining in popularity because they do not have the humidity that Florida has, but you still get the hot sunny weather. Of course there are not so many beach opportunities here, instead you can experience stunning mountain views and an abundance of cacti. If you are feeling a little more adventurous and donâ€™t mind the culture and language differences than perhaps Mexico is for you. Wherever you decide to go you must take care of some important things before and during your stay. These examples relate to the United States unless otherwise stated.
Finance When deciding to live in another country for several months it will not simply be a case of knowing how much your trip will cost and having enough money set aside to cover it. There are many more things you need to consider. Currency Fluctuations: Any fluctuation in currency can have a dramatic affect on your finances. If the Canadian dollar increases against the U.S. dollar then you will have more buying power in the States. Likewise if the Canadian dollar decreases, your cost of living in the U.S. will in turn increase. By opening a U.S. dollar bank account with your current financial institution you will be able to keep U.S. funds in a separate account that will not be susceptible to the ever changing exchange rates. You will also be able to write cheques, transfer money, pay bills etc in U.S. currency. If you normally exchange a large sum of money from Canadian to U.S. dollars before you travel and donâ€™t have a U.S. dollar bank account then you might consider specialist exchange companies. Exchanging currency at your bank can be costly in fees and so by using a specialist currency exchange company you can pay less. Also many allow you to fix exchange rates for up to a year. This can allow you to take advantage of previous favourable rates at times when the exchange will not normally be to your advantage. Inflation/Deflation: Changes to inflation rates will affect your investments such as pensions, savings etc. This can mean the value of any assets you have can drop or increase depending on the inflation rate at this time. Pension Changes: The government, both federal and provincial can change rules and regulations relating to pensions. You should always be aware of any impending changes and how they will affect you as these too could change the amount of money you have available.
Interest Rates: Any changes in interest rates could affect any savings you have or if you have a mortgage, the monthly payments you make.
Health Medication: If you take regular medication always make sure you take enough to last the duration of your trip. You are also advised to take a little extra just in case you are away longer than you first anticipate. It is also advisable to carry a duplicate of any prescriptions you have so that you can show this to any authorities that require it. Remember medications that are legal here in Canada are not necessarily so in other countries. Likewise some over-the-counter medications may need a prescription elsewhere, or visa-versa. For your own use also carry a list of medications you take. The list should include both the generic and trade names. If for any reason you need to replace anything you will have a list ready at hand to refer to. Always carry medications in their original labeled containers to avoid any problems at customs and immigration etc. Never mix medications. Vaccinations: Whenever you travel to another country you should check that you are up-to-date with any vaccinations that you require such as the Flu vaccine. Check to see if there are any requirements or recommendations regarding your destination for vaccines well in advance of travel. Some require you to start a course of vaccines or medication several months prior to travel, so leave enough time to accommodate for these.
Security When you travel you want to be sure the place you are relocating to is safe. Do lots of research and get referrals from others before making your final choice. Property: Security for your property in Canada is also a priority whilst you are away. Never make announcements on social networking sites such as FaceBook about impending trips, especially if your property is going to be left unattended for any length of time. Even if you have someone looking after your property whilst you are away, chances are they will not be there all the time, so donâ€™t make it easy for thieves by announcing you are away from home. The majority of Canadian home insurers include in their policies that your home cannot be left unattended after a certain period of time, usually only a few days. Always make sure you have someone looking after your property not only to cover the liability with your insurer, but also for your own peace of mind. Make sure who ever is looking after your property knows how to contact you, your insurance company and your alarm company in case of an emergency. Post: Always remember to do something with your post for the duration of your trip. There are several options for this. Canada Post offers a redirection service, so you could have your post redirected to you whilst you are away. Canada Post also offers a hold service enabling you to have post held by them and then delivered to you upon your return. This is probably not the best service to use as you might miss important pieces of mail during this time. You may prefer a friend or relative to collect your mail for you either from your property, or have it redirected to them. They can then send you the mail periodically and even route out junk mail and only send important pieces to you. It is cost effective and easy to rent a post office box in the United States where you can have all your mail sent.
Pets If you have a pet and are planning a long trip it is only natural that you would want your pet to accompany you.
You will need to check that the country you are visiting allows the type of pet you have to travel there. Also check if any special requirements are needed such as rabies shots or health certificates. If your pet is on medication you will need to make sure you have adequate supplies to take with you. It is also advisable to get a letter from your veterinarian stating the medication prescribed in order to prevent any confusion if additional medication is required whilst you are away or you are questioned at customs etc. You must also be sure to check that pets are allowed to stay at the locations you choose to stay, be that a RV park, rental home or hotel.
Documentation Because you are entering another country you will need to present certain documentation when crossing the border and have other documentation with you during your trip. Passport: It is now a requirement for all Canadians to have a valid passport when entering the United States. Be sure that your passport remains valid for the duration of your trip. If you are a permanent resident you will need to check what documentation is required to enter the destination country. You will need to have your permanent resident card with you to re-enter Canada. There may also be time restrictions on the duration of your trip, so check before making any arrangements. It is also advisable to take copies of your passport ID page and keep a copy with you separate from the original. If the original is ever lost you can use this to get a duplicate. You could also leave a copy with a friend or relative in Canada for the same reason. Driving Licence: You must have a driving licence on you if you plan to drive in the U.S. If you are using your own vehicle you must have your insurance documents as well as vehicle registration with you at all times. As with a passport it is advisable to take a copy of your driving licence and keep it separate from the original in
case of loss. Make sure your licence will not expire whilst you are away, if so renew before you leave. International Drivers Licence: You may want to obtain an international drivers licence. The cost is minimal and all you need is a valid driving licence and secondary ID. You do not need one for the U.S. but it might be advisable if wishing to drive in other countries such as Mexico. Proof of Residency: You may be asked to provide proof of Canadian residency in order to show that you have a commitment to returning to Canada at the end of your trip. Although you may not get asked for this type of information it is best to have it just in case. This will prevent you from being turned away at the border. These can be home ownership records, rental agreement etc. Something that proves that you have no intention of exceeding your stay in the U.S. and will be returning home.
Insurance Health Insurance: Just because you have provincial health coverage in Canada do not take it for granted it will cover you whilst you are away. Most health insurance will only cover you for certain things for a certain length of time. It is your responsibility to obtain adequate health insurance for the destination and duration of your trip. Many companies offer specialist health and travel cover for snowbirds. Make sure you get several quotes and look at each carefully to make sure they cover everything you are likely to need. Remember that in the United States health care is very different to that of Canada. Even the smallest medical mishap could cost you thousands of dollars if you are not adequately covered. When you consider that an overnight stay in hospital could cost up to $10,000 USD or if an operation is required you could be talking of hundreds of thousands of dollars. It pays to be adequately covered. Medical insurance to cover you for a six month trip could look expensive, but a simple fall resulting in a broken arm could leave you seriously in debt if you are not covered. A heart attack suffered abroad could see you bankrupt. When looking for health coverage you must disclose any pre-existing conditions. A claim can be denied if you have failed to disclose any medical history, even if it is completely unrelated to your claim. Make sure you ask lots of questions of your broker or insurer or get referrals from other snowbirds to make sure you have the right policy. Home Insurance: Make sure you have adequate homeowner insurance for any home you own that will cover the replacement of any loss, including the home itself. All insurers have their own terms and conditions and you should check carefully to make sure you are covered during your absence from Canada. You may have to comply with certain procedures such as notifying the company in writing about your trip with details of contact persons in the case of any emergency. Most companies stipulate that a home cannot be left unchecked for more than a few days. Always make sure you have a friend, relative or specialist company like Intercept Home Watch check your property regularly both
inside and out. This person should also have your contact details, your insurance company details, alarm company details etc. Vehicle insurance: You must have any vehicle you drive adequately insured against damage, loss, fire, theft etc. Your policy also needs to cover you for personal injury and damage or injury to third parties. Most Canadian vehicle insurance covers you in the United States, but don’t take this for granted, check exactly what you are covered for before you leave. Travel Insurance: You may want to take out some form of travel insurance to cover you against lost baggage, flight delays etc. This type of insurance can also allow you to be transported back to Canada in the event of injury, illness or death.
Everything else This list is just a small segment of things to consider when you are a snowbird. There are of course many others such as tax issues, renting property in the U.S. or renting your Canadian home whilst away. You may also need to consider things such as voting privileges, wills and purchasing property in the U.S. amongst others. The best way to make sure you have everything covered and under control is to contact one of the many snowbird organizations, fellow snowbirds or read one of the many books available on the subject.
