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FROM THE PUBLISHER li Suki Panga

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Aaj looks back at 2015 as the year of our re-birth. It was a difficult step but we have grown beyond our most hopeful expectations. The support from our readers, c o m m u n i t y, s t a f f a n d sponsors have pushed us to ever greater heights and to boundless limits in 2016.

We are proud to have been a go-to source for the federal elections. Our profile of the newly-minted Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan proved prescient. One of our articles, on Bill C-24, became a major issue of the elections and spread awareness of this topic on social media and television. We look to continue our hard-hitting, forwardlooking approach in 2016.

engaged, lauded, criticized, laughed with, laughed at and even cried with us. You have spread the word about us and exposed us to many others. It is your support that is keeping us afloat and we thank you.

Many thanks are owed to those who helped us lift off this year: the Bhui family, whose support and guidance has been invaluable; Matt Williams and his excellent editorial approach; Adrian Brugge and his team of designers for bringing the beauty and jazz back to Aaj; Harv Gill, whose tenacity and determination has been a welcomed addition; and to Paul Baraich for his tireless work.

“After all, we share values of love, hope, and compassion. It’s what we do and it’s who we are.”

But it is our readers who are the backbone of Aaj and it is to you that full gratitude is owed. You have

We take comfort in Prime Minister Trudeau’s words from his 2015 Christmas message:

We look forward to improving Aaj and what we deliver to you. We strive to be the magazine that you look forward to; and we take this challenge on with zeal and gusto. A very Happy New Year and all the best in 2016!

THE TEAM Publishers Suki Pangalia Goldy Pataria Steve Sandhu Advertising & Sales Harv Gill Editors Jessie Marwaha Matt WIlliams Design & Layout - Brugge Design Adrian Brugge - Principle Designer Tina - Graphic Designer Katrina Lowther - Graphic Desinger Website Shum Sidhu-Rai Photographers Aziz Ladha

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Thank You! Rita Chohan Remedios Law Group Shashi Kumar Dr. Harpreet Dhillon Bilal Cheema Dr. Sukh S. Mann Harvey Kooner Jon Singh Jordon Smith Raj Bhui Sandiya Prasad Sasha Ramnarine Matt Williams Perleen / Amit Prasad Dr. Paramjit Bhui Nalini Bhui Raj Bhui Shum Sidhu - Rai Ambi Randhawa

The Team THE TEAM Harvey Kooner Bavan Arora Amar Kaila Jordon Smith Bill Bains Special Thanks Ruby Bains Kamal Sharma Nathan Funk Anita(Patil) Huberman Images Credits Google Freepik 123RF


IN THIS ISSUE HEALTH Emotional Eating 8 Anemia 12 Car Accident Recovery:What You Need to Know for Treatment Options 16 Shakti Empowerment of Women, Children and Families Society 18 Get Out of the Resolution Cycle and On a Healthy Cycle 22 Wisdom Teeth: Is It Wise To Remove Them? 24 Detox 101 26 HEALTH Running For The Masses 28 Sitting: A Modern Age Pain In The Butt 33 FAMILY Nurturing Ambition in The New Year 36 Wish I Had Told Him How Much I Love Him 40 Segregated Schooling 42 2016 is for You Mom 44 FEATURES Canada’s New Cabinet is Inexperienced And That’s Great! 46 Dr. Ravinder Dennis Bhui, M.d., F.r.c.s.c. 48 Why You (And Your Customers) Are Struggling To Get By 50 Chinese New Year 2016 Fire Monkey Horoscope 52 Go Set A Watchman: Book Review 56 Why I Wrote The Open Letter To Mr. Donald Trump 57 FASHION & PEAUTY Winter Fashion Favourites 2016 58 From On–Stage To On–Demand: Your Step By Step Guide To Contouring 62 Parabens:A Great Ingredient for Our Products, But Not For Our Body. 64 CULTURE Bhangra, Judging Culture 66 Local Youth, Making a Difference 68 POLITICS & LAW I Voted as a Canadian for the First Time 70 Legal Laughs 72 Cebu 76 The Hot List: The 16 Best Countries To Visit For 2016 78 World Polarization 81 An Open Discussion About Toilets 82

BUSINESS 5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Daily Planner New Year, New Financial You! 3 Tips To Kick Start Your Financial Cleanup To Float Or Not to Float: That is the Answer AUTOMOTIVE What to look for in vehicle a to keep you safe AAJ ON LOCATION Mannkind Charity Mannkind Charity Event Prime Minister of Fiji Chapter 1 Vancouver South Asian International Film Festival CM Hariyana Kamal’s 35th

84 85 85 86 93 93 94 94 95 95 96

AAJ MAGAZINE is published by AAJ Media Group, doing business as AAJ Magazine Inc. AAJ is a magazine that is published every two months. Any reproduction of the magazine, editorial content, images or advertisements cannot be reproduced or reprinted in any form, without written permission of the Publishers. The views expressed by the writers in this publication are not the views of the Publishers or AAJ Media Group. The Publishers assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Copyright 2015 AAJ Magazine Incorporated. All rights reserved.

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HEALTH

Emotional

EATING

We can easily find dozens and dozens of diets and exercises today, from the conservative: Atkins, to the futuristic: P-90X. They promise instant results and six-pack abs with big smiles on the beach. But planning and doing are two different things. The problem I have and see far too often is motivation to start a program and the discipline to stay with it (forever). Since we were 13 years old I can remember my friends and I discussing diets, exercises and quick fixes to look “better�. My mother and her social circle were yo-yo dieters, always looking for that new way to shed 10lbs in 10 days. They would lose the weight but eventually complacency returned and with it the lost weight. 10

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Health must be maintained every day; it is both emotional and physical. I find the emotional aspect is neglected too often, and I had to find a way to stop this. I started with changing my relationship with food and recognizing what emotional eating is. Growing up in an Indian home there was no education on nutrition until I was much older. I was always told to finish my plate completely, even if I was full. On many occasions I would be forced to eat. There was no such thing as declining food. Last year I realized that I was a yo-yo dieter, just like mom. I would either fail to motivate myself to start a health routine or if I got started it would only last a few months. I started to discover my love-hate relationship with food. My mind would run in circles. I wanted to eat but eating meant gaining weight, gaining weight meant the gym, and the gym meant

I needed to eat less to avoid gaining weight. It was a pattern that reared itself before every meal; it consumed me. Food became my therapy and medicine for stressful situations: exams, relationships, money, work issues and, ironically, when I felt horrible about my body. Last August I realized that I was wasting my efforts in the gym because of my unhealthy relationship with food, and I had to drill down further to save my sanity.

What did I learn? Managing appetite and cravings is incredibly important to health and fitness goals. Learning to feed the body with the correct nutrients and to stop overindulging is a truly difficult task. Ask yourself what motivates you to eat. Is your hunger from a need for calories or other reasons? Often someone eats because of boredom, stress, cravings or social reasons. This is emotional eating, and it is one of the primary reasons why some find weight loss so difficult. aajmag.ca


Our days, especially in this age, are filled with stress, from traffic to money to our bosses to our family. Managing it while focusing on health can be a struggle. Stress increases if ignored, and along with it your midsection.

What to do? Learn your behaviors regarding food. If you are someone who always goes for seconds, ask yourself why and tune in to the emotions. I can almost guarantee it is either mindless eating or an emotional reaction. Changing the relationship to a positive is tough but achievable. It requires you to notice the poor habits and negative patterns that have been ingrained since we were children. It is practicing self-discipline, restraint and learning that a healthy mind is the first step to a health body for the rest of your life.

Stress kills and it will be the biggest impediment in your weight loss journey. Once you learn to recognize and manage stress, the yo-yo dieting will be a thing of the past.

Here are some tips to help you discover you relationship with food: • Always eat at a table. • Fill your plate with the correct portions. • Do not watch TV while eating, as you won’t feel full because you are not paying attention. • Eat slowly and recognize when you are full. • When having intense cravings, stop, drink a glass of water and give your mind some time to think about why you are having the craving. Try them and see how it works. The journey to a healthy, happy, lighter you could be as simple as recognizing stress triggers and confronting it. It worked for me and I am sure it will for you too.

Gurpreet is an avid blogger on her experiences with health and nutrition.

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January 2016

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Subscribe to AAJ Magazine and Never Miss an Issue aajmag.ca To subscribe you can contact us by phone or e-mail at: 604.590.0007 info@aajmag.ca aajmag.ca

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HEALTH

ANEMIA Blood is the red liquid that literally runs through your body 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as long as you live. It supplies nutrients to various parts of the body and transports the waste from the tissues to Blood also transports other vital supplies throughout your body on a system of highways that could circle the globe twice if laid in a straight line! Red blood cells supply oxygen to almost all parts of the body. Your red blood cells have a protein called Haemoglobin which gives blood its red colour. It delivers oxygen to the tissues and transports carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs for elimination. The red blood cells are produced in your bone marrow and travel about 300 miles during their life span (110 to 120 days). 14

January 2016

assist in its elimination. There are various components that make up blood. While the white blood cells support you in fighting infections, the platelets and clotting factors ensure you do not bleed to death from a cut.

Anaemia is the condition when the present but cannot be used optimally red blood cells are decreased in (chronic diseases, lead poisoning, number or the haemoglobin in the red hemoglobinopathies and some other cells is reduced. Various factors cause inherited conditions). it. Your body may not produce the Anaemia is the condition when the red required number of red cells because blood cells are decreased in number or the of a lack of the haemoglobin in the red cells is reduced. nutrients required in their production (iron, folate, Anaemia symptoms depend on your vitamin B12). Or you could be losing age and how quickly it develops. more blood than you are producing You may be blissfully unaware and (bleeding from various sites, experience no symptoms initially, or chemotherapy, hemolytic anaemia). you may feel more tired than usual. Sometimes the nutrients may be Some children may be cranky and aajmag.ca


irritable while others may start eating paper or other inedible substances. As the anaemia progresses, the tiredness may progress to fatigue. Your heart may beat faster and you may experience shortness of breath and/ or dizziness. Your friends and family may comment that you look pale or that you are not your usual self. A blood test that counts the number of red blood cells, their size, the level of haemoglobin and the concentration of haemoglobin in each cell can diagnose anaemia. Your doctor may also check for the serum ferritin level, which is the main protein that stores iron.

If you are diagnosed with anaemia, then treatment is geared towards increasing the red cells and haemoglobin.

Iron deficiency will require iron supplements to correct the anaemia and replenish the body’s iron stores. Diet also plays an important role. Foods rich in iron include green leafy vegetables, beans, red meat and poultry, iron fortified cereals and dried fruits like raisins and apricots.

It is also vital to address the reason why anaemia occurred in the first place and to treat it.

One of the common reasons in children is too much milk at the expense of iron rich foods. If you drink goat’s milk, be aware that this could lead to megaloblastic anaemia, a form of anaemia where the size of the red cells increases.

deficiency anaemia but increased in folate and Vitamin B12 deficiency? The iron stores in a full term infant need to be replenished after four to six months, hence why iron fortified foods are introduced at that age. Premature babies may deplete their iron stores earlier. Menstruation and pregnancy place an increased demand for iron. Damage to the lining of the gut (celiac disease) can lead to malabsorption and anaemia. Genetic counselling is strongly recommended if your doctor diagnoses that you have thalassemia trait or sickle cell trait. These are types of anaemia which are inherited and are seen in individuals of African, Mediterranean or Asian ancestry.

Did you know that the size of the red blood cells is reduced in iron

DR. PARAMJIT S BHUI MD, FRCPC Dr,Bhui is a paediatrician, lecturer and educator who has been working with children and professionals for over thirty seven years.

PAWAN KANG

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The Canadian government made some recent changes to the minimum down payment needed for insured mortgages as of February 2016. The visual below is to help you and your clients better understand these changes and their effects. From February 15, 2016, the minimum down payment will be increased from 5% to 10% for any portion of the purchase price that is above $500,000, but less than $1,000,000. These changes will apply to: (1) All new insurance applications received on or after February 15, 2016. (2) Insurance applications received between December 11, 2015 and February 14, 2016 (inclusively) with a purchase closing date of July 1, 2016 or later. Please visit the link below for the government announcement of these changes: http://www.fin.gc.ca/n15/15-088-eng.asp

MINIMUM DOWN PAYMENT REQUIREMENTS: Details of new guidlines for insured mortgages HOME PURCHASE PRICE

MINIMUM DOWN PAYMENT (%) MINIMUM DOWN PAYMENT ($)

$500,000 (AND BELOW)

5%

$25,000

$600,000

5% ON FIRST 500K

$25,000 TOTAL $35,000

10% ON DIFFERENCE

$10,000

5% ON FIRST 500K

$25,000 TOTAL $45,000

10% ON DIFFERENCE

$20,000

5% ON FIRST 500K

$25,000 TOTAL $55,000

10% ON DIFFERENCE

$30,000

$700,000 $800,000

HOMES OVER $1 MILLION REQUIRE A MIMIMUM DOWN PAYMENT OF 20%

Bal Uppal Mortgage Specialist Cell: 604.309.7412

E-mail: bal.uppal@rbc.com


HEALTH

Car Accident Recovery What you need to know for treatment options

It’s the season of bad weather conditions and increased car accidents. It takes only a split second and a car crash can be a life-altering event for many. ICBC’s past 5 year average of reported car crashes is 270 000, of which 170 000 occurred in the Lower Mainland. Many lead to significant injuries. Common Symptoms after a car crash include joint pain, muscle pain, headaches, jaw, shoulder pain, arm/ leg symptoms. These occur when the vertebral joints, associated muscles and nerves are subjected to uncommon forces and movements from a car crash. You may also experience depression, anxiety, stress, anger and sleep disturbance. • Some people develop pain, stiffness and other symptoms 7-10 days after an accident. 18

January 2016

• It is important to be aware that the effects of substantive crashes may recur over 6-18 months or longer. Symptoms and effects will lessen gradually. • For most people, the pain and other symptoms associated with spinal injury usually decreases with gradual return to normal activity. Some injuries are not serious and people often recover to their preaccident condition. The amount of disruption to normal activities varies with the circumstances of the crash. aajmag.ca


Treatment options

The RMT will assess and determine their treatment plan.

Regardless of who’s at fault, you are entitled to medical treatment. Your health care team will provide you with a treatment plan to help maximize your recovery. There is no need for an initial medical doctors referral to initiate treatment.

A doctor referral is required if more than 12 massage therapy treatments are required or there is a gap in the treatments. Further treatment is at the discretion of the adjuster.

Medical Doctor

Regular follow ups with your medical doctor are important to monitor your progression, obtain prescription medication as well as determine return to work and further treatment options or referrals.