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Porsche Cayenne Story & Photos V8 Turbo by Mark Atkinson
sedan – puts the focus on on-road performance. The centre differential uses electronically controlled multi-plate clutches that split power front and rear. Optionally, there is Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus package which adds a ‘thinking’ rear differential that can route power left and right to get the Cayenne to turn quicker. One benefit of abandoning the heavy machinery, combined with a huge effort overall at paring back weight, is that the new Cayenne models weigh roughly 180 kg less than before, which greatly aids acceleration and fuel mileage. The 2,065-kg S runs from 0-96 km/h in 5.6 seconds but still returns 14.7 city/10.7 hwy (L/100km), while the 2,169-kg Turbo does them in 4.4 sec with a minimal penalty in city mileage (15.7/10.7).
Handling does Porsche proud
The hue and cries from Porsche faithful about the Cayenne SUV’s existence took years to hush. Many still believe that any vehicle extending beyond its typical sports and grand-touring machines are an affront to the rich Porsche legacy. But switching its funding from an allconquering Le Mans contender to creating the Cayenne is largely credited to saving the company from bankruptcy. Despite its status as the best-selling Porsche ever – over 280,000 globally since 2002, including 5,830 in Canada – the Cayenne did get a number of legitimate complaints, like its thirst for premium fuel, its excessive curb weight and chintzy interior materials. Not fixing those in the 2011 redesign would mean a real threat to its cash cow. How successful was it in creating Cayenne version 2.0? The short answer is very.
The heavy use of aluminum in the chassis and body makes the Cayenne handle better, easily demonstrated around the 4-km road course at Barber Motorsport Park in Birmingham, AL. The track features plenty of blind corners and elevation changes, and every model we took out was a willing dance partner. The ‘regular’ Cayenne S was fun, but obviously hampered by its higher-profile all-season tires on 18-in wheels, while Turbos used either optional 20-in or 21in wheels with more appropriate summer rubber. Piloting a Turbo with the optional torque-vectoring diff, you could feel it working away under you, deciding in fractions of a second which wheel should get how much power. It’s a definite ego boost. Both engines sound fantastic under fullthrottle too – the throaty roar of the V8 in the S is
Small changes to big engines The focus here is on V8-powered S and Turbo models. Not much was wrong with those engines, so they’re not radically different for ’11. The S retains its 4.8-litre displacement, producing 400 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, while the Turbo uses twin-turbochargers to pump out 500 hp and 516 lb-ft. While the peak numbers don’t change much – if at all – the engines are now more flexible when driving, and more efficient at the pump, thanks to direct fuel injection. Both engines are paired with a new ZF-sourced eightspeed automatic transmission, dubbed Tiptronic S, to a permanent all-wheel drive system. One challenge to separate the Cayenne further from its Volkswagen Touareg platform-mate is ditching the heavy-duty four-wheel drive system. The new solution – shared with the Panamera
complemented by the whoosh and fizzes coming from the Turbo. Amazingly, Porsche’s decision to lighten the Cayenne’s off-road hardware hasn’t detracted from its abilities in the bush. Driving over, around and through obstacles and water crossings through the 700 acres surrounding the track, the Porsche felt right at home. A lower first gear and standard hill-descent control, along with standard adjustable ride height, mean the Cayenne never felt out of its element. The off-road modes are now accessible in gear, rather than forcing a switch to neutral first. Ordering your Cayenne with the torque-vectoring system also brings the side benefit of being able to lock the rear differential in really challenging conditions.
No longer the ugly duckling The effort to genuinely improve the product and not just throw on a set of new clothes is apparent. But don’t discount the appeal of those new clothes; compared with the original, the Cayenne now has a more balanced and aggressive shape. The larger headlights and grille share cues with the Panamera, while the LED driving lights are fashionable. While the Cayenne looks more compact than the original, it’s nearly 5 cm longer, including a 4 cm stretch in wheelbase to improve rear-seat room. Regardless of which route you take to your destination, the trip will be comfortable. The Cayenne takes many of its interior cues from the ultra-lux Panamera, including the high centre console, five-gauge dashboard, smaller threespoke steering wheel and high-end entertainment offerings. The materials are higher quality than before and on par with others in the segment. Highlights include rear seats that slide 16 cm to improve legroom or cargo space – and there
are 670 L of room with the rear seats up, or 1,780 L with them folded flat. Perhaps the biggest change comes in the content. All 2011 Porsches get standard floormats, a universal audio in (AUX, USB, iPod), and Bluetooth hands-free. Also, the company has changed tack and now offers option packages designed to save its customers some money. For example, the ‘Basic’ package on a Cayenne S brings dynamic bi-xenon headlamps, a power moonroof, dimming mirrors and a navigation system for $6,790, a savings of nearly $3,000. But Porsche still relies heavily on buyers choosing options a la carte, and there are plenty of upgrades available for the right price. Speaking of prices, the V8-powered S starts at $76,000, jumping $2,000 over a 2010 model, while the Turbo rings in nearly $3,500 pricier at $123,900. But both include standard heated power seats and steering wheel, cruise control and a touch-screen interface for the radio and other systems, along with all of the other improvements, which takes the sting out of the increases. Overall the ’11 Cayenne is a definite improvement over the original, not only in how it looks, but how it coddles its passengers while tackling whatever obstacles are thrown its way – on road or off. 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 MuchMorMagazine, Mark also has his own blog, www.drivingguy.com, and appears in a number of other print and online publications.
Employment Keys to researching your next employer By Beth Braccio Hering, CareerBuilder Writer "I know right away when a candidate doesn't know the current news about our company," states Chris Brabec, director of leadership talent acquisition for Western Union. "If you don't know the CEO is retiring, or if a company made a big acquisition recently, that's not a good sign. If a candidate can't tell me what the company does (or thinks Western Union still does telegrams), that's another sign she hasn't done her homework." In a job market where applicants frequently cast a wide net with the hope that anybody will respond, job seekers sometimes cut corners by not thoroughly checking out potential employers. But failure to know about the place you claim you want to work at can make you seem unprepared and disinterested -- and cost you a job offer. Here, experts weigh in on things you should learn before seeking employment and how to go about finding that information.
What to know "Companies have told us that one of the things they use to weed out candidates is that the student didn't know anything about the company," says John M. Thompson, executive director of career services at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Among the things Thompson encourages his students to find out are: What does the company do? What are its products? What is the company's mission? Where are its offices located? How big is the company in terms of employees/revenue? How is it positioned in its industry? "Everyone (but particularly for more senior-level roles) should know our stock price," says Yolanda Bush, director of human resources for Western Union. "Research the company's leadership team and the company's efforts around corporate social responsibility. This will help candidates position themselves to discuss how their skills and experience will help us succeed in the marketplace." Julie Rulis, a senior recruiter for Western Union's talent acquisition team, agrees with her colleague's advice and adds, "If you are doing an interview at a company, find out if it's in the Fortune 500 and where it is on that list. Even better: Find out where it was a year ago, and if it's different, maybe ask why. It shows you've done your homework. A job candidate should know our products and services
beyond just the basics. With all the tools available nowadays, there's no excuse not to know."
How to play detective The "tools" Rulis is referring to are all the different ways a job seeker can go about finding information. Abby M. Locke, master résumé writer and personal brand strategist for Premier Writing Solutions, offers these suggestions on how to find information on the company: • Review the company's website. • Read press releases. • Pay attention to industry publications. • Use Google alerts to stay on top of current company news. • Do an informational interview with past or current employees. • Talk to a representative at a career fair or trade show. • Follow key decision-makers on Twitter. • Utilize LinkedIn groups and other online social media tools. Online directories such as Bloomberg and Standard & Poor's also give information on many businesses. For additional help in finding appropriate databases, job seekers may want to consult their local library or the college career center of their alma mater.
Show what you know Finally, while you don't need to be a walking fact book, be ready to incorporate your knowledge of the company into correspondence and conversation when opportunities arise. "I ask job candidates questions like what they know about the company beyond what's on the website, how they feel they fit in with our overall values and corporate culture, or what they found out about the company in their research that they didn't know before," Rulis says. "This is a great opportunity to show off your preparation -- talk about our competitors or the fact that you read that we're entering an entirely new business segment." Get to know your potential employers, and chances are they will want to get to know you! Check out all Careerbuilder’s career and job search advice using the following link http://www.muchmormagazine.com/12-2/
Be unemployed without looking unemployed By Audrey Prenzel, CARW, CEIC, B.A., B.Ed. I can appreciate that you may not have a job, especially if you just arrived in Canada. I understand that your résumé and cover letter are written and you’re actively “out there” networking, cold calling and responding to ads. It ﬂoors me though, when I see job seekers looking like they’re unemployed. This is all common sense to a degree but it’s always good to take a moment and make sure you’re presenting yourself in the best possible context. Notwithstanding common sense, work experience or qualiﬁcations, and regardless of what people say, appearances do matter in Canada. Stay competitive by reviewing these 10 considerations that when neglected, will only hamper your career search efforts.
1. Get enough sleep It sounds simple enough, but if you look exhausted and have bags and dark circles under your eyes you’ll appear zombie-like. Well rested people are more alert than their sleep deprived counterparts. Let’s be honest, this is not the time to have a low energy level.