Physiotherapy

You are eligible for up to 20 visits after a car accident. A portion of the fees will be covered by ICBC and you will pay the remaining portion.

Chiropractic

Registered Massage Therapy (RMT)

ICBC offers two payment methods: the lump sum payment model (you pay nothing out of your pocket) or fee for service.

A doctor’s referral is no longer necessary for the first 12 treatments.

Customers who have coverage through ICBC will continue to be able to begin chiropractic treatment immediately after they report their

You can seek and receive massage therapy any time after an accident if the claim is still open.

claim to ICBC. Customers only need to provide their chiropractor with their ICBC claim number to begin treatment. You do not need to call ICBC for prior approval.

Active Rehabilitation

This can be used in the recovery phase of your injury. Individualized programs will be developed for your injuries to help restore function, endurance, strength and balance due to the car crash. The number of sessions will depend on the severity of your injury and recommendations by your doctor. References: http://partners.icbc.com/health-services/default.asp http://www.bcchiro.com/back-health/health-tips/ after-a-car-crash/ http://bcphysio.org/faq/4c-fees-and-coverageicbc-motor-vehicle-accidents https://www.rmtbc.ca/media/story/icbcupdate

DR SUKH MANN is a duly licensed chiropractor and Registered Massage Therapist and is the official Chiropractor for the BC Lions and Canadian National Rowing Team.

Our Services Homeowners Tenants Business Liability Bonds

Medical Autoplan Prorate Cargo

P: 604.787.4646 | F: 604.502.7200 138 - 12101 72nd Ave., Surrey aajmag.ca

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HEALTH

Shakti

Empowerment of Women, Children and Families Society The holiday season which started off with Diwali and lasting until New Year’s day, is in full swing. There will be celebration and the ushering of light filled rituals through festivals. While this is a joyous time for many, it is a difficult time for others who experience sadness, loneliness and depression. While we often hear about the importance of maintaining good health through exercise, nutrition and social connections, we rarely put these helpful ideas to use and then wonder why our health remains unchanged. This is especially true with mental health issues. First, the stigma around mental health prevents people from seeking help or even acknowledging that they are having a difficult time and secondly the lack of resources makes it difficult to find appropriate help or take action. With this, Shakti: Empowerment of Women, Families and Children Society held its third annual wellness day to address issues of health and well-being, particularly mental health. on November 15th at Bollywood Banquet Hall. In the spirit of the festive season and it being a holistic event, the day was titled ‘Enlighten’. The purpose of the wellness day 20

January 2016

was to create a mini retreat for participants where they would learn ways to relax the mind, renew the body and restore the soul. As the main purpose of Shakti society is to empower and awaken the strength, or Shakti, within, ‘Enlighten’ was a day to teach participants ways of being healthy - physically, mentally and spiritually and to gain knowledge on dealing with health issues in a natural and least harmful way. The event attracted around 150 attendees where a variety of vendors showcased health related and other wellness products. The day started with an energizing lesson in drumming followed by relaxing yoga. Keynote speaker, personal and business coach Manpreet Dhillon shared her personal story of loss, resilience and hope. A diverse range of workshops were presented on topics such as depression, self-defense, art therapy, kathak dance, naturopathy, aromatherapy and laughter yoga. The aim of the day was to introduce people to various modalities of therapies and self-care so that they could leave with useful information and exercises to practice on their own. aajmag.ca


For more information on Shakti Society tel: 604-307-8796 email: shaktisociety2000@gmail.com web: www.shaktisociety.com & Facebook 8078-162B Street, Surrey, BC V4N 0J7 ALL PHOTOS: FLASHING LIGHTS PHOTO + DESIGN

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HEALTH

Alcohol A PROBLEM FOR THE

South Asian Male Community

There is a growing awareness of alcoholism in Canada’s South Asian community. There is evidence that South Asians may be particularly vulnerable to some adverse effects of alcohol such as liver disease, heart disease and mental health issues. Some special treatment services for South Asians have been established, yet a lot more work is needed to help the community.

We often seen South Asian males drinking heavily at community and family events and driving, thinking nobody is watching while risking lives. Why then is alcohol needed to enjoy events? It’s a question that community must confront.

in the South Asian community. It is the go-to substance to handle life’s challenges and accomplishments. Drink to celebrate, drink to mourn. Drink to unwind, drink to cure boredom. Central to this is drinking. An event is incomplete, even a failure, if there is not enough free alcohol. This points to a deep-rooted problem.

Though uncomfortable, the truth is that alcohol also plays a central role

Now we should think why it’s a problem for Canadian South Asian men.

is prevalent in South Asians and may triple their risk of a heart attack.

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Some chronic problems resulting from prolonged heavy drinking are nutritional deficiencies, digestive problems, inflammation of the liver and pancreas, anemia, impotence and fetal alcohol syndrome. Others include motor vehicle crashes, accidental death and injury, suicide and crime. Studies have shown that alcohol use can also increase the risk of a condition called metabolic syndrome, which

January 2016

Many South Asian males do not feel comfortable speaking openly about topics like stress and mental health disorders with their family members and peers. Unfortunately, this may lead many to turn to alcohol as a source of comfort .Unfortunately reaching for a drink won’t always have the effect you’re after. While a glass of wine after a hard day might help you relax, in the long run it can contribute to depression and anxiety aajmag.ca


and makes stress harder to deal with. This is because regular, heavy drinking interferes with neurotransmitters in our brains that are needed for good mental health. Drinking heavily can also affect your relationships you’re your partner, family and friends. Many relationships fail because of alcohol. It can also impact on your performance at work. These contribute to depression.

In a nutshell, too many South Asian males are victims of alcohol, and unfortunately our culture is one that encourages drinking. We need to address this as a community. Alcohol is debilitating and holding back far too many of our community members from meeting their potential. We should give our full support to people

who need help. It is paramount that South Asian individuals who are experiencing difficulties with alcohol find someone to speak to, someone who will not judge them and someone who will hold them through recovery. We s h o u l d s u p p o r t t h e n e w immigrants for their bright future in this country.

New immigrants also face the challenge of successfully balancing work and family life without the support of extended family members. When they come to Canada, males think they have the responsibility to take care of the family here in Canada and back home in India. Some arrive already addicted to alcohol. The added stress here can exacerbate it.

AMRENDRA KUMAR

CROWN ARMOUR

2 4/7 Securit y Servic es Ltd.

Resid ent ia l, Co mm e r ci a l and E v ent S ec u r t i y Me n ti on ”A a j Magaz i n e” an d receive a 1 0% d is co unt

P : 60 4.771. 5558 E: c rown. ar mour247@ ho t m ai l .c om aajmag.ca

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HEALTH

GET OUT OF THE RESOLUTION CYCLE AND ON A HEALTHY CYCLE

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I always find it interesting how we create in our minds such great expectations as the eve of a New Year approaches. I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. In fact, years ago, I set a resolution to never again make a New Year’s resolution, and it’s been the only resolution that I have kept. I decided that I was done with setting myself up for failure, and with the negative connotation that I would surely be stuck with in the back of my mind, as yet another failed attempt to be a better me than I was in the previous year was coming to fruition. So take a moment now and envision the past year. At the beginning of 2015 did you set a resolution? Perhaps you pledged to get yourself into better shape, lose weight or take better care of your overall health. How did that work out for you? What steps did you take to achieve your goals? How long did you work at them before they either faded into the oblivion of daily living or you actively decided to give up on them? I think the problem with a new year’s resolution is that it rarely comes with a plan of action, often has a deadline, and in many cases is based on a feeling of inadequacy. So let’s make a change to not set a resolution, but rather to make a promise to yourself to design an achievable plan that results in you feeling better, stronger, and leading you to becoming the best person YOU are capable of being. This is about

a journey, not a destination. It’s about developing a mindset, that regardless of age, injury, current fitness level or time constraints - positive change is still possible. There are several things to consider when making your plan. Start by asking yourself the questions that will help to determine your path. For example, you have become less active over the last few years and your body is now beginning to feel the effects. Instead of just thinking “I am going to become more active this year”, ask yourself why you want to become more active. Is it because increased activity will improve your daily endurance? Will it improve

up and down the stairs in your home or walking up and down the block. Start with small doses of activity and increase them slowly over time, as it feels right, remembering that a small amount of activity is far better than none at all. As you start the process, look at each step forward as a success! Each and every incremental step is a step in the right direction. Set yourself up for a lifetime of success. This is not about a short term fix. When you have moments of success, celebrate them in a healthy manner and let the momentum carry you. When the results come slowly or even plateau, be kind to yourself and allow yourself to be human. Don’t give up! If you slip, accept the moment with honesty and envision once again how you will feel when you re-engage in your healthy process. Enlist the help that you need. You might include your doctor, chiropractor, massage therapist, trainer, family and friends, or all of the above. You are never alone in your pursuit of better health. This is not a resolution for 2016, but an act of self-love. It is a promise to yourself that you will live a life of vibrancy and vitality, with respect for yourself that not only continues throughout the year but throughout your entire life!

your circulation and general strength? Will it promote a better mood as it increases your endorphins and therefore decreases aches and pains? When you find yourself answering ‘Yes’ to each of your questions, start to imagine what your body will feel like as you take steps towards these improvements. Envision yourself in the future, not by a specific date, but across time, how do you want to be? Be realistic, and then start to look at what small changes you can make to turn your vision into reality. What is your starting point? It may be walking

Fill every one of your days with positive thoughts, positive words, positive action and positive living. I wish you a wonderful journey into 2016 ~ and beyond!

LAURA FITZPATRICK, RMT, is a Registered Massage Therapist who is passionate about her work and understanding the human body and preventative care. aajmag.ca

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HEALTH

WISDOM TEETH: Is it wise to remove them? A common question I receive from parents and patients is, “Do I need my wisdom teeth out? They are not causing me problems.” There is no one correct answer to this question; the reality is that the answer is patient and situation based. Teeth become impacted when they fail to emerge through the gums, or emerge only partially. Your wisdom teeth can begin developing in your early teens but erupt between the ages of 16 and 21. These wisdom teeth are the most common to become impacted. This may happen because a wisdom tooth is turned to the side, tilted or otherwise positioned incorrectly in the jaw. Wisdom teeth also become impacted when there is not enough room in the mouth for them to emerge. However not all wisdom teeth need to be removed.

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Wisdom teeth can be kept if they have the following characteristics: • Healthy, • Grown in completely (fully erupted), • Positioned correctly and biting properly with their opposite teeth, • Able to be cleaned as part of daily hygiene practices. Unfortunately, when an impacted wisdom tooth tries to erupt, the overlying gum may swell and cause pain, which may also be felt in nearby teeth or the ear on that side. A partially erupted tooth can collect food and other debris, which can lead to gum swelling and infection. If this infection is left untreated, it can spread toward the throat or into the neck. Impacted

teeth also can cause problems if they develop decay or if they push on the neighbouring molar, which could lead to tooth movement or decay, as well as changes in the bite. Symptoms include: • Swelling of the gum in the back of the mouth or on the side of the jaw, • Difficulty opening the jaw, • Bad breath, • An unpleasant taste in the mouth, • Pain or irritation when you open your mouth, • Pain when chewing or biting, • Earach.e Pain can occur for several days and then disappear for weeks or months

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before returning. You can sometimes relieve minor irritation by rinsing with warm salt water or by taking over-the-counter painkillers. However these remedies are not permanent treatment. If the tooth continues to cause pain, is infected or is interfering with nearby teeth, the usual treatment is for the tooth to be extracted. It is not uncommon to have all the wisdom teeth removed to prevent problems in the future. Some dentists recommend removing wisdom teeth if they don’t fully emerge or if they grow near the nerve of the lower jaw. Many dentists believe it’s better to remove wisdom teeth before the roots are fully formed

or get too close to nerves. When someone is younger they are more

wisdom teeth pulled before the teeth cause problems and become more firmly rooted in the jaw. Before the extraction, I talk to patients and parents about the procedure, the risks and benefits as well as what type of anesthesia and medications I may use. I also go over how to take care of the extraction sites and what to do over the following few days.

likely to recover faster and with little to no complications from surgery. This is why some young adults have their

Not every individual case is the same, which is why it is important to seek the expertise of your dentist in helping you decide when and if your wisdom teeth are best removed.

DR. HARPREET S. DHILLON, DDS

BE A HERO! Refer me to help and get rewarded $500 for every transaction.

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HEALTH

DETOX101 As we pack away the last of the holiday decorations, an overwhelming sense of renewal fills the air. After several weeks of frenzy, festivities, and indulgences, the start of the New Year is a welcomed change of pace. This is an ideal time to focus inwards, reflect on your goals, and revitalize your body and mind. One of the best and most effective ways to do just that is by doing an annual detox.

Detoxification Detoxification is a natural process that is constantly occurring within the body. Its purpose is to identify, neutralize, and eliminate harmful substances that we take in on a daily basis. There are several major organs that participate in the detoxification process, including the liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, and the skin. Of these, the liver is considered to be the most important. The liver has many important roles in the body, but one of its most important functions is to chemically break down everything that enters your body, be it the protein-shake you had this morning to the poisonous pesticides that lingers on your strawberries. Once the liver has determined what will serve your body (i.e. nutrients) and what is potentially toxic, it will go on to repackage fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble ones and excrete them through the bile. The liver is constantly repeating this process for every morsel that we take in via food or drink, breathe in through the air, or absorb through our skin.

Decrease your toxic burden One surefire way to reduce the

amount of toxins that you ingest is by cleaning up the diet. Focus on organic and local vegetables and fruits, free-range, antibioticfree meat, and fresh water as the main components of your diet. Avoid processed and packaged foods, as well as dairy, refined sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. A diet that emphasizes organic, whole-foods diet is essential as it reduces the amount of pesticides and heavy metal residuals in your food and body. Additionally, by having a variety of colored fruits and vegetables in your diet, you increase the amount of phytonutrients that you ingest. These phytonutrients play a crucial role in the liver detoxification process.

Other ways you can reduce toxins in your environment: • Minimize the use of chemicalbased household cleaners and personal products • Avoid heating food in microwaves. • Eliminate or reduce the use of plastic containers, saran wrap, and sandwich-bags

Esha Singh, ND Cand. 2017 is a student of naturopathic medicine,a classically trained Bharatanatyam dancer and has worked for many years in the fitness industry, focusing on women’s and geriatric fitness. 28

January 2016

If the liver is constantly detoxing, why do I need to do anything else? We live in an increasingly toxic world, and depending on lifestyle, our liver can easily become overburdened. If the liver becomes overwhelmed and sluggish, it cannot effectively clear toxins from the body, thereby allowing them to wreak havoc. Periodically decreasing the toxic burden on our livers by supplying it with raw materials needed for efficient detoxification allows the liver to function optimally. Who can benefit from a detox? A detox diet can be beneficial to many individuals. A detox is especially useful if you experience the following: • Fatigue or lack of energy • Frequent allergies • Inflammation • Injuries • Joint pains • Gas and bloating What to expect? While the overall results of a detox can make you feel rejuvenated and energized, the immediate effects are not always so pleasant. Typical detox symptoms include headaches, fatigue, and an unsettled stomach. These symptoms typically resolve within a few days. Goals of a detox diet An effective detoxification program will have two main goals: 1. Decrease your toxic burden 2. Increase the excretion of toxins

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FITNESS

Running for the Masses As we start the New Year many of us may be thinking about leading a healthier lifestyle and paying more attention to our physical fitness. One of the many options available is to take up running, an activity that can provide many health benefits ranging from weight control to Lori and Eric have always both been athletes but that doesn’t mean that they do not understand the challenges that many people face when embarking on a new exercise regime. Although they are both accomplished in their chosen fields they have both benefited from positive encouragement from others that saw the ability in them. Lori has completed a number of duathlons and triathlons after being encouraged to do so, initially by a friend and then by other athletes; all of whom believed in her more than she believed in herself. Eric’s story is very much the same. Prior to being a runner he was 30

January 2016

improved cardiovascular function and mental health. How do we make sure that it does not just remain thoughts and that we actually carry this through to making some positive changes? I sat down with running coaches Lori and Eric Muller to find out.

a competitive canoeist, who was told by his canoeing coach to attend a crosscountry running event, and because he knew and respected his coach he went along. He didn’t say it but Eric’s coach saw the ability in Eric and encouraged him. For both Lori and Eric it was the encouragement of others that gave them the motivation to become runners and it is this encouragement that they now use to motivate new and existing runners. As we talked I started to list the barriers, both real and perceived, that new runners might encounter. Eric pointed out that there is really only one actual barrier, and it is one’s

physical ability to run. The others are all perceived and therefore can be overcome. That doesn’t mean that they are insignificant however, as a perceived barrier is still a barrier, and for new runners there can be many. New runners may simply not feel like a runner. They may be selfconscious, feel they are too slow, think that they don’t have time, they may think that other runners will look down on them, or they may be discouraged by the physical effort and discomfort required amongst other things. So, given that there can be so many obstacles for new runners to overcome, how do Eric and Lori motivate new (and existing) runners? aajmag.ca


The answer is encouragement, because with encouragement all of the perceived barriers can be overcome. To further demonstrate how barriers can be overcome Eric told me about two runners that he had coached who had both challenged the perceived barriers and succeeded beyond their expectations. The first runner, Michelle, had a laundry list of reasons of why it was difficult for her to run. She has a young family, a stressful job along with a range of family commitments that meant that everyone had to be on board for her to simply find the time to run. But with some encouragement from her family, friends and from Eric, Michelle found the time to persevere with her running that made all of the other challenges smaller or even disappear. Whilst running will always involve some discomfort, it doesn’t take long for the

benefits to outweigh the discomfort and for you to start to feel like a runner. And this is what happened to Michelle to the extent that after a little over a year she will start 2016 as a leader in running clinic program. The second runner Eric told me about, Carrie-Ann, had a different story, and one that perhaps required more encouragement. Now while most people who start running after their teenage years are attracted by the prospect of running a particular distance, maybe it’s 5 kms, maybe it’s 10kms or more. For Carrie-Ann, it was sprinting. This meant that rather than being one of thousands completing the distance she would be one of only a few competing on speed alone. Unable to blend in with the crowd the challenges of not looking like a runner might have appeared even bigger, particularly given that there

are very few competitive sprinters outside of collegiate athletics, but again encouragement proved to be the biggest counter to the challenge. And this time, just as Lori had been encouraged by other athletes to take up duathlon, other sprinters, some of them more than 20 years younger, encouraged Carrie-Ann to be a sprinter. While it’s true that running isn’t for everyone, and that not everyone will enjoy running, the reality is that there are very few barriers to running. All it takes to be a runner is to run. And all that it takes to help a runner to find the time, to persevere through the discomfort and to feel like a runner is encouragement.

An Aaj Feature with Lori & Eric Muller

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HEALTH

Sitting:

A Modern Age Pain in the Butt How many hours do you sit in a day? Sitting—whether it is your desk job, watching TV, or driving—for more than three hours a day can reduce your life expectancy by two years, even if you exercise regularly. Recent studies have showed that prolonged sitting is a risk factor for all-cause mortality, independent of physical activity. As it turns out, prolonged sitting can shorten life expectancy almost as much as smoking can, which highlights just how harmful inactivity can be, particularly for the heart. The most recent population data reports that cancer and heart disease are the leading causes of death, respectively, in Canada. However, there is little media focus about the effects of the sedentary lifestyle and prolonged sitting on the modern age desk jockey. Stuart McGill, Professor of Kinesiology & Spine Biomechanics at the University of Waterloo, says that

since the human body is designed for movement, holding any one posture for a prolonged period of time leads to increases in body stiffness and tension. As a result, sitting is a common cause of low back and neck pain. Many manufacturers and stores advertise that their chair will prevent back and neck pain. However, there is no perfect chair, except the one you get out of frequently.

So what can you do if your job requires prolonged sitting? You can start by getting up from your chair intermittently at work or getting out of your vehicle frequently. Take walks around the hall in your office or try holding walking meetings

instead of sitting around a table. Get up to chat with your colleague instead of sending an email. Using, what many in the occupational therapy & ergonomics world call “micro-breaks”, are an efficient way to break up the time that you may be required to sit throughout your day. If you get up every 20–30 min you won’t require a long ‘microbreak’. However, if you sit for hours on end then any length break may not be sufficient to help you avoid developing a neck or back problem. Whether you spend time driving to and from work or appointments, drive a transit bus or delivery services or have a desk job, aajmag.ca

35


Professor McGill suggests using these two exercises during your many micro-breaks:

Standing Overhead Arm Reach

The “Standing Brugger”

Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, gently raise your arms overhead. Take a deep breath in, through your nose, and hold the breath. Reach your arms up to the ceiling as high as possible without letting your breath go. Then let the breath go as you drop your arms.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms relaxed by your side. Turn your feet out slightly. Tuck your chin in slightly, as if nodding ‘yes’. Breathe in (through your nose) to your abdomen. Then exhale slowly while at the same time, turning your palms out, with fingers extended and raising your breastbone towards your chin slightly. Repetitions: 2–3 Frequency: Every 20-30 min when sitting for extended periods of time Standing (doing the exercises provided or getting up during your “micro-breaks”) doesn’t take the place of exercise, but it should replace a good chunk of time you spend in your chair. The key is to spend as little time as possible sitting down.

Jordan Smith MA(Kin), BCAK-PK, CSCS - Clinical Kinesiologist Paula Bellagio, MOT, Reg. OT(BC) - Consultant Occupational Therapist

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Family

Nurturing

Ambition in the New Year The frantic rush of the holidays has passed and the joy and excitement lingers as we venture into the New Year. This positive euphoric energy paired with the optimism of “newness” and change is the perfect time for setting goals. As the days get busier and the errands pile up, we seem to jump aboard the “task highway” and move full speed to stay on top of it all. Amidst all of the hustle, children often get shuffled alongside. Through it all, do we take the time to acknowledge that children are watching closely and learning from what we doing? Do we accept that they are trying to make sense of what we are so busy doing, why it matters, and how they fit into it all? Can we take the time to invite children to better understand what is happening and why? Perhaps, engage them in learning the powerful skills of reflection and self-assessment? It is never too early to learn about the 38

January 2016

art of goal setting: How to design a plan to meet a desired goal, determine the benefits of a particular goal, and determine how to measure whether that goal has been met, or not.

Why Does Goal Setting Matter for Children? Children do not learn to become effective decision makers by simply observing and listening to the goals and aspirations of others; rather, they learn through doing, exploring and reflecting. Through identifying an objective, exploring, assessing, implementing and reinventing (often through play) children become

natural goal setters! Learning and development depends on making mistakes, assessing those mistakes, evaluating them and setting goals for a more desirable outcome. Through this process, children become more selfaware and reflective, independent, confident and willing to take risks.

How can we nurture children to apply these skills to more complex tasks, and with more intention? With support from adults and peers who understand their goals and plan of action, children begin to identify a nurturing and supportive environment in which to set goals, aajmag.ca


make potential mistakes, learn from their mistakes, set a new plan of action and continue to move closer to their desired goals. By teaching children to communicate their thoughts, ideas and feeling they can begin to discuss their ideas and perhaps seek advice

or guidance from those around them. Through collaborative thinking and sharing, children can further develop their goal setting skills with more precision and intention. These skills will hopefully allow them to gain more self-esteem not only

by effectively determining ways to achieve success in a desired area of their lives but to also reach their goals! With more confidence and practice, paired with continued support and encouragement, the goal is for them to continue to tackle more

Tools and Strategies complex goals later in life.

Story Mapping: 5W’s and H By using a story-mapping model, children can organize their thinking around the goals that they want to achieve and how they will achieve them. Discussion is key: Asking questioning, providing examples and positive reinforcement is essential to generating relevant ideas and choosing a goal that is both meaningful and beneficial to the child’s personal development. Older children can write and include images (e.g. drawings, symbols) and younger children can simply draw their ideas Sample story map sequence: 1. What is the goal? What steps will be taken to achieve the goal? (be specific)

visually represent a goal. Vision Boards include words and images (e.g., photos, drawings) and can reflect a series of goals that relate to a common theme (e.g., school, friendship). It is important that they be visible daily (hung in your child’s room or on the fridge). It is also a great way to see your child’s thinking and ask questions, determine ways in which you can support your child or perhaps friends or siblings may recognize an opportunity to help! Making a vision board is a fun way for your child to “build” their goals. With family day around the corner, perhaps building a family vision board might be a great place to start!

Start with a Story

Vision Boards

Todd Parr is an inspirational author who writes simply and clearly. His books get to the heart of complex topics with precise language and easy to understand images. Start your discussion around goals and taking risks with your child using Parr’s book It’s Okay to Make Mistakes. This story embraces everyday mistakes that can lead to a deeper understanding of self. This is a great story for encouraging children to live with a free and open heart and continue to explore and learn along the way.

Vision boards are used to help

For more proficient readers and

2. Why is the goal important to the child? How will it make them feel? 3. Who will suppor t them in achieving their goal? How will they do this? 4. When will the child work on this goal? 5. Where will they work on their goal? 6. How will the child know that they have met thei

mature children, Unstoppable Me! 10 Ways to Soar Through Life, is an inspiring and empowering picture book written by the late Dr. Wayne Dyer. This uplifting and empowering book teaches children how to strive to be their best. Like Parr, Dr. Dyer’s message is powerful yet simple: By striving to be the best version of yourself, you can find what truly speaks to your heart in the pursuit of authentic happiness. He also encourages children to stand out from the crowd and understand who they truly are. Each of the 10 lessons outlined in the book also includes examples of goals and implementation ideas and relevant examples. The questions at the end of the book are a great way to delve into deeper discussion! Sharon Draper’s novel, Out of My Mind, is a story of a brilliant girl who cannot speak or write. Anyone who reads this book will begin to appreciate that brilliance and bravery looks and feels different for different people, and that striving for our personal best is a part of what makes us human. This is a great novel for teens and mature readers looking for some heartfelt inspiration. All books available on www.amazon.ca

Bavan Arora is lifelong learner, explorer, educator, author and lover of all things strange, unique, and beautiful. 39


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Family

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They say it’s never too late to tell someone how much you love them, but in my case, I guess I’ll never be able to say I love you to the one man who always stood by me, protected me and was the source of my strength. I never got the chance to tell him how much I loved and valued him. I have fond memories of my times with him where he would dote on me and fulfill every wish, even if that meant going out of his way or getting into trouble with his wife. He wasn’t much of a talker and would not show his feelings but I knew that he cared for me more than anyone else. I remember riding pillion on his scooter, playing badminton with him and putting forward unending demands. I felt I had every right to ask 42

January 2016

for anything and never once bothered to find out if he had the resources to fulfill my wishes. For him, I was his princess and he would do anything to just see a smile on my face. I would run into his arms the moment he would return from work or a trip and it wouldn’t take him long to lift me in the air while laughing, which would then be followed by a kiss on my cheek and handing over of a chocolate or a pack

of candy, making my eyes wide with excitement. Just when I was to marry, he came to me, took my hand in his and with a lot of assurance said, “don’t worry, I’ll always be here for you. Fear not for you’ll always be my princess.” I don’t know why, but after that talk, I was at ease, as if a huge burden had been taken off my shoulders. Maybe that was the reason for the glow on my face that day. aajmag.ca


That evening, when I was going to my in-laws house, I just couldn’t stop myself from hugging him tightly and bawling my eyes out. I was so scared and insecure; I guess he came to know as he too hugged me tight and cried with me. It was hard to say goodbye to someone who meant the world to me and start my life with a complete stranger. I moved to Canada shortly after my marriage, but I would call him and speak to him, telling him about the life in a different country with someone I had barely known. He would sound excited and happy and would tell me repeatedly not to worry or feel alone, to which I would get all teary and would wish I could just run back to him. To be honest, he was my strength and talking to him would put me in high spirits.

But February 2009 rocked my world, when I was told that he had been diagnosed with cancer and was to undergo a major surgery. Without wasting a single day, I booked my ticket back home. He needed me and I would be there for him, the way he had always been. Thankfully, his surgery was successful and I was relieved to see him back on his feet after an intensive stay at the hospital. Two years later, he was paralyzed and bed ridden as the cancer once again seized him. The last time I met him was in April of 2012; I was going back but with a promise that I would come again next year and spend time with him. Little did I know that that promise would never be fulfilled. I hugged him as he lay on the bed and the both of us tried not to cry. I was unable to hold my tears and rushed

out of the room, wiped my eyes (as I didn’t want him to see me cry) and turned around to say goodbye. I saw him wiping his tears from the sleeve of his kurta, a vision that is still fresh in my mind and one that never fails to fill my eyes even today. Five months later I was travelling again, but this time to perform his final rites. He, my father, the one who meant so much to me, was gone, leaving me with the guilt of never being able to open my heart to him; to tell him how much I loved him and what he was to me. Today, almost three years later, I at times look up at the heavens with the hope that he’s hearing me and whisper, “Papa I love you more than anything else, I miss you badly and wish you could come back to me.”