2. Hair Wash it. Dry it. Cut it. Style it. Colour it. Shave it. Crimp it. Straighten it. Curl it. Wear it up. Wear it down. Just do something. Unstyled, overgrown or unwashed hair won’t encourage interviewers to bring you on board. Fellows, a “ﬁve o’clock shadow” or a scruffy, untrimmed beard are both a “no no”.
3. Eat right A healthy balanced diet is just as good for the mind as it is for the body.
4. Stay ﬁt This builds upon the previous point: watch your weight and muscle tone. You’ll have the selection committee wondering how you can help them if it appears that you can’t keep yourself in shape.
5. Nails You don’t have go to a salon to have a professional looking manicure or pedicure. Ladies, keep your nail length reasonably short and make sure nail polish does not have any chips. Gents, please keep the length consistently short and most importantly, keep them clean. Handing in a résumé or shaking someone’s hand with discoloured, chipped or uneven nails ensures they’ll remember you for all the wrong reasons.
6. Attire I’m not suggesting you go out and buy an entire new job hunting wardrobe, but keep a few pieces on hand that mix and match well. Personally, I’m a ﬁrm believer in classic pieces that never go out of style. I apply the same principle to accessories such as purses, shoes, belts and jewelry.
7. Teeth If you don’t have access to dental beneﬁts, take especially good care of your oral hygiene on your own Brush and ﬂoss regularly. Use an over the counter oral rinse (mouth wash) to keep bad breath at bay. If you feel you require dental assistance, public health units can usually put you in touch with socially assisted dental care service providers. If you need a good cleaning and scaling, there are increasing numbers of Certiﬁed Dental Hygienists offering this type of service at a lower cost than dentist ofﬁces. Second only to the eyes, the mouth is the facial feature that people look at the most. Clearly, this is critically important during introductions, meetings and interviews.
8. Butt out This is a good time to quit smoking if kicking this habit has been on your radar for a while. It will keep more money in your pocket, but more importantly you’ll realize all the health beneﬁts of not smoking.
9. Allergies Stay on top of any seasonal or year round allergies. Red, watery and swollen eyes, along with a runny nose are just as irritating for an interviewer to witness as it is for you to endure. Don’t think unemployment is an excuse to skip out of your regularly preventive allergy routine.
10. Smile I do understand that this may be an unhappy or stressful time, but by maintaining a cheerful appearance you’ll be more appealing to others. If you force yourself to smile, it’s like you’re forcing yourself to be positive. Companies would rather hire someone with an upbeat morale than a sour looking disposition. Most likely, you’ll never know if neglecting one of these areas has eliminated you from a job. It’s not worth the risk, and it certainly makes for a better quality life. Good 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
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Home & garden
When we decide to purchase real estate there are many things that need to be taken into consideration. Obviously the money side of things plays a big part in the decision, but putting that aside for a moment there are other factors that will help or hinder your search. By setting yourself clear guidelines you will save yourself both time and anguish. You need to sit down and discuss amongst the people involved in the move exactly what each of you wants from the new home. You might not all get exactly what you what but having a “wish list” will help make the decisions further down the line clearer. Start with the fundamentals. How many bedrooms do you need? How many bathrooms? Do you need office space? How about an in-law suite? How big a garage do you need? Do you need a gourmet kitchen or one suitable for re-heating take outs? Do you need a formal dining area or just a space for the family to eat breakfast? Your wish list should include “must haves” and “would likes.” By distinguishing the things you cannot do without such as three bedrooms and two bathrooms from the things you would like such as a swimming pool or home cinema you will prioritize your requirements. This will make sense when faced with a decision between two or three properties. If one doesn’t have something on your must have list then discard it. It is very easy when looking for property to be ruled by your heart rather than your head, particularly for women. There is absolutely nothing wrong with going with your gut instinct or knowing when a property feels right, but you must make sure that property also has all the things you decided you must have regardless. You will only regret the decision later when you realize that the compromise of only having one bathroom, but it really had a great pool becoming the reason you end up needing to move again. Depending on where you are in your life, you may be moving to a larger home, perhaps to accommodate a
The real estate buying game
growing family. Make sure you have thought of the things that this will involve. You will probably have larger utility bills, property taxes may be higher, a bigger garden might mean more maintenance. A bigger home means more cleaning and maintenance. If you are downsizing make sure you are ready for such a move. Many people believe they want to live in a smaller property but will your current furniture fit, or will you need to replace it? Will all your possessions fit into a smaller home or will you need to discard or store items? Will living in a smaller property make you feel claustrophobic compared to your current home? All these things need to be thought through before committing to such a drastic decision. Once you have the fundamentals sorted out you need to decide where you want to live. Do you have a specific area in mind? Do you want to live in a rural setting or in the middle of a city? Do you want a condominium or a family home, a detached or town house? Do you need to be close to a school or hospital? Do you need to live close to work? Do you prefer a new build or a resale home, a modern property or an older home with more character? If this is your first time buying property or perhaps the first time buying in this particular area then some of these things may become clearer after talking to your Realtor or by visiting the areas you have in mind. Sometimes you will need to view some properties before you can get a clear idea of what you want or don’t want. Don’t be afraid to reassess your wish list especially if after visiting properties it makes you aware of other things you need or that you can do without. You can never do enough research. Research the areas, research housing types, research Realtors, research pricing and above all research yourself so you know what you want and recognise it when you see it.
Saving energy might not be as difficult as you think (ARA) While saving energy and lowering your bills during the winter takes some personal sacrifice, it might not be as hard as you think. With a combination of changing your habits and a few simple fixes, it's possible to realize significant savings on your utility bills. You could be well on your way to saving money and lessening your impact on the environment this winter by making a few simple changes: Reduce your home's average temperature by a degree or two. You obviously don't want to make your house too chilly for you or your guests, but this is a case where a little can go a long way. For each degree, you may be able to save 1 percent on your heating bill. Over the whole winter, that 1 or 2 percent can amount to quite a bit in actual savings.
Consider a programmable thermostat. This allows you to set the heat at a lower temperature while you are at work or while you sleep, and then program the thermostat to reach comfortable levels before you arrive home in the evening or get up in the morning. Certain products offer remote homemanagement systems, which can allow you the option of controlling the temperature of your home from most Webenabled cell phones or a computers no matter where you are. You can even program the thermostat to send text or email alerts if the temperature goes below a preset level, indicating a potential heating system failure. With a system like this, you can save a lot of energy - and money - and always be comfortable when you arrive home. Check your HVAC filters and replace them if they are dirty. This should be done at least once a month during times of heavy usage. Clearing and cleaning any vents in your heating system will also help it run more
efficiently. Seal places where heat could escape. Some strategic caulking and weather stripping can go a long way toward bringing your heating costs way down.
Properly sealing your home can reduce costs by 20 percent. Using duct sealant to close up any exposed heating or cooling ducts can also offer significant savings. Keep curtains open during the day to let in natural heat energy. Keep them closed at night to provide extra insulation around your windows. If you're looking for more ideas on how to save energy, it may be a good idea to have a local contractor conduct an energy audit on your home The auditor will be able to give you minor tips, as well as suggestions for major projects you may want to do in the future. After all, with a few simple cost-saving measures in place, you might be able to afford bigger energy-saving projects in years to come.
Our community section covers everything from community services to town and city overviews. Whether you already live in a particular city and want to learn more, or if you are considering relocating then read on. Last month we carried an interesting article from military wives and how they cope with relocations and deployments. This caused quite a stir in the military community and in this issue we have responses from the military themselves. We speak to representatives from Canadian Forces Bases Trenton and Petawawa in Ontario.
Please donâ€™t forget to visit pages 44 and 45 to support this issueâ€™s featured charities: Youth Unlimited, The Linden Fund, Ephraimâ€™s Place and North Hastings Community Trust. All do excellent work and need your support.