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Family

SEGREGATED

SCHOOLING “Out with the old and in with the new�. This familiar quip can be said about many things but recently I have been applying this to some practices of our public school system. Before I continue I must make the following disclaimer: I am not religious; I am a staunch supporter of equal rights and I am thinking of what is best for my sons. 44

January 2016

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It is time to dig up the long buried practice of single gender classrooms of the 19th century and bring it forth in the 21st century. It’s out with the new and in with the old. Typically these kind of classrooms are seen in private or religious schools but now there is a movement to bring them to public schools. It’s already been implemented with positive results in some parts of the U.S. (Florida, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia) and the movement has found its way here in B.C. You might be wondering why there is a need for this. Doesn’t this promote inequality between the sexes? Wouldn’t this be taking a few steps back of what has taken so long for women to achieve? Why do we need to resort to such prejudicial practices? Desperate times call for desperate measures, and we are approaching desperate times. Boys have been consistently falling behind in academic performance compared to their female peers. Research and studies across North America is clearly showing this. It transcends economic and geographic factors. Post-secondary acceptance and graduation rates are tilting further and further towards females. The effects on boys are continuing past high school, and this is worrisome, especially in today’s knowledge-based economy. There are less and less positions in traditionally male-dominated areas to fall back on. There are even less and less traditionally male-dominated areas. But why is this happening?

Neurological research is uncovering the different ways the female and male brains develop. Boy’s brain generally develops—matures—much later than female’s. This has profound consequences for the elementary years, where the still-developing brains of a boy may not necessarily understand the importance of attention to detail, for example, or inferencing while reading, which are two among many factors that lead to higher grades. The girl’s brain is better equipped for these and they consequently perform generally better on academics. This then affects a boy’s confidence because of a feature most boys share: competition. Boys thrive on competition. This is not just an observation—research and studies are confirming this. Boys use competition as motivation to perform and excel. Yet we place them in a room with girls whose brains are developing at a faster rate than them. What compete if you are always facing entrenched odds? Adults have that ability to kick into high gear, but our system is implicitly asking young boys to do it. We don’t put players on the ice without a stick, yet we put our boys in a competitive environment where they have a physical and psychological disadvantage, and this is hammering their confidence. And confidence is easy to lose and very hard to build.

and gym classes. Young boys love to fidget and move, yet they are discouraged from this behaviour and are constantly asked to sit still. Many are then disciplined or reprimanded for violating this, and their fragile confidence can be easily shattered. I also wonder about the growing rates of ADHD diagnoses among boys. These have been adding to a worrying drop in academic achievement among boys in North America and something must be done to address this. Many voices are adding to the chorus for gender segregated education. The details vary, but I support segregating the boys for certain core subjects such as mathematics, reading/writing and science only. These classrooms can have an system and rules that are tailored towards boys. It will give them a chance to learn in an environment that is better suited for their mental development. This is a radical proposition, but such measures are needed when the issue is so widespread. We cannot afford to lose our boys to this.

The research is also showing that boys need more regular physical movement in the classroom beyond recess, lunch

SHUM SIDHU, BSc, CMA, CPA- Finance Manager Shum is a mother to two rambunctious young boys and a craft enthusiast. aajmag.ca

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Family

2015 was the year of my life. My son, the child I was told would never happen, blessed my wonderful husband and I. Motherhood was my gift. But it also made me think about that wonderful person who survived her trials and tribulations, and helped me through mine. She was born in Fiji, among three other siblings. Her early life was far from the paradise she lived in. She cared for one of her brothers day and night when he contracted meningitis, and watched the disease take him when he was 18 years old. This would not be the last time she faced this. Her sister committed suicide shortly after by burning herself, but mom did not have the opportunity to grieve because she took care of her sister’s three children. With her remaining brother and parents, they worked hard to help the kids recover from these tragedies, and yet mom still did not have the time to deal with her emotions. Mom eventually married dad, moved to Canada and had my brother and me. Life seemed like it was turning positive for her. She was working multiple jobs but her children would have the opportunities she didn’t.

2016 IS FOR YOU

MOM

Then dad fell ill, and became sicker, and sicker. Mom was now the sole breadwinner while raising my brother and I. She felt like she never left the nightmare; it moved with her to this new country. But mom persevered. Even when dad squandered a windfall that would have saved us financially, she stuck with him and kept on working for our sakes. Dad’s condition continued to worse and mom continued to work. She soldiered on and made sure my brother and I finished school. She made sure we did not suffer from the hardships she faced.And mom kept going. She was at my side in my darkest days and was my strength my hope; my salvation. When all seem

lost and life was a deep, dark tunnel to nowhere, mom was there to walk with me in the dark. She would pick me up if I fell and urge me forward when I stopped. She was the light that shined in places where all other lights failed. Mom is 67 today, and she is still working, still going. She still puts in a lot of time and effort with both her grandchildren, who are very lucky to have such a strong and determined woman in their lives. I dedicate 2016 to my wonderful mom and to the divine blessing that she is to me and many, many others. Happy New Years mom!

Perleen Prasad

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COVER FEATURE

CANADA’S NEW CABINET IS INEXPERIENCED AND THAT’S GREAT!

As an election pledge Canada’s new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, vowed to appoint a gender balanced cabinet as part of his promise to deliver real change for Canadians. And true to his word, on 4th November, 2015 Prime Minster Trudeau appointed 15 women and 15 men to his cabinet, creating the first gender balanced cabinet in Canadian history. But gender balance isn’t the only attribute of this cabinet that is worthy of note. Trudeau’s first cabinet, amongst other things, is also ethnically diverse, young and inexperienced! And that’s great The youth of the cabinet is easy to see but it is perhaps the cabinet’s ethnic diversity that is more noteworthy. Not only are the new cabinet ministers drawn from a more representative cross section of Canada’s provinces than previous Ontario-centric cabinets have been, they are drawn from a range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds that truly reflect modern Canada. In selecting a diverse cohort to form his cabinet, the Trudeau regime has appointed three members of Canadian 48

January 2016

First Nations, the only government to appoint indigenous members to cabinet positions. But the diversity doesn’t stop there. The remainder of the cabinet is made of a mixture of Canadians born in Canada and Canadians that immigrated to Canada. And as for including those of different faiths the Canadian government has more Sikhs in cabinet than the Indian government. Whilst this may appear as political maneuvering, it is far from that. In a

politically correct world governments and public bodies often stand accused of appointing or promoting members of groups that are underrepresented to positions in order to address the imbalance. It is no secret that governments are trying to address the imbalance with public service hiring notices encouraging applicants to selfidentify and government bodies such as the police or military making direct and overt attempts to recruit from specific ethnic or cultural groups (with good aajmag.ca


reason). But that isn’t the case here. When we look below the surface, we can see that each appointee is more than qualified to lead their respective portfolio and not just as a generalist or decision maker. They are more than just their gender or ethnicity. To name but a few, we have a Paralympian, Carla Qualtrough, as the Minister for Sport and Persons with Disabilities. Bill Morneau, a successful business leader and pension reform advisor is the new Finance Minister and we have an astronaut, Marc Garneau, as Transportation Minister. As a signal to the strength of the field of candidates available Trudeau has been able to fill each post with a minister that appears to naturally fit the bill. Inuit, Hunter Tootoo is Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and The Ministry of Justice is to be led by Attorney General and former prosecutor in Vancouver’s gritty Eastside, Jody Wilson-Raybould. We also have a physician, Catherine McKenna as Minister of Health and Kent Hehr, a lawyer who has battled adversity after being paralyzed in a shooting incident, as the Minister of Veterans’ Affairs - a role that previous incumbents attracted significant criticism for displaying a lack of empathy for Canada’s wounded and struggling veterans. Rounding off the cabinet with a broad range of well qualified candidates, we have a Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajan, OMM, MSM, CD, who is former police officer, soldier, the first Sikh to command a Canadian military unit, and one who served with distinction on several tours in Afghanistan and elsewhere. While its’ clear to see that each of the candidates has the necessary background knowledge to contribute in their appointed portfolio, there is one characteristic that many commentators may identify as being a negative. And

that’s their lack of experience, which is noticeable with Trudeau himself being only a second term politician. Of course there are a number of more experienced politicians amongst them and Trudeau uses tenure where tenure is important, such is in Foreign Affairs with Stephan Dion. But 18 of the new cabinet ministers are not just new cabinet ministers, they are new Members of Parliament and politics is a complicated and nuanced world. The corridors of Ottawa can be cruel and unforgiving and at times can grind up even the toughest and most capable. Being a physician is one thing but overseeing the entire nation’s health policy is something else and commanding an Army unit in Canada’s Primary reserve is not the same as representing the entire Canadian Forces at the highest level when they have been under appreciated and under invested in for decades. However, it is their lack of political experience that is their best characteristic, making each of them more qualified rather than less qualified. Canadians had an experienced government but in the election they chose not to renew their mandate. As often happens, governments and politicians can become detached from the electorate, losing the ability to empathize and failing to lead in the people’s best interests. New governments always have the benefit of being better connected to the electorate than the outgoing government. Time spent in opposition gives them the opportunity to engage with voters and to get to know them and this is apparent in Trudeau’s human approach which is carried through to our newly elected and newly appointed cabinet ministers. And adding strength to their proximity to the electorate is the fact that they are not encumbered by the complications and nuances of Ottawa. Time and again

posters on LinkedIn will tell us that the most expensive phrase in business is ‘We’ve always done it that way.’ Well the same should be said for government. Over recent decades governments and business alike have valued not just experience but specific experience. Employers don’t just want experience; they want experience on specific equipment, in a specific industry or in a specific market and government has become the same. One has to learn to navigate the corridors of power, to understand the committees and complex dynamics that go with them before they can be taken seriously. And that’s fine if you want to keep on getting the same result. If your business is growing at 1½% or the electorate are happy with the status quo, then keep on keeping on. But that wasn’t the case in Canada. Trudeau and the Liberals won the election on the promise of delivering real change and the only way to deliver it is to do something different. If you really want change, then experience can actually hold you back. In appointing 18 new but well qualified politicians to cabinet positions Trudeau has done that but he didn’t simply appoint a group of rookies. He appointed a Veterans’ Affairs Minister who hadn’t just battled adversity, but who was also a community leader and was free of many of the influences of Ottawa. And he appointed a Minister of Finance who is an industry leader with the ability make money and reform pension plans. And there is a wider lesson here, not just for government but for business too. It’s hire for ability because the experience will come and it will change everything. Canada’s new cabinet is inexperienced, and that’s great!

MATT WILLIAMS is a Geopolitical Analyst, Military Veteran, Law Graduate and a Co-Founder of Global Intelligence Solutions. 49


SPECIAL FEATURE

DR. RAVINDER

DENNIS BHUI, M.D., F.R.C.S.C.

THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTION FOR DISCIPLINE, HARD WORK, PATIENCE & GENUINE EMPATHY

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A sportsman and musician in childhood; an award winning scholar and an avid volunteer in University, Dr. Ravinder Dennis Bhui at the young age of 24 years was both an Electrical & Computer Engineer and a Physician. He completed his education at top Canadian universities. As a sportsman, he won awards in tennis, badminton, table tennis, chess, and soccer. First, he graduated from high school at the age of sixteen with a ‘First Place Physics Twelve Award’ for achieving a perfect score at the Provincial Examination. Next, as a brilliant student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia, he graduated “With Distinction” and scored 100% in multiple subjects. A plethora of accolades followed during his studies, including amongst them The F.A.M. & J.F.M. Scholarships in Engineering and The SPEATBC & APEGBC Scholarships. As a young adult, he is known as a trailblazer, scholar, accomplished surgeon, philanthropist, role model and a source of inspiration. Felicitated both by the medical and mainstream communities, Dr. Bhui has received special awards and scholarships from leading universities for his surgical skills. Despite such high achievements, he is a humble, gentle, kind and soft spoken person. A thorough professional and totally dedicated to his patients, he is a quiet, efficient and sincere worker who is well respected by all his colleagues. At several events, he has been an amazing inspirational speaker and ‘Master of Ceremonies’. Over the years, he has volunteered at many health camps and other community

events both in rural India and Canada and is well aware of the importance of ‘seva’. He is a philanthropist and has collected money for charities and supported several of them while strongly advocating for positive community involvement. Along his professional journey, Dr. Bhui has conducted quality and breakthrough research. In fact, he helped discover and describe a new genetic mutation in a rare childhood he disease when he was 22. Throughout his career, Dr. Bhui has been elected to executive positions of authority at various levels of administrative governance and made impressive and lasting contributions. In a short span of 32 years Dr. Ravinder Dennis Bhui has accomplished much and is one of the youngest specialist surgeons in North America. He currently operates as a Vitreoretinal Surgeon in British Columbia and is a leading expert in treating patients with diabetes and macular degeneration. Dr. Bhui has generosity of spirit, is well loved and is a cherished member of our society. We wish him well on his journey.

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Why You (and Your Customers) Are

Struggling to Get By It’s a phenomenon played out thousands of times a day, in many different settings across British Columbia. A business owner notices a loyal customer cutting their usual order down: “I’m sorry,” the customer says. “Money’s just too tight – I can’t afford it.” An accountant reports to his boss on concerns over a business’s bottom line: “Our expenses are exceeding our revenues. We need to cut back.” A client stops coming around: “We’re really struggling right now.” A construction company gets a call: “Can we reduce the cost on that a little bit?” If you and your customers are finding it

paid $9,922 in those same taxes – nearly

These taxes don’t include hidden

harder and harder to scrape by, you’re

$1,200 more. That means the family

tariffs, federal taxes or increases in

not alone – and you’re not wrong.

paid $100 more per month in provincial

government-run utilities. In B.C., those

taxes. Put another way, that’s $100 less

utilities are another way families are

every month that the household could

being squeezed. BC Hydro electricity,

spend in local businesses.

ICBC car insurance, BC Government

Five years ago, at the end of every

liquor, municipal water, municipal

Taxes – federal, provincial and municipal – continue to rise, eating away at the disposable income of British Columbians. With government taking more and more money, there’s less left in consumers’ pockets.

bill and a bonus twoonie left in their

Personal Taxes

That’s $22 more, every single week

The B.C. government’s own statistics

pockets that government now takes. of the year, going to government, not

shows how taxpayers have fallen

local businesses.

further behind over the past five years.

We see this tax increase in all income

In 2009, a two-income family of four making $90,000 a year, paid $8,761 in total provincial and municipal tax,

brackets: • A two-income family making $60,000 a year pays nearly $1,000 more.

sewer, municipal garbage, municipal drainage, BC Ferries fares, Port Mann and Golden Ears bridge tolls, cigarette taxes and transit fares have all gone up in the past five years, further eroding people’s disposable income. The property transfer tax hasn’t been increased, but the property values it is charged on are soaring, meaning more money from taxpayers.

• A low-income family of $30,000 pays $700 more.

The Fraser Institute estimates that

Plan tax and carbon tax.

• A single person making $80,000 pays $500 more.

of their income to the government in taxes.

Five years later, in 2014, that same family

• An elderly couple with $30,000 in

including income tax, property tax, sales tax, fuel tax, Medical Services

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week, those families had an extra $20

January 2016

pension income pays $429 more.

Canadian families now pay 42.1 per cent It’s about to get worse. Medical Services Plan taxes are already set to aajmag.ca


jump again in 2016, as are bridge tolls

On the payroll side, continual

and ICBC and Hydro rates. Municipal

contribution increases to the Canada

governments in virtually every city

Pension Plan, Employment Insurance

across B.C. are planning major tax

program, and Medical Services Plan

and utility increases – most far higher

tax, have made it more expensive to

than the rate of inflation. And B.C. is

employ people. Instead of adding jobs,

considering restarting annual carbon

many business owners are simply

tax increases in 2018 by as much as 2.2

trying to keep their staff level as is.

cents per litre of gas.

It’s a tough time to be in business, with

No wonder customers have less

both higher taxes going out and less

money to spend – they’ve already

consumer cash coming in.

handed it over to government.

Business Taxes This creates a double hit for businesses. Not only do they lose out on the money customers could be spending for their services and products, but businesses are also seeing their tax burden grow. Less money in, more money out: a painful combination for

What Can Be Done? Taxpayers cannot be silent on these issues. The special interest groups keep coming to government, demanding billions more in spending and billions more in taxes. It’s up to us push back against those lobbyists. The first step is to get government to

a business.

realize they have a spending problem,

As bad as municipal taxes and utility

it. We need to aggressively research

fee hikes are for homeowners, they are even worse for business owners, who paid between 2.5 and 8 times more in local taxes, depending on the city they are located in. A $40 annual increase in a homeowner’s property tax could translate into another $320 tax hike for a business. Many of these tax hikes have shrunk bottom lines. ICBC and toll hikes make it more expensive for businesses to insure and move their vehicle fleets. Hydro increases makes it more expensive to buy electricity.

and they are overtaxing us to pay for and highlight areas where government is wasting money or doing work that is better suited to the business sector. Further, we need a simpler, fairer tax code, with reduced taxes for every person and business – not targeted tax credits for special interest groups.

FIVE WAYS TO FIGHT BACK AGAINST HIGHER TAXES: 1. Join the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF). The CTF is Canadians’ national voice for taxpayers. Become a CTF supporter for free by signing up at www.taxpayer.com, keep track of our work, and receive action updates on how you can help us fight for lower taxes and less government waste. 2. Push your associations to fight for lower taxes. Are you part of a business association? A neighbourhood group? A union? A professional body? A ratepayers organization? Then let them know that lower taxes is a key priority for you. The more voices pushing for a lighter tax burden, the better. 3. Write your MP, MLA and mayor. Politicians make these decisions, and some claim they never hear from the public about lowering taxes. Prove them wrong – send them an email, call them, or bring up your concerns in person. Let’s put lower taxes on every elected official’s radar. 4. Take every opportunity to make your voice heard. Governments often offer the public opportunities to make comments on budgets and tax issues. When you read in the paper or hear about a chance to make your feelings known, take it! 5. Get your circle involved. You’re not alone. Consumer debt is way up in B.C., in no small part due to the growing tax burden. Talk to your friends, family, customers, and vendors about the need for lower taxes. Together, we can change the politicians’ minds.

JORDAN BATEMAN is the British Columbia Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Chinese New Year

2016

Fire Monkey Horoscope

The year of the Monkey is ideal for a quantum leap in your life! Now is the time to shake things up, create change, and innovate a new path. Join Monkey’s enthusiast energy when risks are rewarded and anything can happen. Even the most ambitious plans can succeed. There will be more than enough action and opportunity to keep you busy. In Monkey year, it’s fine to just make it

up as you go along. Just don’t be gullible and trust the wrong people, or wily Monkey will take all the peanuts and leave you only shells. The Monkey year is very fortunate for all Monkeys, and for Monkey’s friends the Rat, Dragon, and Snake. Monkey energy can, at times, be problematic for the Tiger. Monkey correlates to the western sign Leo.

YOUR FORTUNE IN FIRE MONKEY YEAR RAT You and Monkey are best friends along with Dragon. Now life can be fun and exciting, full of Monkeyinspired treats and surprises. Monkey 2016 is excellent for you to get married or engaged, to launch new endeavors, or have a child. Periodically, take time to stop and regroup or rethink when needed. Looking for love in Monkey year? Rat is most compatible with another Rat, a Dragon, or Monkey. Ox is also compatible. 54

January 2016

DRAGON Your lucky year! Say yes to everything! Monkey is your best friend (along with Rat) so you’ll like the vibrant and exciting energy of this Fire Monkey year. There are opportunities for success in business. Just avoid lawsuits or any type of legal entanglement. Looking for love in Monkey year? Dragon is most compatible with another Dragon, a Rat, or a Monkey. Phoenix (Rooster) is also compatible. Dog is least compatible.

SNAKE You and Monkey are on the same wavelength. Luck is with you this year, especially during summer. And your good luck continues in Phoenix (Rooster) year 2017. But lay low when in doubt because 2016 yang Fire energy can, at times, be too stimulating for yin Snake, even the 1977 Fire Snake. Looking for love in Monkey year? Snake is most compatible with another Snake, an Ox, or Phoenix (Rooster). Monkey is also compatible. Pig is least compatible. aajmag.ca


GOAT Success can continue from the previous Sheep year. But Monkey’s fast pace is not always to your liking. Extravagance is popular in a Monkey year, and people want luxuries. So be sure to avoid debt because “Sheep eat paper” meaning that Sheep can really spend. Travel is highlighted, especially in summer, but do it on your own terms. Looking for love in Monkey year? Sheep is most compatible with another Sheep, a Pig, or Rabbit. Horse is also compatible. Ox is least compatible.

MONKEY Now is your year for action! All seasons are fortunate but luck is strongest in autumn. You benefit from the strong, fiery, yang energy of your own year. An excellent time to start new endeavors, succeed in business, and make big change happen. Seek new horizons through travel and adventure this year when risks are rewarded, and reticence loses out. Fire Monkey year is not a yin cycle when things come to you, but a yang cycle to go out and get! Looking for love in Monkey year? Monkey is most compatible with another Monkey, a Rat, or Dragon. Snake is also compatible. Tiger is least compatible.

PIG Monkey year can inspire you to be the life of the party! So join the whirlwind activities in this exciting Fire Monkey year. Accept all social invitations, and travel is highlighted. Just keep a clear perspective and not get carried away. Don’t let people take advantage of your generosity, or mistake kindness for weakness. Looking for love in Monkey year? Pig is most compatible with another Pig, a Sheep, or Rabbit. Tiger is also compatible. Snake is least compatible.

DOG M o n k e y ye a r b r i n g s yang energy to get things done, and Dog likes accomplishments. There’s much activity and personal involvement in this passionate Fire Monkey year. This new energy is inspiring to Dog, but it might encourage you to be overly enthusiastic or unrealistic. So stay vigilant and responsible, natural Dog traits, because projects might not develop as planned. A year to stay balanced and avoid extremes of temperament. You’ll start a new life cycle in Earth Dog year 2018. Looking for love in Monkey year? Dog is most compatible with another Dog, a Tiger, or a Horse. Rabbit is also compatible. Dragon is least compatible.

OX Wily Monkey energy adds some liveliness to Ox’s routine, and Monkey year is a great time for you to experience a big change of scenery. But Monkey’s fast ways aren’t your style. Ox prefers slow, steady, and natural. But Ox respects Monkey, who takes risks, is a good leader, and knows how to succeed. Next year Phoenix (Rooster) 2017 is your lucky year. Looking for love in Monkey year? Ox is most compatible with another Ox, a Serpent, or Phoenix. Rat is also compatible. Sheep is least compatible.

HORSE Fire Monkey brings lots of active, yang energy that Horse thrives on and finds inspiring. A year for adventure, new journeys, and excitement. Just don’t let affairs get out of hand in summer. Looking for love in Monkey year? Horse is most compatible with another Horse, a Dog, or Tiger. Sheep is also compatible. The Rat is least compatible.

RABBIT Monkey brings many opportunities that you will enjoy: travel, social events, fine dining, fairs, and festivals. Enjoy the Monkey fun, and express your creative side. Rest if you feel overwhelmed by too much activity. Feng shui of your home and office is a must for sensitive Rabbit to maintain balance during Monkey year. Looking for love in Monkey year? Rabbit is most compatible with another Rabbit, a Sheep, or a Pig. Dog is also compatible. Phoenix (Rooster) is least compatible.

ROOSTER (Phoenix) – Roster, Chicken, Cock, Hen? I call you Phoenix, offering a lifetime of opportunities to be reborn and transformed. Monkey year is a time of excitement, adventure, and new experiences for you. It’s fine to take risks and discover new outcomes. Take a chance because you’ll discover very quickly what does work, or what’s not worth pursuing. You start a new life cycle in Fire Phoenix year 2017. Looking for love in Monkey year? Phoenix is most compatible with another Phoenix (if they don’t peck each other ), an Ox, or Snake. Dragon is also compatible. Rabbit is least compatible. In Phoenix year 2017 you’ll start a new life cycle.

TIGER Monkey is your opposite. But you still benefit from the action and liveliness of Monkey year. Monkey can stretch the truth, so think before you pounce. Not all ideas are worth pursuing. Looking for love in Monkey year? Tiger is most compatible with another Tiger, Horse, or Dog. Pig is also compatible. Monkey is least compatible.

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2016

SUSAN LEVITT is an astrologer and feng shui consultant in San Francisco, California. She is the author of five books including the best seller TAOIST ASTROLOGY. Visit her website: www.susanlevitt.com

Labour & Employment Lawyer B.A., B.Ed., J.D.

JONSINGHLAW.CA

jon@jonsinghlaw.ca | 778.320.5774 | #201 - 8171 Cook Road, Richmond, BC 56

January 2016

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Instead of losing weight or saving money, these resolutions think outside the box. If you don’t want to do something typical in 2016, try one of these nine New Year’s resolutions.

1. Enjoy more play as an adult. Resolve to bring out your inner child. 2. Use your turn signal. It’s there for a reason. 3. Avoid social media for 30 days (Not that we are shamelessly plugging,but keep visiting Aaj’s webpage,Facebook site and Twitter). 4. Don’t eat or drink any sweet items for 3 months. Your teeth will thank you; and so will the scale too! 5. Personally make every gift you give this year. A handmade gift is more intimate than a store-bought one. 6. Go on an electronics diet for a weekend. Step back in time to a century when cell phones, T.V.’s and computers didn’t exist. Take a walk at a park, read a book, bake a pie, visit a friend, volunteer for an hour, window shop. Do something that unplugs you from the day-to-day noise. 7. Spend one day a month volunteering. It will replenish your soul. 8. Read one book a month. Imagine how much your creativity will grow. 9. Try a new lifestyle! Try minimalism, vegetarianism, hiking-ism. Try something new and enrich your experiences. Credit: WoodTV

NOW OPEN

Great Food • Great Atmosphere • Great Times

604.503.1172

12025 72nd Avenue, Surrey (Beside Earls Restaurant)

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CULTURE

GO SET A WATCHMAN Written by Harper Lee, Published July 2015 by Harper Collins

BOOK REVIEW

I am not going to argue the moral or legal issues surrounding the decision to publish Go Set a Watchman. My curiosity to read more of Lee’s writing and see what’s next for Scout and Atticus is what compelled me. Harper Lee’s other work, To Kill A Mockingbird, has been one of my favorites since I first read it at a young age. It drove me to explore the story beyond the pages: the era, the setting and my own beliefs and values. It is no secret to anyone who knows me of my wish for Lee to write more. The way she expresses complex thoughts into a perfect quote floors me. I will warn you that Go Set a Watchman is not a proper sequel or prequel. It read like an unfinished piece of work that bloomed into To Kill a Mockingbird, as Go Set a Watchman’s manuscript has

not been edited since it was authored in the 1950s (other than for grammar and spelling errors). It takes us to an older Jean Louise and her family, providing flashbacks to her childhood. Occasionally the story does not flow well, nor is it a “cover-to-cover sit-down read”. Lee’s original editor read the manuscript and suggested she focus on Jean Louise as a child because that was where the strength and heart of the novel came from. I do not believe it detracts from Lee’s talent as a writer, but rather shows a lack of responsible editing. If the editors wanted to publish this manuscript without polishing it, then they should have warned the reader. There are great phrases, moments and stories waiting to be molded, but the writing will likely sadden fans of Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird.

The question posed to me by most people when they find out I read the book is, “Was it worth the read?” There is not a “yes or no” answer - though I rarely find that I can just say one or the other. I usually say that “I recommend every reader pick up To Kill a Mockingbird, as it’s a book that almost all readers can appreciate. For Go Set a Watchman, I recommend it to fans of Lee’s writing and To Kill a Mockingbird.” It does show the origins of To Kill a Mockingbird and Lee’s train of thought and talent. I can see why she might not have wanted to publish this novel as it is now, but a little part of me is glad that I had another chance to glimpse into the mind of a writer I adore.

KRISS KAILA When not working as a Library Assistant, Kris is diligently writing book reviews on her blog and for review websites.

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BUSINESS

Why I Wrote the Open Letter to

Mr. Donald Trump Editor’s Note: On December 7th, 2015, U.S. Presidential hopeful Donald Trump called for a total ban on all Muslims immigrating to the United States. Sunny Mangat’s response drew significant media coverage and a growing petition to remove his name from the Trump Towers in Vancouver. This is her story. wrote the open letter because I have Iwatched Mr. Trump systematically

discriminate against various groups over the last year. He started with the Hispanics, where he stated that Mexico was deliberately sending over their ‘diseased and rapists’ to the USA. He then moved on to the African-American black youth, claiming they had ‘no spirit’ when discussing the killings in Baltimore and Chicago. Now he is targeting Muslims, in which he believes the USA should implement compulsory registration, in addition to his plan to stop Muslim immigrants. These statements sound too similiar as the rhetoric of Adolf Hitler during Nazi Germany. The Trump Tower in Vancouver stands to be the second tallest next to the Shangri-La hotel – do we really want our city attached to a symbol of hate? We as Canadians, as Vancouverites, have overcome so many challenges and over the years have come to embrace our diversity. Despite Canada’s history of prejudice and discrimination. For example, the Komagata Maru, the Japanese internment and the Chinese head tax. But efforts have been made to rectify these injustices and bridge the gaps between communities. These are just a

few examples, and we are continuing on by building bridges with our First Nations community. What are we sayinwg to the fellow citizens of our city, our country and globally by having a symbol of hate at the center of our city? Trump’s rhetoric do not uplift nor represent what Vancouver and Canada stand for. He represents hate and fear, a brand that is anathema to our city. The people of this amazing city have high standards and principles and we should not allow a man to incite fear or hate in the heart Vancouver. We may not have the loudest voice on the global front. However, our high standards and our ethical behaviour do that job for us. You can travel almost anywhere in the world, and if they know you are a Canadian, you are typically greeted with a smile. I want to keep it that way. We are a community that takes actions as opposed to just talking. By removing his name we are making it clear to Vancouver, to Canada and to the rest of the world that we are a united city and country and we will not allow division through fear. Never underestimate the power of people- unity is key.