Peterborough welcomes you As Mayor of the City of Peterborough, I am pleased to welcome you to the City’s Immigration Portal – WelcomePeterborough.ca. The City of Peterborough is one of nine municipalities located in the County of Peterborough. It was incorporated as a town in 1850. Peterborough is named in honour of Peter Robinson, an early Canadian who promoted and organized the first major settlement of Irish immigrants to the area. At one time Peterborough was known as Canada’s canoe building capital. Today Peterborough is known for food processing, automotive supplies, electronics, aerospace and life sciences/biotechnology industries, and is home to General Electric and Quaker Oats. In 2004 the city was ranked the number one location for business in Ontario by Canadian Business magazine. This is due in part to a lower cost of living than in other urban centers, reliable labour and high quality post-secondary institutions. Peterborough is home to Trent University and Sir Sandford Fleming College. The city is rich in heritage. We have an amazing variety of museums, indoor and outdoor art galleries, cultural exhibitions, live theatre, Aboriginal heritage, historic sites and a thriving music scene. We have the best of all worlds – we are a short drive away from Toronto with its sophistication and have easy access to the rivers, lakes and cottage living of the Kawarthas. The city of Peterborough is a great place to live, work and raise a family. I hope you will visit this web site, explore our city, and come and see us. I am sure if you visit, you will want to stay. Mayor Paul Ayotte
Over 8.5 million Ontarians now have access to 211 service We’ve all heard of dialing 911 in the time of an emergency, but have you heard of 211? This is a service offered to many resident of Ontario to access a range of community resources such as government services, health, social and community programs. As of the end of September this service is available to even more households, bringing the number of people able to access the service to over 8.5 million, or 70% of the population. During September the following communities gained access: Algoma, Oxford County, Hamilton and Durham Region. These regions join Halton Region, Niagara Region, Simcoe County, Windsor-Essex, Thunder Bay and District, Ottawa, Peel Region and Toronto who already had access to the service. “Bringing together information on agencies and programs is creating customized solutions for each community,” said Bill Morris, Executive Director, Ontario 211 Services Corporation. “Working with different groups, 211 is helping school boards map services to specific challenges, to registering families for backpacks for school, tracking
shelter beds and freeing up front line public health staff by answering basic H1N1 clinic and vaccination information.” The service originated in the United States in 1997 and in 2002 United Way Canada - Centraide Canada and other partners won approval from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to use 211 for community, social, government and health information in Canada. “211 has changed the way Ontarians access information,” said Rosanna Thoms,” Executive Director, 211 Central South Region and President, Inform Canada. “Instead of annoying phone menus or impersonal automatic attendants, 211 callers speak directly to a Certified Information and Referral Specialist. By combining the human touch of live answer with modern phone and web technology, 211 is able to provide callers with awardwinning high quality customer service.” By March 2012 it is expected that the entire province will have access to the 211 service. The Ontario government invested $13 million to enable this to happen as part of the Poverty Reduction Strategy. The service provides a large range of information from housing assistance to language classes, employment counseling to assistance for seniors. Residents can call 2-1-1 or go to www.211ontario.ca. Both the website and the phone service are bilingual
Sensational Smiths Falls
Photo by: Muchmor Media
Culture and diversity combined
Sensational Smiths Falls, in Eastern Ontario, is home to close to 9000 residents and centrally located along the beautiful Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. Smiths Falls is truly a Sensational community, offering a wide variety of employment opportunities and wonderful lifestyle choices for all ages.
Three professional Museum locations offer visitors and residents a glimpse into the exciting heritage of an ever changing community.! The Heritage House Museum delights guests with its guided tours of an 1860’s Mill Owners home with unique mirror image facades and twostorey indoor privy.! Special events and exhibits highlight the social and cultural history of Smiths Falls.!The Rideau Canal Museum offers visitors interactive displays and changing exhibits that highlight the stories of the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Destination.! The best views in Town can be seen from the Museum’s Sensational look-out or indulge yourself at the Waterfall Cafe for tasty treats and local artistry.! The Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario, a National Historic Site, highlights the rich history of railroading in Canada from the beautiful setting of a former Canadian Northern Railway station.! Climb aboard the trains for a one of a kind view or take yourself for a handcar ride.!Land and water tourists alike are invited to meet the friendly staff at the Victoria Park Campground and Boat Docks to answer your questions and help you plan your stay.! Paddle your way through the Rideau Canal in a traditional Voyageur Canoe with costumed interpreters.! Our Bike & Walking trails offer the often unseen natural splendor of the Town and link our parks, attractions and recreational opportunities. A free Tourist Shuttle service leaves Victoria Park hourly, offering pick-up and drop-off services to the Town’s hottest attractions, events, shopping and dining destinations. This is a wonderful way to get around and enjoy the beauty of the community.! The new Smiths Falls Community Theatre located at the recently transformed VIA rail station houses lively theatrical productions throughout the year.
History The area of Smiths Falls was originally granted to Lt. Thomas Smyth, a United Empire Loyalist, who was issued 400 acres of land in 1786. The area was later purchased in 1825 by Abel Russell Ward, a self proclaimed United Empire Loyalist. When Lt. – Col. John By, a member of the Royal Engineer Corp, was issued to construct a navigable canal linking Lake Ontario and the Ottawa River in 1832, he included the Rideau River running through Smiths Falls. The event is seen as a milestone for the area, since it allowed economic growth and it is still important today, since Smiths Falls is the Heart of the Rideau Canal. The true economic boom was after 1884 when the Canadian Pacific Railway constructed part of its line through the area. This provided a direct route to Montreal and its shipping lines. It also allowed the population of the region to increase rapidly and develop a long history of important industries that continue to shape the rich heritage of this diverse and prosperous town. Smiths Falls offers you the friendly nature of a small town with all the amenities of a modern city.! Families seeking adventure and a great diversity in shopping and dining experiences need go no further than our heartwarming community.
Capture history and scenic beauty in Sensational Smiths Falls! You will enjoy a variety of activities to suit everyoneâ€™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.
Rideau Canal Getting Here Smiths Falls is easily accessed by Highway 15, Highway 29 and County Road 43 each have direct access to outlying municipalities. We are less than 25 minute drive to a number of 400 series highways such as the Hwy 401, 416 and 417. If you prefer to take the train VIA passenger service makes frequent stops. Smiths Falls is centrally located on the VIA Rail Corridor. The Corridor service area has the heaviest passenger train frequency in Canada. About 67% of VIA's revenue comes from Corridor routes. For the aviation enthusiast, the Russ Beach Smiths Falls Montague Airport is located just outside of Town. The Ottawa MacDonald Cartier International Airport is located only 67 km from Smiths Falls and offers a variety of passenger air carriers including Porter, First Air, Air Canada, Canadian North, Bearskin Airlines West Jet, Us Airways, United Airlines, Delta North West, Continental Express, and American Airlines. Hourly scheduled flights are available from Toronto and Montreal at very reasonable rates. Norman Rogers Airport in Kingston, offers regular commercial flights to and from Toronto Pearson International Airport, as well as private, charter and cargo aircraft flight services. Toronto Pearson International Airport has regular domestic and international charter flights to and from many U.S. and overseas destinations. MontrĂŠal-Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport is a short two hour drive and has shuttle buses running from the McDonald - Cartier Ottawa International Airport. Greyhound Bus service stops regularly in the community and has a hub in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. For Boaters, the St. Lawrence Seaway is a wonderful way to connect to the Rideau Canal System. This route provides
Hospital breath taking views and scenic wildlife. All the amenities a boater may require are available at local marinas.
Recreation Recreation in Smiths Falls is abundant; the town of Smiths Falls has something for everyone. We offer a variety of facilities to meet everyoneâ€™s needs. There are three golf courses on the outskirts of Smiths Falls; each course offers a variety of unique challenges. If you prefer kayaking or canoeing the swale lands offer a rich blend of wildlife and scenic beauty. Our parks and trails are well defined and easily connect with the Cataraqui Trail and The Rideau Trail.
Climate With Sensational weather conditions throughout the spring, summer and fall, Smiths Falls is a great location to take in local festivals and outdoor adventure. In the winter Smiths Falls residents enjoy skating, cross country skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing. Spring in Canada runs from March 21st through to June 20th. Spring is the rainy season in Canada with average temperatures in the spring ranging from 8oC to18oC. Summer in Canada runs from June 21st through to September 20th. Summer is the warmest season of the year with average temperatures range from 21oC to 31oC. Autumn/Fall in Canada runs from September 21st through to December 20th. Average temperatures range from 7o C to 17o C. Winter in Canada runs from December 21st through to March 20th. Winter is the coldest season of the year with average temperatures being -4o C to -18o C. Snowfall usually occurs during the months of December, January and February.
“Three professional Museum locations offer visitors and residents a glimpse into the exciting heritage of an ever changing community. The Heritage House Museum delights guests with its guided tours of an 1860’s Mill Owners home with unique mirror image facades and two-storey indoor privy.” Lifestyle Smiths Falls offers “Sensational” lifestyles built around its friendly people, quality housing, great education and medical services, excellent sports, recreation and community events, churches and community organizations, a variety of shopping, personal services, and excellent municipal services. Smiths Falls provides the full services needed for quality of life, yet does it with the friendly, relaxing, and more personal surroundings of a beautiful town. Whether you judge quality of life by your home setting, services available, recreation or community activities, education, or health care, Smiths Falls will meet your needs.
Housing Smiths Falls offers a wide range of affordable housing options to suit everyone’s needs. Prices are very competitive with neighboring communities and a great value when compared to city prices. Smiths Falls was recently recognized in Zoomer Magazine as one of the best places to live in Canada. Whether you’re looking for a condominium, an apartment, a duplex, or a house – old or new, large or small, we have it all! Our neighborhoods are located near shopping and other great amenities too. Smiths Falls is a great choice for commuters to neighboring cities who desire the advantages of a full-service, friendly town. We invite you to visit our city and you see our beautiful streets, vibrant downtown and thriving business sectors.