SUNNY MANGAT, M.A. (International Politics & Human Rights), B.A. (Psychology) , a Vancouver Islander who was raised in Surrey,is a full-time PhD student at Roehampton University in London, U.K., researching sexual violence in India.

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W FASHION Fashion & Beauty

WINTER FASHION FAVOURITES

WHAT IS TRENDING?

2016

With the new season already here, we can’t help but think what trends are rising to incorporate into our wardrobes. Whether its winter, summer, spring or fall, the options of trends seem to feel endless. And with this season’s runway fashion leaving us with such little direction, it’s hard to understand what works with our own wardrobes. So how do we decide what works best?

Aside from what textures, colours, or silhouettes that are trending, I like to choose pieces that I could get the most wear out of. One thing I always think about when investing in winter clothing is if I am able to transition the article of clothing into cooler Spring weather as well. If it saves me money and time, why not! The pieces I have chosen for this winter are all interchangeable and transitional. Below you’ll see some pictures of them, worn differently in each photo, to get a better idea of how to fit the pieces into your own personal winter wardrobes.

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January 2016

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FUR VEST: a. Pairing the vest with sneakers to get of a street/casual look OR b. Wearing fur with dressier pieces for a chic look When it comes to fur vests, solid tones with short fur or texture will be your best decision; that is, if you’re wanting to wear it for upcoming years as well

BLANKET SCARF: c. Wearing the scarf as a shawl is an easy go-to with any blanket scarf OR d. You can also fold the scarf into a triangle and wrap it around your neck for a lot of warmth I have a natural instinct to always chose black when it comes to clothes but certainly not when it comes to scarves. Intricate details and neutral tones are always my choice so I can match it with practically anything. I also recommend wool fabrics to get the most warmth and longevity with the item!

LEATHER TIGHTS: e. Pairing leather tights with ankle booties to dress them up   OR f. Pairing them with sneakers to dress them down I’ve had my fair share of experimenting with leather leggings, and with full confidence I can say that *Artizia’s Daria Leggings* is an investment you will not regret. It’s the perfect leather legging that will dress up your outfit with subtle texture in seconds.

Priya Loomba Beauty and fashion enthusiast since 1992.

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Dr.


. Harpreet S. Dhillon, DDS


Fashion & Beauty

FROM ON–STAGE TO ON–DEMAND: Courtesy of many a Hollywood starlet, contouring has officially replaced 2001’s smoky eye as one of the top requests for make-up artists. Originally designed for black and white films of the 1920s, it has become mainstream in application and can enhance the look of natural lines by creating a “shadow effect”. When contouring it is worth investing in two separate powders, a contour powder which is often a few shades darker than your skin tone, and a highlight powder which is often a few shades lighter. We do have some favourites, of

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January 2016

Your Step by Step Guide to Contouring course. We usually go with LA Girl Cosmetics crème concealer in Beautiful Bronze, or Nars bronzer in Laguna for contour powder. For highlight powder we favor Becca in Champagne Pop, or MAC crème highlight in Whisper of Gilt. If you are choosing a product on your own it is best to stay away from shimmery powders. Before starting to draw any lines on your face like you see being done on TV, take a few moments to analyze your face to see where the natural shadows and hollows are.

In general, the shadows are where the contour will be applied. The contour powder is to move facial features back, while the highlight powder is to accentuate them. The two are like Chai and Parle-G biscuits: best together. The most requested area to contour is cheekbones. If I had a nickel for every young 20 something that requested “Kim Kardashian cheekbones” I’d be wealthier than the reality family themselves! Simply put, make a fish face and identify the bottom of your cheekbones. Using a medium sized

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angle brush, make a defined line underneath the cheekbone sweeping in an upward fashion. You can use a crème product, set with a powder,

for a more dramatic evening look, or just stick with powder during the day. Once applied, it’s important to blend this into your foundation. There is a fine line between blending and completely removing the work

you have done so it’s best to blend in with a fluffy clean brush. Using a separate brush, the highlight powder (or crème) should be swept along the top of your cheekbone, underneath the outer corner of your eye. A light application to your temples will help pop as well, almost in the shape of the number 3. A light application of blush between the contouring powder and highlight powder will give you a subtle pop of colour. While not as commonly requested as the sculpted cheeks, contouring your nose is a simple and easy way to make it look more slim and defined. To begin,draw straight parallel lines from your brow to your nostrils along the sides of your nose. The closer these lines are towards the

center of your nose, the thinner your nose will appear. Brush the same shade under the tip of your nose to make it appear shorter. Blend these lines with a clean brush. A light dusting of highlighting crème or powder between the lines, again blended in well, completes the look. Contouring and highlighting are an important part of a makeup routine especially when dressing your face for a special occasion. Less is more, as it is always easier to build upon what you have already applied than to remove applied makeup.

SISTERS SUNNY GILL AND ROOPJIT GILL help are keen on the art and science of make-up artistry. .

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Fashion & Beauty

PARABENS:

a great ingredient for our products, but not for our body. Having worked in the “green” beauty field for almost fifteen years now, I’ve come across many “organic beauty” drumbeaters who will not allow any chemical products near their skin and want what they think are “natural” products. These misunderstandings come from fear and can be inflamed by false and overstated internet hype based on disproven scientific studies. Let’s get one thing clear though: every compound, whether natural or synthetic, is a chemical. One of the synthetic ingredients, parabens, which found in many personal care products, has come under major scrutiny in the last decade. What are they? And are they harmful to us? Parabens are widely used in skincare products and are found in numerous cosmetics and shampoos. They are the most commonly used preservatives in our personal care products. They help extend the lifespan of the products by preventing the growth of mold, bacteria and microbes. Typically we read them as the last ingredients on the product label. The most known and visibly recognized ones are methylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben and propylparaben.

Parabens have been found in cancerous tumors; however, many still consider the jury still out on whether parabens in our personal care products contribute to the rising rates of cancer in the past 50 years. Many consumers are choosing to err on the side of caution and invest in paraben free products and therefore shifting market demand towards it. Some manufacturers are responding and using natural preservatives to create products free from parabens, such as citric acid, or the organic compound Citric Defence™. However, many companies are still choosing to use the cheaper, more effective parabens to give products a longer shelf life and stability; this is based on the inconclusive evidence on the effects that parabens have on our body. The fact is that much of what we place on `our skin is absorbed into our blood stream and within hours can be excreted through our urine. Since we know without debate that some chemicals can and do enter our bloodstream through topical application, we are far better off doing our best to avoid all known

harmful chemicals. Even though the consensus is still undetermined on the harm caused by parabens, its best to stay safe and be conscious by getting to know the ingredients on labels. Examine and scrutinize your bath products, skin moisturizers, cleansers, lotions, shampoos and conditioners for a start. Any products you put on your child should be scanned for parabens and other toxic chemicals. You can visit ewg.org to learn more about what to look for in personal care products. My personal opinion regarding any ingredient in skincare and personal care products is if I’m going to slather a product all over my face and body daily, then it better contain ingredients that are actually going to be good for me. Unfortunately, many skincare and cosmetic companies value their balance sheet over your health. Therefore, it’s important that you purchase with as much knowledge as possible, which means knowing something about the ingredients in the products you are using.

JESSIE MARWAHA is a skincare educator and blogger who educates established institutions, practitioners, and the public on the efficacy of natural beauty care products.

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BHANGRA

– Judging Culture –


Pulsating Bhangra beats combined with high energy performances and a deafening roar from the crowd are some of the elements that make a Bhangra competition electrifying to watch. But what about those who are watching intently to determine the first, second and third place teams? Those that try hard not to blink during performances, in case they miss something? We had the chance to sit down with Bharathi Sandhu, who recently travelled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to do just that: Determine the overall winner of Tashan Bhangra Competition 2015, Temple University’s First Annual Bhangra Competition!

Temple University’s South Asian Student Society put on their first annual competition to promote Punjabi culture. A total of six competitive teams performed, hailing from all across the eas coast of the U.S. With over 450 audience members in attendance, the energy was high as the teams put forth their best work representing hour upon hour of preparation behind the scenes. The base of each set was very traditional; however, each team brought their own flair from unique and fast moving formations, to gravity defying stunts, to Bollywood snippets to engage the crowd. The competition was also giving back to the community that supported it. Two non-profits benefited from

partial proceeds of the competition. Operation Smile, which is a children’s charity for cleft lip or cleft palate, as well as the Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC), both which received handsome donations from the South Asian Student Society. Bharathi, teamed with two esteemed judges from New York, watched the competition with not only wide open eyes but also with a pen and paper in hand to note initial thoughts on each team.The judges liaised beforehand to ensure the judging criteria was fair, concise, and easy to understand. The judging sheets were provided well in advance to all of the competitive teams

so they knew exactly what the judges were looking for. The unique part of Tashan Bhangra’s judging panel is that all three judges are recently retired from the competitive circuit, so they were able to provide valuable feedback to the teams on how to improve. They collectively decided that first place would go to UNC Bhangra Elite, representing the University of North Caroline Chapel Hill. According to Bharathi their placement was decided based on the factors outlined in the judging criteria and their performance was very strong overall. Vancouver’s Bhangra community was well represented in this memorable competition.

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CULTURE

LOCAL YOUTH MAKING A DIFFERENCE Photo by: Rohiteez Images

Local youth have been making a great difference in the community. At the age of 17 in 2012, Saurabh Bangar (President & CEO) wanted to help local students attend post secondary. That is when the idea of SOAR Philanthropic Society began. Today, the non profit organization has over 40 members, all ranging from Surrey’s Top 25 Under 25, Vancouver’s Top 40 Under 40, British Columbia’s Top 30 Under 30, and many more. The organization is led by youth helping youth. Their executive team consists of students from the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Fraser Valley, Kwantlen Polytechnic Univer-sity, and more institutions. Over the past years they have provided thousands of dollars in scholarship funds through fundraising and various projects. Scholarships are given to local high school graduating students, who want to attend post secondary. This year, at the SOAR Gala held at Surrey City Hall on November 13, they provided a total of $5000 in scholarship funds. The recipients were awarded $1000 for sports, academics, adversity, leadership, and arts. Next year, SOAR will 70

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be providing a total of $6000 in scholarship funds for local students. One of SOAR’s largest projects is their high school student leadership conference, known as the SOAR Summit. Over the past years, hundreds of students have attended. The conference is for high school students to learn about careers, leadership, community involvement, scholarships, and more. The one day event teaches students the opportunities they can achieve in life. Professionals come in as speakers at this event and share their experience. Some of the speakers from the past have been graduates of Harvard Business School, Stanford Business School, Queen’s University, and many more. Next year the event will be taking place in Vancouver, Abbotsford, and Surrey. Simon Fraser University has partnered with SOAR Philanthropic Society to hold the next SOAR Summit at their campus in Surrey.

es Photo by: Rohiteez Imag

The organization continues to grow for helping local students. To learn more about them visit their website at www.soarps.org. Aaj Magazine is a proud sponsor of SOAR Philanthropic Society and all of their community projects helping the local youth. aajmag.ca


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POLITICS & LAW

I VOTED as a CANADIAN for the FIRST TIME

Like other immigrant famililies, we landed Canada, the country of our dreams, in late September 2008. Without any idea of the depth, we just plunged in the ocean of 250,000 new immigrants who land here annually and that too with no acquaintances or relatives. Truly speaking, our views and our perception about this developed country turned out to be just opposite what we thought earlier in our minds. Initial struggle and tiring night schedules made us strong enough to fight back. Both of us realized very soon that our education, background and our experience will certainly pave the way towards success eventually. Proven as well as hidden talents in me certainly made me quite popular among different communities. My magical voice, openness and humble nature were my strengths. With every new dawn in Canada, we started feeling firmer on ground which felt like quicksand before. By now I started accepting challenges and I came to understand clearly that Canada was the only real land of opportunities. Soon I was accepted me as a television host, insurance broker, Hindi/ Punjabi singer and above all someone who was trusted by all communities. I am a better person today because of it. It would be an injustice to my wife if I don’t mention her. A botany professor by trade, she stood by me through thick and thin. She is no less than me and has already proven herself in the insurance field, where she has already achieved distinctions to her credit on this foreign land. In March 2013, I became a Canadian citizen. I now had the right to vote in the country of my dreams. As an artist

by nature, I never had any interest in politics in India, but here I identified with multiculturalism and bilingualism, which helped me and my family here. I had a decision to make in 2015. As the days progressed, I found myself leaning and tilting towards the Liberal Party, which always came out in the support of new immigrants. When I came to understand that multiculturalism, liberalism and bilingualism are the basics of the party, my inclination towards this them became stronger day by day. To my knowledge, the Liberal Party is known as one of the largest parties in Canada and it has dominated federal policies from time to time. Justin Trudeau emerged as the winner with a thumping majority. I voted for the Liberals and I wish Justin Trudeau would certainly show us a new change as promised in the agenda before elections. Above all, I appreciate this right to decide my country’s future.

RAJDEEP SEKHON

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POLITICS & LAW

LEGAL LAUGHS It can be such a dour time of the year. Cold, rainy, dark; summer is too far on the horizon and in the rearview mirror. We just finished a bruising elections of fear mongering and warnings of doom. Many do not want to read about some ominous law, unfair case or why you must do something. So in the spirit of cheer, this article will share two of the lighter moments in the practice of law. Yes, they do exist.

For the sci-fi lover

And one for hip hop fans

It’s a case from Ontario. The respondents—doctors, medical agencies and the government-- are applying to the court to have the allegations against them thrown out. Why? Because the appellant—the one who launched the case—claims they are conspiring with the U.S. government to kill him and are interfering with his life as a Martian. When asked for evidence of his alien “status”, the alleged Martian claimed that the U.S.’s Central Intelligence Agency tampered with his D.N.A. results.