Education Our community is served by a variety of excellent schools under the public and separate school systems. A new public high school provides a quality facility for the students graduating from the elementary schools. Training services are available in Smiths Falls from quality colleges such as Algonquin, Kingston Learning Centre and Willis College. Other local centers provide training or employment assistance services, too. So, young or old, there are many educational services available in town or close by.
Healthcare Smiths Falls is a regional hub for healthcare services. Smiths Falls and District Hospital is a local, full services hospital providing critical health care services. The hospital recently expanded its facility and is upgrading its existing facility. The Smiths Falls Community Healthcare Centre offers a variety of primary health care, health education and health promotion services using a team approach. The teams work with individuals,
families and the community to promote health and prevent injury and illness. Our community also has a variety of senior’s care facilities each located with central access to amenities.
Culture Culture and Diversity is abundant in Smiths Falls. Our community has a strong heritage of French, Hindi, Chinese, Greek and Filipino. Many of these residents are successful business owners and are proud to showcase their community. Our Community is welcoming and embraces diversity. Smiths Falls is proud of our cultural history and is pleased to open the doors to newcomers looking at moving to Canada. Smiths Falls encourages you to come to our community for a visit. You may find you want to come back and make Smiths Falls your home. It’s all about living life to the fullest and here in Sensational Smiths Falls at the Heart of the Rideau Canal it is all possible!
For more information about Sensational Smiths Falls please call 1.888.983.4124 x 1127 or visit www.smithsfalls.ca Explore some of these great websites to see why Smiths Falls is so Sensational! http://www.smithsfalls.ca http://www.immigratetosmithsfalls.ca http://www.rideauheritageroute.ca/en/ http://www.rideau-info.com/museum http://www.sfrmeo.ca/ http://www.lanarkcountytourism.ca/ http://www.valleyseawayhomesmonthly.com/ http://www.onteast.com/ http://www.realaction.ca/ http://www.rideauroundtable.ca/ http://www.mdchc.on.ca/
The Linden Fund is a group of people who have been touched by premature birth. We offer hope, encouragement and support to newborns, families and neonatal intensive care units in Canada. Our purpose is to provide specialized medical equipment as well as items of comfort and convenience to assist in the mental, physical and emotional development of infants and their families. We are the voice of prematurity in Canada. Please help us continue to make a big difference in tiny lives. Visit our website to donate at www.prematurity.ca.
A multicultural mosaic community 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. Imagine a lifestyle with work-life balance, with a ten minute commute to work and a short distance to your weekend escape. Considered by many as the Regional Centre of Northeastern Ontario, Sudbury’s early roots can be traced back to 1883 and the development of the transnational railway. Its vast mineral resources have resulted in unparalleled growth. Today, Greater Sudbury is a diversified regional centre for mining, technology, education, government and health services with great connections to neighbouring communities and beyond. Greater Sudbury prides itself on a strong network of industrial, commercial, financial and government support services. The city is located 390 kilometres north of Toronto and 483 km west of Ottawa, where the Trans Canada Highway 17 and Highway 69 converge. Greater Sudbury is a city for the creative, curious and adventuresome! We encourage multicultural diversity and this if further reflected in our everyday lifestyle. Sudburians enjoy a vast array of theatre productions, concerts, festivals, events, restaurants and recreational activities that can change as the seasons do. A host to tourist destinations like Science North and Dynamic Earth, and shopping and dining to suit every appetite, Greater Sudbury has something for everyone!
Yarmarok Ukrainian Festival
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 grade 12 and beyond. As the regional centre for learning and applied research in Northeastern Ontario, Greater Sudbury is home to four school boards, private schools and several postsecondary institutions such as the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Laurentian University, Cambrian College, and Collège Boréal, one of only two francophone colleges in Ontario. Greater Sudbury educational opportunities offer comprehensive and challenging curriculums. Canada’s first new school of architecture in 40 years, Laurentian Architecture is expected to open in September 2011 as a downtown satellite campus of Laurentian University.
Real Estate and Housing Greater Sudbury offers a wide variety of affordable real estate options whether you want to rent or purchase a home in urban, rural and suburban settings. Greater Sudbury offers housing options to fit every budget and lifestyle. 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.
Greater Sudbury Hiking trails 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 goods-producing sector. Health care, educational services and public administration all play an important role, reflecting Greater Sudbury's position as a regional service centre for Northeastern Ontario, as well as the continued development of the health care and education infrastructure.
Health Care Services Greater Sudbury has become a regional resource and referral centre for residents in Northeastern Ontario. The presence of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, the Northeastern Ontario Regional Cancer Centre and the Adult Regional Cardiac Program, coupled with the pursuit of an Occupational Health & Safety Centre of Excellence, have all positioned Greater Sudbury as a regional health centre. Over 300 general practitioners and specialists contribute to the overall health and wellness of Greater Sudbury and to patients throughout the region. The Hôpital régional de Sudbury Regional Hospital (HRSRH) provides 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, 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 Finlandia-Koti to name a few, to chronic care centres such as Extendicare, the City of Greater Sudbury is proud to offer a wide variety of 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. Our city’s cultural festivals such as the Canada Day, Italian, Greek, Aboriginal, Irish, Finnish and Ukrainian festivals celebrate the cultural diversity of our citizens. The city’s diversity is most evident with the Bridge of Nations and its many flags. The flags on the Bridge of Nations were originally raised during a Canada Day celebration on July 1, 2007 to honour Greater Sudbury's multinational and multicultural heritage.
La Bella Vita Cucina Restaurant
Fall Climate and the Outdoors
Greater Sudbury falls are still warm and sunny offering its residents the opportunity to enjoy lakes, parks, end of season golf, biking and walking trails, outdoor events and more. Temperatures range from 15°C to over 25°C, with most of the annual rain (656 mm) falling between the months of May and September. End of season 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. The Market Square is the perfect outdoor and indoor market that offers fresh fruit and vegetables to satisfy your tastes. Visit indoors and you will find crafts, jewellery, artisans and tasty treats.
To find out more about the City of Greater Sudbury visit the following websites and find out what makes Sudbury so great!
Sudbury Symphony Orchestra
www.mysudbury.ca www.immigrationsudbury.ca w w w. m y s u d b u r y. c a / 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
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
The Military: Supporting families piece by piece In the last issue of Muchmor Canada Magazine we discussed the issues surrounding military relocations and how it affects the families of the serving members. We spoke to Jacki Hollywood-Brown and Karen Smith, both 42 years old and married to military personnel. Jacki lives on the Canadian Forces Base at Trenton, Ontario with their two children, a son age 13 and a daughter who is 10. Karen on the other hand lives off base near Trenton in the family’s own home with their two sons ages 7 and 9. Whilst talking to these two women it seemed that Jacki was able to access far more support and information from the military than Karen. We wanted to know if this was because families living on the bases were given more information or had better access than those living off base. Or was it simply a matter of different individuals being more or less resourceful in their research? We contacted two Forces Bases in Ontario: Trenton and Petawawa to get their reaction to our article. In both cases we were directed to the respective Military Resource Family Centre (MRFC). At CFB Trenton we spoke to Hélène Cadotte-Gagnon who is the Community Information Coordinator and at Petawawa we spoke to Ashley Gadd, Marketing and Communications Coordinator. Hélène told us that the MRFC’s were started back in the 1990’s and since their founding 32 have been established across the country. All MRFC’s offer similar services albeit at different levels depending on the size of the base and the surrounding cities. The aim of the centres is to offer support
to military families and to facilitate their integration into their new community. So how do the centres help a family relocate? What involvement do they have prior to, during and after the move?
Prior to moving: Petawawa: “When Canadian Force (CF) members are posted to CFB Petawawa, we at the Petawawa Military Family Resource Centre (PMFRC) like to ensure families are properly welcomed. Before being posted to Petawawa, our Information Services Assistant sends out a “Welcome Package” to the family.” says Gadd, “The welcome package contains information about our programs and services, health care options, licensing and vehicle registration, utility information, educational resources, child care options and much more. This package is also accessible for convenience through our website.” Trenton: “At the Trenton MFRC, the military member or their partner can contact us as soon as they hear about a posting in or out of 8 Wing/CFB Trenton.” said CadotteGagnon. ”We have Welcome Packages from all of the MFRC’s, which they can borrow to help them make decisions regarding their choice of posting. They can request that a Welcome Package from their future base be sent to their home and we can also assist with more information regarding specific needs if required.
Image: Petawawa Post “If they are moving to Trenton, many will contact me personally when their posting is confirmed, or stop by during their house hunting trip to pick up a Welcome Package. Most of the information they ask about is related to schools for their children, medical, employment for the civilian partner, etc. With the use of emails, the job search can start even before the moving day with Liz, our Employment & Education Assistance Coordinator.”