Late Generation X’ers and earlyMillennials who grew up during the rise of rap music and hip hop will find this English case especially amusing.

The court was patient but unsurprisingly ruled against him. It is not because they did not believe he is a Martian but because only “persons” have standing before the courts: “… plaintiff [is] a “a person who commences an action”…It follows that if the plaintiff is not a person in that he is neither a human being nor a corporation, he cannot be a plaintiff as contemplated by the Rules of Civil Procedure. The entire basis of Mr. Joly’s actions is that he is a martian, not a human being. There is certainly no suggestion that he is a corporation. I conclude therefore, that Mr. Joly… has no status before the Court.” Surely a Martian should be able to find justice on Earth.

The trial was between two British rap bands and whether one had illegally copied the track of the other. Part of it centered on whether the song was changed in a derogatory manner, and this meant the judges had to interpret the lyrics. And the judges decided the following: The court found the lyrics so hard to decipher that it was classified as a foreign language: • “When played at normal speed the words of the rap overlying “Burnin” are very hard to decipher, and indeed the parties disagreed on what the words were. Even when played at half speed there were disagreements about the lyrics”; “Mr Howe submitted, correctly in my opinion, that the meaning of words in a foreign language could only be explained by experts. He also submitted, again correctly in my opinion, that the words of the rap, although in a form of English, were for practical purposes a foreign language”;

• Some of the “street language” could only be explained by an expert, so the court considered having a drug dealer testify about its meaning; “Thus he submitted that Mr Pascal’s evidence, not being the evidence of an expert, was inadmissible. I think that he is right, although the occasions on which an expert drug dealer might be called to give evidence in the [Court] are likely to be rare”; and • The court was especially stumped on trying to find out what this meant: “A search on the Internet discovered the Urban Dictionary which gave some definitions of ‘shizzle my nizzle’ (and variants) none of which referred to drugs. Some definitions carried sexual connotations. The most popular definitions were definitions of the phrase “fo’ shizzle my nizzle” and indicated that it meant “for sure”. There were no entries for “sizzle my nizzle” or for “mish mish man”, and Mr Hunter said that Elephant Man (the MC who uttered the disputed phrases) often made up words for their rhyming effect.” Happy New Year and all the best for 2016.

JON SINGH is a writer,self-anointed sci-fi/U.S.Civil War/Lord of the Rings expert, Constitutional Law aficionado and a lawyer in his spare time.These are his personal opinions only. 74

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World

CEBU Uncle

Phil Aaj Travel Story

Then he continued telling me all about this lovely Island called Cebu. His wife of sixteen years had suddenly died of cancer eight years prior. Phillip worked as a performer in Las Vegas and had a lot of free time between the performances his company arranged for him. Two years ago, greatly missing his wife’s companionship and having no children, he decided to take a vacation somewhere distant yet affordable. The travel agent suggested Cebu. He was so fascinated that he stayed for six months. It took getting used to bathing with hot water from buckets and sleeping under the huge, thick mosquito curtains. Yet the bed and water were both very clean and the people grew on him. The locals were very poor, but simple and kind. The sunsets were the cherry on the top – simply breathtaking! Slowly, he 78

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“Can’t wait to get home to a warm shower and a good night’s rest in my own bed. I have now travelled for almost 28 hours” said the elderly man in the seat next to me. “Where are you coming from?” I asked. “From the Island of Cebu in the Phillipines.” He reminisced, “ What a serene place with beautiful sunsets it is!” I can hear little Mary Grace call out to me “ Uncle Phil, there’s no more milk for baby Joshua and grandma & mother have gone to catch fish. “ So, off I would go and buy some milk for the baby brother and some chocolate for little Gracie. So little and yet so brave and responsible. Such an adorable little girl she is.” He smiled.

started to explore the island on a rented bicycle. Then by chance he made some friends: some locals, a few visiting couples and they started to travel with them. He paid for the local youth to join him sometimes. He bought a ball and a bat and played with the kids wherever he travelled. Their parents were too poor to afford these few toys, hence, needless to say, Uncle Phil soon became a favorite and was welcome everywhere. Finally, he ran out of money and returned home to the US, happy and rejuvenated. He could not wait to earn more money and return to Cebu. On his next visit he could afford to stay only for two months before heading back. He found out a lot more about the history of Cebu, also known as the ‘Queen City of the

South’. Being the oldest city, it was the first capital of the Philippines. Interestingly, Cebu city was part of the Island Rajahnate and trade center of Kangdaya i.e. the islands that belong to Daya. It was founded by a prince of the Hindu Chola Dynasty. His grandson Rajah Humabana and his nephew Rajah Tapas ruled Cebu city, and during this period the Potuguese explorer Magellan briefly landed in Cebu in 1565 but was quickly ousted. Then the Spanish arrived. In a nutshell, following the Spanish American war, Cebu belonged to the US. Initially, Cebu had been a town since 1565. It came under the Japanese occupation in WW11. Finally, it was liberated by the Philippine Commonwealth Army and then became a chartered city on 24 Feb. aajmag.ca


1937. In the 1990’s Colon Street in the center of downtown Cebu became the place to visit with fashionable shops, restaurants and movie houses. It subsequently became known as a city with a first class income and a first class mayor. Large social divisions emerged. When in Cebu, Uncle Phil had a total change in his diet. He woke up to an amazing variety of delicious and sweet fruits for breakfast: melons, bananas, papayas, custard apples, rambutan, chicos, grapes, jack fruit, pears, and mangoes. Such is the magic of tropical sun ripened fruits. These are dried and packaged for export all over the world. Lunch usually consisted of a soup made of vegetables - calabasa, kamote, kamunggay, kassava, tanglad (lemon grass), chicaro (sweet pea), patola, baguio (chinese cabbage), pechay (pak-choi cabbage), talong (egg plant), avocado, okra, palya (bitter melon), kinchal (celery), sigarilyi (winged bean), kutsay (chives) and ampalaya. Sometimes there would be dried fish or Cebu Longanisa

sausage. All healthy, very nutritious and incredibly tasty. Importantly, the meals were very light and almost fat free. It was great for his waistline and health! Sure, he craved the quintissential American f burger and fries occasionally, and that was going to be his meal as soon as he disembarked from the aircraft. He also enjoyed the Filipinos love for music. The simple accompaniments were the duwagey (an indigenous version of the one-stringed fiddle); the kubing (made of bamboo) or the karinta a Kubing made with sugarpalm leaves and used as harps. The temperature all year round is at a warm 20-40 degrees. There is some rain all year round which is

why the flowers, vegetables and fruits are naturally ripened by the sun and rain. Such is the beauty of Cebu’s nature. The warm and lush surroundings have a few varieties of capuchin monkeys, broad-billed parrots, flying lemurs, flying foxes, spotted deer, turtles, ducks, cranes, climbing rats, naked fruit bats, otters, cranes, warblers, blue-capped kingfishers and whale sharks. Just imagine walking to the beautiful waterfalls, beaches and lush scenery. Sounds like paradise— it is. With so much of nature’s bounty and yet so little for some people, Uncle Phil aims to call Cebu his home away from home.

NALINI BHUI is a philanthropist, radio host, actress, public speaker and scientist who has a keen interest in a wide variety of topics.

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World

The hot list:

The 16 best countries to visit for 2016 CUBA Go. Go now. Everyone is talking about travelling to Cuba, and with good reason. This is a country on the cusp of change, an island nation that’s slowly been revealing itself to the world for some years now, but is about to completely throw open the floodgates as relations with the US improve. The embassy has reopened. The tourists won’t be far behind. Get there now.

ICELAND With great deals to be had on trans-continental flights that stop over in Reykjavik, this cold little country is turning itself into a tourism hotspot. Most will visit to see its natural attractions, from the hot springs to its striking mountains and plains. What you don’t hear enough about, however, is the arts scene, with some of world’s best indie bands calling Reykjavik home.

ANTARCTICA There’s never a bad time to plan a trip to Antarctica. This is bucket-list stuff, the sort of journey you’ll never forget. It’s a cruise across the notoriously rough Drake Passage. It’s that first sight of the world’s coldest, most inhospitable continent; it’s setting foot among a huge colony of penguins; hearing the gunshot crack of calving glaciers; spotting whales and seabirds and seals from the side of your ship. Plan to go there. Now.

MARGARET RIVER It’s often overshadowed by big-name competition such as the Barossa or Yarra Valleys, but Margaret River produces some of Australia’s best wine, and it’s also one of our most enjoyable areas to holiday in. When you’re not slurping the region’s finest exports, there are great beaches in Margs, as well as the 135km Cape to Cape Track, a coastal hike that will help work off the effects of living the good life. 80

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HONG KONG You think Canadians are obsessed with food? Check out Hong Kong, a city filled with gourmands, a bustling, blaring metropolis where every single person is thinking about their next meal. It’s not just local Cantonese food that’s good – although this is the home of dim sum. In Hong Kong there’s cuisine from all over China; in fact from all over the world. If you travel on your stomach, this city should be on your 2016 menu.

BRAZIL A few years ago it was the World Cup, and in 2016, Brazil will play host to another of the globe’s biggest sporting events: the Olympic Games. Rio de Janeiro is getting set for a party that’s going to be even bigger than its usual parties, with athletes and spectators from around the world descending upon its famed beaches, its samba clubs, its caipirinha-peddling kiosks and its buzzing streets in the name of sport and pleasure. You don’t want to miss it.

SPAIN Any region of Spain, from Andalusia to Galicia to Catalunya, could easily entice you to visit the Iberian Peninsula. However, in 2016 all the action will be in the Basque country, with the beachside town of San Sebastian being named Europe’s City of Culture for the year. That means even more good food, even more festivals and events, and even more of an excuse to just wander the alleys of the city’s old town soaking up one of the best destinations in the world.

SRI LANKA How much can you fit into a small island? How about soaring, rainforest-covered mountains, ancient temples, bustling, sometimes chaotic cities, charming little towns, endless beaches, and even more in between? Sri Lanka is as culturally rich as its colossal neighbour to the north, as diverse and interesting – but it’s far more manageable for the solo traveller.

FRANCE Sports fans will appreciate the fact that France is hosting the European football championships next year. However, there are more reasons than that to visit the country. With the Champagne and Burgundy wine regions recently being awarded UNESCO heritage listing, it’s as good a time as any to hit the cellar doors and see what all of the fuss is about.

USA Yes, the Canadian dollar has lost a lot of ground, which makes a holiday in the States a more expensive prospect than it once was. But this is still one of the world’s great destinations, and in 2016 there’s something special happening: a presidential election. This is more carnival than democratic process, a spectator sport as exciting as any football game, and one that will answer some very important questions. Will Hillary Clinton be the first female US president? Can Ben Carson really be in with a shot? Is Donald Trump being controlled by his hair? Be there to find out. aajmag.ca

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SARDINIA Though perennially popular with Europe’s mega-rich, this Italian island is in many places still a quiet, unpretentious, and relatively unspoiled destination for those hoping to enjoy Mediterranean paradise. From the charms of Cagliari to the history of Castelsardo, the stunning beauty of the Costa Smeralda to the rugged allure of Tempio Pausana, Sardinia is worth battling the odd Russian oligarch to see.

URUGUAY So often travelers forget about this country, lost as it is between its two famous neighbors, Argentina and Brazil. However, Uruguay is a fantastic destination in its own right, and a place you won’t have to share with many other tourists. Its capital, Montevideo, has charm to burn, while smaller towns like Colonia del Sacramento and Punta del Este have the party scenes covered. Throw in some beautiful countryside and you have yourself one very underrated destination.

COLOMBIA The word is well and truly out. Colombia used to be a no-go zone, but it’s cleaned up its act in recent years, and the travellers have arrived to make the most of it. From the bars of Medellin to the dancehalls of Cali, the cobbled streets of Cartagena to the beaches around Barranquilla, there’s a lot to love about Colombia. And that’s before we even talk about the people.

IRAN It’s safe. That’s the first thing you need to know. Despite what you might have read in the news, the Iranian people are some of the kindest, most welcoming hosts around. But there’s more reason than that to go to Iran in 2016. With a moderate government now in place, and relations with the U.S. rapidly improving, Iran is opening itself to the world. It’s worth being there to join the celebration.

NEW ZEALAND You’re probably skied in New Zealand before. You’ve probably hiked there as well. Maybe you’ve bungy-jumped. Or gone wine-tasting. In 2016, however, it’s all about adventure on two wheels. The Kiwi government has poured more than $80 million into developing the New Zealand Cycle Trail , a network of 23 routes offering single- or multi-day adventures across numerous terrains and difficulties throughout the country. It’s time to get on your bike in NZ.

Credit: Ben Groundwater

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World

World

Polarization The Biggest Threat We Face Right Now Is Not Terror, It’s Polarization. The terror attacks mounted by radicalized groups around the world are exactly that. They are terrifying attacks. By attacking civilians in what would normally be a benign environment they induce feelings of terror in the wider population, which is ultimately their weapon of choice. As horrific and real and tangible the attacks are, the reality is that they are small in nature, yet the perception is that they are large and therefore many are at risk. For every actual casualty there are many thousands that are terrorized and it is through this terrorization that the real threat presents itself, and it is the polarization of communities and cultures. For as long as terrorists have existed, which is many centuries, their goal has been to achieve the maximum effect in relation to the number of casualties created. And terrorist attacks do just that. A terrorist attack resulting in less than 200 deaths will prompt messages of sympathy from Heads of State across the world and result in changes to legislation, not just in the target nation, but likely in others also as a result of their shocking and unpredictable nature. The more significant reactions though, will come from the members of the public themselves. While the involvement of political leaders and the reactions of governments are significant, they are not necessarily as significant as the changes in individual

behaviour can be. At one end of the spectrum, people may choose to avoid public events like sporting events or music concerts, or they won’t frequent restaurants or pavement cafes in the same manner that they did. This may not seem like much, but they are having their freedom and their way of life impacted. Much more alarming however, at the other end of the spectrum, communities can quite rapidly become polarized. As socio-cultural groups become identified as being involved with or responsible for terrorist attacks, other groups will come to distrust and even resent them. Little by little the two groups will be pushed apart creating divisions that are far more dangerous than the terrorist attacks themselves. Although it is accurate to say that the Paris attacks were committed by radicalized Muslim extremists, it is absolutely not accurate to say that all Muslims are radicalized extremists. But that’s not how everyone sees it. Without understating the importance and the need for prompt and robust action to investigate theses attacks and prevent future attacks we must all strive to resist the polarization that is a real and very tangible threat to our future security. In the aftermath of the 13th November attacks we have seen many positive acts by many individuals. From tweets offering shelter in Sikh Temples for those unable to get home as a result of the attacks to people adding the French or Lebanese flag to their Facebook profile picture with the hashtag

Pray For France, or Pray for the World, there have been countless acts that show support for those affected. Sadly there have also been calls to restrict immigration and other unfounded negative responses aimed at Muslim communities, many of whom have been resident in western countries for generations. With less than 1% of Muslims being radicalized and only a percentage of those being prepared to commit acts of violence, blaming all Muslims for the terrorist attacks is not just a mass over generalization but it is also a damaging and polarizing act. And when any cultural, ethnic or religious group starts to feel isolated there is a very real risk that communities will move further apart becoming increasingly polarized and as they do, levels of both understanding and trust decrease. This doesn’t mean that we should throw open the gates and admit uncontrolled numbers of Syrian and other immigrants, but we mustn’t isolate existing communities either. Because if we do we will be creating the exact conditions needed for radicalization to fester creating the biggest security risk that we have seen in recent years. And the radicalization won’t necessarily be confined to single group, it can happen in any group, as wherever we see isolated and polarized communities in the world we also see conflict. As we face the challenges of radicalization we must work harder than ever to ensure that our communities don’t become polarized, because if they do, the terrorists win. And then we all lose.