Upon relocation Petawawa: “Once families are relocated to CFB Petawawa the CF member must “clear-in” at the PMFRC facility to let us know they have arrived. This is a very resourceful session, as members receive a “Welcome Package” if they did not already, and they also learn about the many resources such as finding family doctors and other public services.” says Gadd. “Since the CF member is the one we speak to, it’s sometimes difficult to get all the information to their families. Therefore, we ask that they bring their family back to meet with us so we can also share the wealth of information with them. A month after the CF member has “cleared in” we call the family member (i.e. spouse, sister, brother, mom, dad) to welcome them to the neighbourhood and to answer any questions they may have.” “We also extend a personal invite to our monthly “Coffee Meets” where they learn more about their community” says Consuela Proulx, Information Services Assistant. Trenton: “When the family stop in during their house hunting trip or after their move they will be given their Welcome Package, if they have not already received it.” says Cadotte-Gagnon. “This package includes a booklet with phone numbers of different services, agencies, organisations on the base and in the surrounding communities e.g., Quinte West, Belleville and Brighton
where many families live. Information booklets from these communities as well as our quarterly newsletter, bus transit schedule etc are also included. “We will take the time to explain our services and have a tour of the Centre if desired and find an answer or a referral to their questions and/or needs. Our licensed Daycare director tries to keep some places available for the movingin and moving-out days, so parents can have their young children looked after and have peace of mind during the packing or unpacking. “We also offer a small houseplant as a welcome gift, unfortunately it is not always possible to keep this treasured gift when you move around the country.”
Ongoing support Petawawa: “Support for military families is what we do at the PMFRC!” Gadd says, “It’s important for spouses and their family members to know that there are services available for them. Services such as Couples Workshops, Smooth Move Seminars (preparing for your relocation), Deployment monthly programs, Employment Seminars and Preventative programs are all put into place to help them cope with the relocation to a new community. We want to make sure that the transition is as smooth and stress-free as possible. “We also have a full department dedicated completely to Deployment support. In partnership with the Deployment Support Centre (DSC), services range from monthly newsletters, to pre, during and post briefings to monthly family activities. The DSC is also available after hours to attend to any concerns you may have.” A Deployment Disc has been developed to help military families cope with the challenges often experience by a deployment. To receive a copy of this disc, contact the DSC at 1-877-218-9993.
8 Wing Imaging
Snowbirds display team at CFB Trenton
“The MRFC’s were started back in the 1990’s and since their founding 32 have been established across the country” Trenton: “We offer many support services such as Personal Development and Community Integration; which might include information, referral, second language training, employment and education assistance. “CadotteGagnon said “They will also find Child and Youth Development and Parenting Support, Prevention Support and Intervention and the Family Separation and Reunion Programs. We also have site-specific services which include a licensed Daycare Program, a Youth Centre and a Violence Against Women Program. “Many times, new workshops or courses are started with ideas from newcomers. It could be something they were involved in at their previous base and would like to see here. We try to accommodate the needs and wants of the military community as much as possible, this is their MFRC after all. “A quarterly bilingual newsletter “Touching Base” is distributed in all military housing and mailed out to the families living off-base. Families can read about our services, programs, workshops, courses and special events. Families also have access, free of charge, to a Resource Library with books, magazines, movies for all ages in both official languages.”
Children’s services Petawawa: “Families moving with children also have access to many great services. The PMFRC has many child care options such as Casual Child Care, Licensed Day Care, Private Home Day Care, Emergency Child Care and Nursery School. Along with other community partners, we also offer prenatal education courses, well-baby drop-ins, child health, sexual health and immunization clinics!
“To help cope with a loved one through deployment, we offer the Children’s Deployment Support Program (CDSP). The CDSP is a peer support program delivered in the local schools and is also community based in the surrounding areas. In a safe, comfortable environment, the children learn positive living skills and age-appropriate stress management strategies to help them with their deployment situation.” Trenton: “The Trenton MFRC is proud to have a lively Youth Centre for the 6 to 18 year olds, where they will find different activities geared to different age groups; this is a good place to meet new friends. “We also have a Playroom offering different drop-in programs for parents with their young children aged 0-6 years. To name just a few, on Monday mornings, moms-tobe or parents of under ones can meet and exchange information, Thursday evenings are reserved for the dads for the Pops & Tots program, the only females are 6 years old or younger and the meal is provided.”
Other support services Petawawa: “The PMFRC offers support for families of ill, injured or deceased soldiers through the “Integrated Personal Support Centre”. These services are accessible to all military families and include referrals to mental health services, access to educational/prevention-based programs in the community and short-term individual or group support. “Military Families also have access to the Crisis Intervention Worker. Support is available for any topic they may need to discuss such as parenting challenges,
8 Wing Photo
Image: Base Imaging, CFB Petawawa
CFB Petawawa isolation, mental health concerns, relationship breakdown, abuse, substance use or problem-solving support.” Trenton: “In some instances, a person could have more difficulties adapting to a new community and/or culture, Christa our Prevention, Support & Intervention Coordinator and Stéphanie our Francophone Community Program Coordinator are a phone call away to listen and give suggestions to help the integration.”
Conclusion At the beginning of this article we asked the question about what the military can offer families in the way of support during relocations and deployments etc and how this is shared with members and their families. It seems from speaking with the MRFC’s that there is indeed a lot of support and information available for all members of the military family. It does appear however that it is down to the family to seek this information themselves and make contact with the relevant MFRC at the base they are locating to. Most of the initial information is given to the serving member to then pass to their family. It may be that this information does not always reach the family and this is where the confusion sets in. Often the military member is busy with their duties and the impending move and/or deployment and the last thing on their minds is passing an info pack to their wife or husband. As a lot of the information is now available on the MFRC’s websites, or at the very least contact details of where to obtain the relevant information then perhaps this needs to be the main focus of both the military and the families. By having the websites serve as a main portal for information everyone involved in the move can use this as the main resource centre. They just need to know it is there and serving their needs.
CFB Trenton Memorial Gates Contact details Petawawa: “As you can see, the PMFRC offers a widevariety of supports and services to military families. This is just a preview of what we have to offer and we encourage you to learn more by visiting our website at www.familyforce.ca/sites/petawawa or contact Information Services 613-687-7587 ext 3222. Trenton: All this information and more is available on our website www.TrentonMFRC.CFBTrenton.com. The contact phone number for the Trenton Military Resource Centre is 613-965-3575. Other MFRC’s: Find links to all MFRC’s by going to the main bi-lingual website at www.familyforce.ca. You can select locations throughout Canada as well as other worldwide locations.
Because Canada is a land of diversity and multiculturalism, immigration plays a big part in its past, present and future. Every year thousands of newcomers move to Canada and call it home. One example of this are Marsha and Terry who immigrated to Ontario in 1998. They tell us their story of life in Canada and how things rarely turn out as planned. If you are living in Canada but originate from the UK then you will want to read our feature on transferring your UK pension to Canada. This is bought to you by Peter Martin and Brian Lewington who are Senior Financial Consultants with Investors Group and have extensive knowledge of the process and can advise you on whether this course of action is in your best interests.
ACCELERATE YOUR CAREER. SLOW DOWN YOUR LIFE.
In Ontario, we value a healthy balance between business and pleasure. Here, you can build your career while enjoying a highly satisfying and relaxed lifestyle. Our spirit of innovation and quality of life attracts professionals from around the world, for a wide variety of industries. As a result, we have a diverse, multicultural society that will make you feel right at home. When it comes to recreation and leisure, Ontario’s options are second to none. We have over 250,000 lakes for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and swimming; hundreds of golf courses, ski hills, world-class theatres, and more. That’s why the world works – and plays – here.
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Is your nest egg in the right hands?
UK pension transfer to Canada Moving to Canada from another country involves many steps and hundreds of hours of planning. Even after arriving in Canada the learning curve is steep as people try to learn and adjust to a new way of life. Decisions are prioritized in order of importance with location, employment, housing and schools often leading the way. Further down the list and in our opinion way too far down, is the decision on pensions and whether transferring a UK pension to Canada makes sense. For those of you reading this and saying, “I didn’t know I could transfer my pension to Canada,” please do not be embarrassed. As common as this practice has become, it is still relatively unknown in the British Expat community. This is unfortunate as there are several significant benefits to transferring a private or occupational pension to Canada. If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident you have the option of transferring any private or occupational pension in the UK as long as you have not started drawing an income from it. The following information does not relate to the State Pension as it is not transferrable. For more information on the State Pension and your entitlement please feel free to contact us. In order to transfer a pension you need to work with a Canadian institution that has been approved as a Qualified Recognized Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) and is registered with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Registered companies are able to facilitate these transfers tax free under their agreement. Working with an unqualified institution runs the risk of having the transfer taxed and also subjected to severe penalties. One of the key benefits to transferring a pension to Canada is the Spousal Rollover and subsequent estate planning advantages. Money left in a pension in the UK is
subject to a 50% widower’s pension meaning that when a pensioner dies, his or her widow will only receive 50% of the pension payments. Conversely, in Canada the entire pension amount “rolls over” tax free to the spouse and upon the second spousal death will be passed to beneficiaries on an after tax basis. In the UK there is no provision for the money to be left to beneficiaries upon the second spousal death. Another key advantage is the immediate access to pension money that some plans offer. It is important to note that it is not just the Institution that is approved by HMRC but also the plan that the money transfers into. This is an important distinction as not all available plans are the same. Some institutions “lock in” the entire pension transfer meaning the money is not accessible until age 55. Conversely our plan allows for greater flexibility and follows HMRC’S direction that only 70% of the plan needs to be locked inside a Locked In Retirement Account (LIRA) while 30% can be invested inside a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). Essentially both investment vehicles are designed to grow money on a tax deferred basis with the intention of providing a retirement income. That said the RRSP has no minimum age restrictions on withdrawals. This flexibility helps create certain opportunities such as taking advantage of the First Time Home Buyers Plan or the Life Long Learning Plan. These Canadian Government programs allow RRSP owners to access their money tax free in order to help fund their first home purchase or to fund post secondary education for either spouse. In today’s tough economic environment this has allowed many new residents to purchase a home they otherwise would not have qualified for or to help obtain key education and training which could lead to better employment
“Leaving a pension in the UK essentially separates the individual from their pension money and eliminates the ability to have significant input on how it is invested.” opportunities. Rules and restrictions do apply so please contact us for a full explanation of both plans. Withdrawals from a RRSP outside of these two programs is available but will be subject to tax at the individual’s Marginal Tax Rate. Leaving a pension in the UK essentially separates the individual from their pension money and eliminates the ability to have significant input on how it is invested. Occupational pensions are managed on a group basis and are not tailored to a specific individual‘s personal situation. In Canada the money is invested according to the particular needs and desires of the individual with such factors as risk tolerance, time frame and other income sources being factored in. Retirement planning becomes more difficult if left in the UK as fluctuating exchange rates cannot be predicted and the costs associated with exchanging money on a monthly basis will erode retirement capital. If exchange rates change and the net result is less monthly income then the pensioner will be forced to either change their lifestyle immediately or to draw money from other income sources if available. This could lead to further cash flow and tax problems and the possibility of not having enough income to fund the individual’s desired retirement lifestyle. Dealing with your pension on a personal level is a huge advantage and also opens the door to full comprehensive financial planning including such areas as tax and estate, risk management, investment advice, cash flow and debt management. Although there are many reasons to transfer a pension to Canada, each individual is encouraged to seek professional advice and make a decision based on their personal circumstances. We believe that this should be an informed decision and have created a process which enables everyone to make a decision with all the relevant information at hand without any pressure or obligation. Initially a quote will be obtained on your behalf which will provide a transfer value as well as the yearly amount of pension you can expect to be paid if left in the UK. For those wanting to complete the transfer it is a simple matter of filling out the applicable forms and sending them back to the Pension
Administrator. Please be wary of Advisors who charge a fee for this service or who ask you to sign transfer papers prior to obtaining a transfer value. Please also be aware of information provided on chat sites as often the posters are not Certified Financial Planners and are therefore not qualified to accurately discuss pension transfers. This article is intended to be a general overview of the UK pension transfer process only. Interested parties are strongly encouraged to contact the authors for a more detailed account of the options available and the process involved. Peter Martin and Brian Lewington are Senior Financial Consultants with Investors Group and are both Certified Financial Planners. They have facilitated hundreds of UK pension transfers throughout Canada while continuing to provide full comprehensive financial planning to all their clients. If interested in learning more about transferring a UK pension to Canada or any other area of financial planning please contact Peter Martin at email@example.com or at 1-800-561-0659.
Choosing the right community How does someone who has chosen to move to Nova Scotia pick their new home town? While immigrating via the Provincial Nominee Program requires significant knowledge of the area – whether it is gained by visiting friends and family already settled here or vacation trips to the region – there are still many factors at play when choosing where to settle. The South Shore of Nova Scotia offers many different types of communities. From growing towns to the tiny hamlets, each community has a flavour and pace all its own. The experiences of a newcomer in Bridgewater (one of our larger towns) will be significantly different than a family settling into a tiny village by the sea. Many people choose an area that embodies all they hope their new lives to be. City-dwellers might be attracted to coastal areas and vice-versa. Jane Steele and her family moved from the hustle and bustle of London, England, to make a new life in Nova Scotia. Here is how she summarizes her experience: “We knew for sure we did not want to live in a large town, having had far too much ‘town’ life in England. We wanted space, freedom, and to be surrounded by green! The beauty of Nova Scotia is the countryside, the seasons, the sky, the healthy outdoor life - we want to appreciate it to the fullest, so living in town is a no-no for us. Our property is equidistant between the town and the sea, in a quiet community with good neighbours and nearby rivers, lakes and forests - i.e. perfect!” The selection of a local school plays a huge role for families – how big? How far away? And of course employment opportunities and lifestyle quality are major considerations as well. The South Shore has a place for everyone. Our picturesque region attracts all kinds of people, from organic farmers and inventors to business people and craftsmen. Our artistic community is second to none, while our schools and colleges consistently score highly in national rankings. The area is home to people that live and dream in full colour. Our doors are open! Won’t you join us?
Things don’t always go the way you expect
Real life story When Marsha and Terry first arrived in Canada as permanent residents back in 1998 they had no idea how much their lives would change. They originate from the UK and decided to move to Ottawa, Canada because Terry’s brother Mike lived there with his Canadian wife. “We had visited Mike and his family on several occasions,” explains Terry. “and had always loved the area he lived in just outside Ottawa. It was modern and vibrant and always felt very welcoming. Plus it was only a short drive to the city.” They decided to make the move themselves and after waiting almost a year arrived in August of 1998. Back in the UK the couple ran a small but successful marketing business and planned to bring the business to Canada and continue as they had done before. Prior to their arrival they contacted local companies who help small businesses to establish themselves and so felt they had done a good deal of preparation in readiness for the move. “Within a month of arriving we had set up our business name, registered for the things such as GST and basically had everything in order to restart the business.” Says Marsha. “We employed a local company to design our website which we hadn’t done in the UK as, I suppose, we were still a little behind the times. “jokes Terry, “However, we felt it
was important to get known quickly in Canada and felt a website was the best place to start the process. “We paid a small fortune back then, for what these days would be a fairly basic site and one we could do free now. But we thought this would help establish ourselves in the market and so we decided to push ahead.” The couple knew that the business would take time to establish as they obviously didn’t have the customer base they had in the UK. “The trouble was after nearly a year we had had very few enquiries and hardly any work.” says Marsha. “I was speaking to a friend of mine who had a small business of her own and she said that in Canada networking was the key. Back in the UK much of our work had come from referrals from existing or past clients so it made sense that it worked this way too in Canada. But of course we had to get the initial clients first in order that we could then get the referrals.” After some more research the couple decided to join some local business groups in order to extend their reach in the community. Marsha joined some “women only” groups and along with Chambers of Commerce and Rotary Groups they began to expand their network of contacts and friends.