MATT WILLIAMS is a Geopolitical Analyst, Military Veteran, Law Graduate and a Co Founder of Global Intelligence Solutions.

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World

An Open Discussion About

Toilets It’s not a topic for polite conversation and I apologize for bringing up the subject. Regardless, I have to. I do so because it is the avoidance of the conversation that contributes to this totally unacceptable situation continuing. It is our society’s unwillingness to talk about the reality that many millions of Indians still have to defecate in the open that masks the fact that it happens. In this series of articles, we intend to not only lay bare some unpalatable and hopefully unacceptable facts of life in India but also to show how simple, cheap technology can address the problem and create lasting benefits that extend far beyond the bathroom. Recent statistics by WaterAid America in support of World Toilet Day (you know there’s a problem when someone decides that we need 84

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a World Toilet Day) calculated that if all the people in India who do not have access to a safe and private toilet were to line up for one lavatory, it would extend beyond the moon. That is a shocking statistic.

in more education, entrepreneurship and community building. The latent entrepreneurship that exists in these millions of people is astounding and all they need is support for something as simple as a toilet to help unleash it.

So where do these people do their business? The answer is in fields,on beaches and in mangrove swamps. It is degrading, exposes them to significant and the community to danger and unnecessary health problems. The time and energy expended for simply seeking a private or fresh place to perform bodily functions is not spent improving their lives. Case studies show that when people are given access to lavatories they invest the saved time

I have heard many objections to the suggestion that this is a problem we can (relatively) easily solve. An example is: Where will all this waste go? If it will end up untreated in the sea anyway, so why not just let it be placed on the beach in the process? The answer is that simple technology exists today to convert the human waste into water clean enough to bathe in within a few hours. That water can be used to irrigate crops or to make communities cleaner. It can be used aajmag.ca


for any purpose where there is not enough clean water today, including drinking, if the people would accept it. Therein lies the answer to another common objection: that these people must be used to open defecation and it is therefore, somehow, acceptable to have it persist in 2015. That is absolutely not true. These people are proud people and they suffer the indignity every day. They may be too proud to drink water that was recently in their body and that is fine because there are many other uses for the water. Such pride might not be misplaced assuming that their current drinking water is safe. Often their water is totally unsafe to drink and serious health problems arise. Infant deaths, stunting and malnutrition all occur as a direct result of dehydration caused by drinking contaminated water. One simple unit

that costs under $10,000 can meet the needs of several hundred people. The list of benefits for the people, the community and the environment is almost endless.

All of this aligns perfectly with India’s Prime Minister Modi’s agenda to meet Ghandi’s vision of Clean India by 2019. The technology exists today to remove a humiliation for millions of people and to begin to meet the United Nations goals for sanitation and clean

A third and final (for now) point worth debunking is the notion that slum dwellers accept If all the people in India who do not their lot in life and do not strive have access to a safe and private for personal toilet were to line up for one lavatory, it betterment in the way of the would extend beyond the moon. Western cultures. That is a shocking statistic. I question the notion that people would not accept an increase in living standards water. The technology exists. Does if offered - be that by a God or a by a the will exist to make this happen? fellow human being. They may not It will be interesting to see if the be calling for this very loudly but that recent drive for greater awareness of does not mean that they would reject the issues translates into action or just more fund-raising. it if it were available. And it is.

Rupert Whiting is a business consultant with special interest in technology and plans for deploying the technology in India.

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BUSINESS

5 WAYS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR DAILY PLANNER Daily planners have been the secret weapon for leaders of the ages; many still use traditional pen & paper, but some are beginning to migrate to digital tools on smartphones and computers. Here are some tips to help maximize your output through the fine art of self-management. After all, a successful leader can only bring out the potential of his team through proper delegation and prioritization of tasks.

1. Set big goals first thing in the morning

Don’t use your planner to remind you of menial things like grocery, cleaning, etc. It clutters up your mental workspace and makes you feel like you’re busier than you actually are. Set big and realistic goals to motivate yourself/your team. I find that I get the most out of myself by setting clear goals for the month and breaking them down into milestones for the week and days. Make it a daily habit to refer to your planner the first thing every morning. It’ll keep you on track, accountable for your actions, and give you a clear roadmap of what your day will look like before it even begins.

2. Prioritize by importance, not ease of accomplishment It’s tempting to organize by ease of accomplishment, as you can quickly check things off your daily list. Don’t fall into this trap by ensuring that you prioritize your tasks by importance and actually set out to accomplish them first before tending to the lesser details. It’s a matter of self-discipline to ensure that the really pressing matters, however challenging they may be, are dealt with first.

3. Crossing things off: the psychology of positive reinforcement

It’s well documented physiology plays a big role in achieving goals. Your brain releases a chemical called dopamine every time you check something off your list. This chemical is the key component in your brain’s reward pathway and it is responsible for pleasure, learning and motivation. The more you experience this pleasure, the more likely your brain will retain this habit/pursue this action to seek that feeling of accomplishment. Making it easier and easier for you to get things done as you become more and more motivated to become an achievement machine. This is why it’s also important to break down big goals into achievable bitesized chunks. If goals are too big, and we fail to meet targets on a daily basis, our brain is constantly discouraged and we subconsciously become averse to working towards those targets.

4. Weekly reviews to evaluate progress Ever had the feeling like you’ve had a really productive week and got a lot of things done? But looking back, you’re nowhere closer to getting to your target/ goals? Make sure you conduct weekly reviews to see what daily actions

you’re setting in place. Are your actions contributing to your goals? They may be important (or at least you think they are), but not a necessary component to accomplishing your targets or goals. A weekly review will help you adjust and iterate your process as you progress.

5. Routine vs. Flow theory

I often hear bloggers, musicians, artist talking about “going with the flow” and arguing that they can’t force themselves to produce when necessary. Much time is wasted as they sometimes need to spend the whole day conditioning themselves to be in a productive mood for the evening; they then end up working late into the night and crash the next day from exhaustion. Yes, routine kills creativity. But a measure of structure helps get you into that creative state. If you condition yourself to always do creative writing from 1-4pm, after a while, you’ll find that writing will come naturally and your creative juices will flow during that time. Most that find themselves productive at night,do so because they feel too distracted in the daytime. Try working at a library instead of from home/at a coffee shop. Libraries are a place of focus, unlike coffee shops, which are distracting social venues. “We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”— Aristotle

CHIN HING CHANG is a serial entrepreneur, active volunteer in Vancouver’s startup community, and an award winning sales manager in the telecommunications industry.

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BUSINESS & LAW

NEW YEAR NEW FINANCIAL YOU! 3 TIPS TO KICK START YOUR FINANCIAL CLEANUP. With Christmas having come and gone, many Canadians are looking for a fresh start in 2016 and make many resolutions about money. Resolutions, like diets, feel great in the moment you make them but it often proves difficult to implement the steps necessary to achieve success. Here are three basic tips to help get you on track for any financial resolutions you may have from paying down debt to creating a savings plan.

Prepare a cash flow summary. I used to exasperatedly roll my eyes when my father would ask me to prepare a budget, in order to receive a higher allowance. I would either ask my mother for the shortfall, or make do without, in order to avoid making one. To me, the word budget has an ugly connotation, much like the word “diet”. I tend to avoid both. While I have not yet come up with a less offensive word for “diet”, a better phrase for budget is cash flow summary. In general, a cash flow summary is a comprehensive list of money in versus money out of your household. The idea here is to list your “must have” expenses per month. This would be your mortgage payment, car payments, gas, groceries, utility bills, children’s expenses, life insurance premiums, RRSP and TFSA contributions, etc. List these underneath all your combined household sources of income (his salary, her salary, rent from the basement suite, child tax credit, etc.). The total income minus total expenses is your net (hopefully positive) cash

flow for the month. Consider this s a blueprint of what your discretionary spending (ie. vacations, shopping and meals out) should look like over the year. There are many financial apps and websites that can help with this. A favorite of mine is mint.com.

Minimize outstanding debts. My general rule of thumb is the higher the interest rate on the debt, the higher on my list of pay downs. For example, a credit card balance is generally at a higher interest rate than a mortgage (typically 18% on credit cards versus a current 3.5% on mortgages). The lower your debt load is, the more money can go into savings which leads to more financial flexibility down the road. You would have an easier time adapting to any anticipated or unanticipated life changes if you are not under the burden of large monthly debt payments.

Create a rainy day fund. New set of tires for your car. Water heater damage that needs immediate attention. Child desperately needs

un-insured orthodontic treatment. Many such concerns can cause the average family to go into a spiral of debt. A rainy day fund would help cushion the blow and prevent you from going into possibly high interest debt for unanticipated expenses. Many financial planning experts advise keeping on hand, in cash, three month’s worth of living expenses. Referring to the first point, this would be your total “must have” expenses per month times 3. This would help in the event of unanticipated expenses, or life changes such as loss of job or illness. This contributes to the financial flexibility and adaptability of the household. Tracking your money, minimizing outstanding debts and saving for a rainy day are three very basic financial planning principles that are easy to apply no matter what your financial situation is. These three tips in general will help you kick start your New Year’s Resolutions in regards to your money for 2016. To a good financial future!

BHARATHI SANDHU is a financial planner and bhangra enthusiast.

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BUSINESS & LAW

To Float or Not to Float

That is the Answer

Randomly surfing YouTube videos I came across an interesting one where Joe Rogan, best known as a comedian, former Fear Factor Host and UFC commentator, talks about float tanks. Now at first I clicked on the video just because it seemed like an odd topic for Joe to be talking about and it was titled “Float tanks - The most powerful tool for self-development.” But while watching the video I saw the passion and the serious tone in which he was talking about its life changing benefits. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what a float tank or “floating” is, it’s basically a large tank, about eight feet in length by four feet wide, filled with a foot of water and

800 pounds of Epsom salts. The large amount of salt promotes buoyancy and the body floats effortlessly. It’s a sensory deprivation system in the sense that once you get in the tank you close the lid and you’re in absolute darkness, so the sense of sight is gone. The water is at body temperature and after a few moments you can’t feel it or your body, so now feeling disappears. Finally your ears are submerged and you lose your sense of sound as well for a period of 60-90 minutes. After watching the video a hundred thoughts went through my mind, causing fear then laughter and eventually enough curiosity to try it.

it was just normal people from various backgrounds coming to relax, ease pain, de-stress, and enhance the mind. During my 90 minute session I got out feeling as if I had dropped 100 pounds of karmic energy, just being in the present not thinking about the past or the future, no worries and at peace: an unexplainable experience! It’s you and your mind and you can get answers to all sorts of questions that will benefit your personal goals. I had such a good experience that I decided to commit to six days in a row so I could truly see the benefits. That experience has changed my life in a very positive way.

I still remember my first float, driving to South Surrey’s Float House, walking in thinking I’ll see a bunch of hippies; however it was not as I expected;

Now I regularly go twice a week and I highly suggest every individual give it a try and see what your personal experience is.

Sanjeev Virk, author in a best selling book, has a keen interest in wellness products. 88

January 2016

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HAPPY NEW YEAR

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Happy New Year


Automotive

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN VEHICLE A

TO KEEP YOU SAFE

We naturally avoid thinking about the ‘what ifs’ in life, but this month I want to cover an important but frightening one – “what if I’m involved in a car crash?” The reality is that a crash occurs in B.C. every two minutes. While making smart decisions behind the wheel is the most important step you can take to prevent crashes, you should also ensure your vehicle offers adequate protection for you and your passengers. Although most vehicles are equipped with basic safety features like seatbelts and anti-lock brakes, car buyers could likely get a lot more protection while staying within their budget. Many modern technologies are available in both new and used vehicles that can offer added protection to prevent or reduce the severity of injuries in a crash. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, the most promising new technologies include forward collision warning and autonomous braking or autobraking. Forward collision warning uses cameras, laser beams and sometimes radar to scan the road and alert the driver to any objects ahead. If the system detects an object that the driver isn’t reacting to, it takes action like using autobraking.

Many key safety features are readily available even on used vehicles which make up the majority of vehicle purchases in B.C. In this case, electronic stability control (ESC) is one of the best features you can look for. It’s available in many used vehicles manufactured since 2006 and is mandatory for all vehicles manufactured after September 1, 2011. ESC helps drivers maintain control of their vehicle, especially on slippery roads or in an emergency situation, such as swerving or braking to avoid a hazard and reduces the risk of a rollover, particularly with SUVs, some vans and pick-up trucks. Curtain side airbags are the most advanced type of airbags on the market these days and are highly recommended. They protect all passengers from side collisions which can often result in serious injuries or worse, and can help reduce the chances of ejection during a rollover.

While these modern technologies are exciting, the most overlooked protection against the most common type of injury in a crash – neck injuries – is a correctly adjusted head restraint. Current research shows that 35 per cent of serious neck injuries could be prevented with welldesigned and fully adjustable head restraints that are properly adjusted. The key is to make sure the top of your head restraint is at least level with the top of your head and the distance from the back of your head to the restraint is as small as possible. So next time you’re online window shopping for a car or out there kicking the tires of your next potential vehicle, make sure vehicle safety is at the top of your list of ‘must-haves’. To watch a video and learn more about buying a safer vehicle, visit: icbc.com/ road-safety/safer-drivers/

Harvey Kooner – ICBC road safety coordinator

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Profile for AAJ Magazine

Aaj Magazine January 2016  

Our New Year issue.

Aaj Magazine January 2016  

Our New Year issue.

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