“The trouble was we seemed to be making a lot of friends which was great, but still had little in the way of leads for the business.” Terry says. “It was frustrating that people in Canada needed to know you before they would do business with you. This was a little strange to us as in the UK if a company sold the product or service you wanted then you employed them. If they didn’t you didn’t. It was as simple as that. In Canada it seemed you could be giving away gold but if the person didn’t know you then they would not do business with you.” After about eighteen months they decided that the business was not going to work in its present form and so Terry took a course on website design hoping that this extended knowledge would have a positive impact on the company. “By this time websites had become big business and every business was looking for someone to build a website, so I took the plunge and learnt new skills which would hopefully bring some new business to us.” says Terry. “I also redesigned our own website as by this time it was looking dated. It was no good us promoting ourselves as website designers if our own site looked outdated and was clearly not built by us.” Over the next few months things picked up. “As we were now promoting ourselves as web designers to the groups we belonged to we started to finally get business.” continues Marsha. “It seemed that a lot of local businesses needed websites but didn’t know where to start and so they came to us - because they knew us. “We decided early on not to charge too much for our design services as we figured we would get more business that way and that seemed to work. Suddenly we were very busy and it was great.” For the next year or so they had quite a lot of business and managed to earn a decent living. Marsha also honed her web building skills and soon both were doing nothing else. “Our original marketing business really took a back seat as the web design business took over. Not that there was much to take over.” laughs Terry. “We were earning enough to live on, but not much more and we were both working long hours, but it was much better than things had been. We were finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.” By now it was late 2003 and suddenly they had their first big setback. “My brother and his wife decided to divorce and he moved back to
the UK.” says Terry. “It was a strange time for us as he was one of the main reasons we moved to Canada in the first place. We had always been very close and it was natural for me to follow him to Canada but now he had moved back to England, I was a bit lost. We went through lots of discussions about whether we should stay or return to the UK.” “I had really made a lot of friends by now,” says Marsha,”so I was very reluctant to move back. Also we had very little money behind us and everything in the UK was so much more expensive I wasn’t sure we could afford to move back there even if we wanted to.” After several months of debate they decided to give Canada another six months and see how they felt about it then. “The trouble was, we both loved Canada itself, we had a lovely home and some nice friends, but we were still struggling with the business.” says Terry. “Although it was doing okay, that was all it was doing and we weren’t nearly as successful as we had been in the UK. This obviously made us question returning in order to revitalize the business, but of course we both knew that it might not be that easy.” “I also debated about getting a “proper job” but knew that my marketing qualifications meant nothing here and I certainly would not be able to get the type of executive role I would want and knew I could do.” says Marsha. “The trouble was if I got a job I would of course be bringing in some money, but in turn this took me away from our business and might reduce the amount of work we could take on. With the wage prospects I had, I might have to work a month to earn the same as one or two web design clients might bring in. It was a real dilemma.” However the option of Marsha getting a job was soon taken out of their hands when she realized she was pregnant. “This came as a huge shock as we had never really wanted children and had made the decision early in our relationship to remain childless. I was now 42 years old and motherhood could not have been further from my mind. We did consider all the options, but I could not have lived with myself if we had taken the termination route. We decided that this had happened for a reason and we should embrace it.” “The whole pregnancy thing really changed everything and put things into perspective.” says Terry, “Suddenly it wasn’t just us to consider, we had another life to put into the equation.” Then the strangest thing happened. At a routine
scan the nurse revealed that they were expecting twins. “To say this was a shock to the system was an understatement.” says Marsha. “We were just getting used to the idea of having a child when we found out there would be two of them. I cannot even begin to explain what went through my mind after getting this news, including jumping off the nearest bridge.” she laughs. However, as time went on and the pregnancy went smoothly they adapted to the idea of twins. “My mother was over the moon,” says Marsha, “and offered to visit towards the end of my pregnancy and stay for the first couple of months after the birth. I was so worried about the whole thing I accepted her offer immediately.” The business was ticking over and Marsha was still able to assist with the website designs, so things were looking good. Then they got a phone call from a potential client who wanted them to design websites for his own clients. He basically helped local companies to establish themselves and wanted to offer website design services through them. A deal was agreed and soon a healthy business relationship was established. Marsha went into labour five weeks early which isn’t unusual for twin births. Both babies, identical girls, were healthy but had to live in incubators for the first few weeks. Marsha’s mother had not arrived at the time of their birth and delayed her arrival to coincide with the girls being bought home a week after their official due date. “We named the girls Amy and Emma and now we know what people mean by “love at first sight.”” says Marsha. “From never really wanting children, I was totally smitten with them and could not imagine life without them. My mother was wonderful and helped so much in the first few months, I can never thank her enough.”
“We managed to make some good money during the time we were contracted to out new client.” says Terry. “Enough that when website design began to struggle again with the many free options such as WordPress readily available we could cope with it. “Strangely our original marketing type work is now quite successful as people are deciding to build their own free websites, but then have no idea how to market themselves. We have come full circle.” Terry’s brother has visited the family a couple of times since his departure but has no plans to return to Canada for good. Marsha’s mother has also been a regular visitor, as has Terry’s parents. This year the twins celebrated their fifth birthday and started school this September. “I think I was more nervous of them starting school than they were.” says Marsha. “I actually cried after they got onto the school bus for the first time. But they loved school and as they are in the same class they still have each other for support. “I had heard that twins have a special bond but had never known twins so could not relate to this, but I can certainly vouch for it now. Amy and Emma have always seemed to be able to communicate with each other without saying a word. They know when the other is sad or happy and have an ability to sooth one another like no one else, even I can do.” Terry continues, “Considering I never thought about having children, the girls are a delight. I cannot imagine not having them, but equally don’t think I could cope with more. We have our family now, in a place we love and we finally seem to be ahead of ourselves with money and the business. I don’t suppose anyone can ask for anything more.”
Latest News Changes to Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program As of August 23rd 2010 Alberta has suspended two of the steams of its Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). Both the Family Stream and the US Visa Holder Category have been temporarily frozen and all applications received that are postmarked after 23rd August will be returned. If an application is received that is postmarked after this Thomas Lukaszuk date and meets the criteria of the program it will be accepted for processing. For several months Thomas Lukaszuk, Minister of Employment and Immigration for Alberta has been suggesting that immigration into the province needs to be tightened. He has argued that currently there are not enough jobs for Albertans and Canadians and that it is unfair that immigrants are able to enter the province and take jobs that potentially Albertans could have. Among all provinces and territories, Alberta has seen the biggest jump in the number of temporary foreign workers over the past five years. By December 2009, Alberta was home to nearly 66,000 people on temporary work visas compared to just 16,000 in 2005. Lukaszuk said ”In my opinion, it was a program that had fulfilled its mandate, by suddenly providing a large number of workers to an economy that suddenly had a massive shortage of workers . . . but it’s not working well now. “Our focus needs to be on jobs for Albertans and Canadians first, but we will continue to process applications for people who have the skills our growing economy needs.” Alberta's focus will be on nominating people who currently work in permanent jobs and those who have job offers in occupations that are in demand in Alberta. Alberta will continue to accept immigration applications in the following areas: Skilled workers Semi-skilled workers in certain occupations International students Compulsory trades Engineering occupations; and Self-employed farmers. For more information about the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program, visit albertacanada.com/ainp.
Temporary foreign worker improvements In August Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced changes to protect temporary foreign workers which will take effect from April 1st 2011. “The government is taking action to protect temporary foreign workers, including live-in caregivers, from potential abuse and exploitation,” said Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney. “We owe it to them, their employers and all Canadians to ensure that the program is fair and equitable. After all, they are an essential element of Canada’s economic success.” “These changes represent an important step. Temporary foreign workers help the Canadian economy by filling labour needs in sectors where Canadians or permanent residents are not readily available,” said Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. “Our government is taking action to improve the integrity of the program while ensuring that these people are afforded the necessary protections.” Changes include a more rigorous assessment of the genuineness of the job offer and a two-year prohibition from hiring temporary foreign workers for employers who fail to meet their commitments to workers with respect to wages, working conditions and occupation. There will also be a limit on the length of time a temporary foreign worker may work in Canada before returning home. For more information go to www.cic.gc.ca
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Do you still need a medical? On September 1st Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced changes to the requirement for medicals for certain people from 45 countries. Prior to the changes visitors and agricultural workers from these countries were required to take medical exams before entering Canada, but will no longer have to. However, temporary residents who will be working in an occupation in which the protection of public health is essential, including workers in the health sciences field and those working with children will still have to take a medical exam. All permanent immigrants and refugees will also still be required to take a medical before being admitted into Canada. “We are committed to ensuring there is a balance between welcoming visitors and newcomers to Canada while protecting the health and security of Canadians. CIC uses an objective threshold to determine whether a country or territory should be added or removed from the designated country/territory list,” said Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. For full details and a list of countries affected please visit www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/medical/dcl.asp.
CIC statistics for 2009 released During 2009 Canada welcomed 252,179 permanent residents. Of those 153,498 were economic immigrants and 65,200 entered under the family class. 178,478 foreign workers also entered Canada in 2009. Province
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland & Labrador
Canada wants to welcome more Chinese immigrants, visitors and students On a recent visit to Beijing China Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney said “Canada has benefited enormously from immigration from China.” During 2009 there were almost 50,000 Chinese students residing in Canada. This is an increase of over 300% over the last decade. China is now the top source country for students studying in Canada. “International students bring with them new ideas and experiences and contribute both financially and culturally to the communities and institutions where they study,” said Minister Kenney. “We look forward to welcoming more Chinese students to Canadian colleges in the years to come.” Chinese visitors are also on the increase. During the first quarter of this year Canada saw 14% more visitors than the same time last year. “That means more Chinese nationals are visiting their family here in Canada than ever before. With the implementation of the Approved Destination Status, which allows Chinese travel agents to advertise and organize tour groups to Canada, that number will only rise,” said Kenney. But he also warns that while the door is open to Chinese students, visitors and immigrants, the Government of Canada is serious about cracking down on immigration fraud. This includes drawing attention to fraudulent immigration consultants. “While many consultants do good work, we want people to know that it’s not necessary to hire a consultant to come to Canada,” said Minister Kenney. “And with the help of the Chinese government, we want to put a stop to the ones who are engaging in fraud.”
Minister Kenney pictured with the recipients of long service certificates awarded to many deserving Immigration Staff employed at the Embassy of Canada to China in Beijing. September 15th 2010
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Published on Sep 28, 2010
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