January-February 2017 Vol. 12 Issue 1 $4.95
REFLECTING TODAY SHAPING TOMORROW
DESI SANTA 10
THINGS TO DO IN VANCOUVER FOR CHRISTMAS
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS REBIRTH TO REALIZATION
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FROM THE PUBLISHER For many cultures, the holiday period is a time to give. We give and exchange gifts and well wishes so it is important that we remember those that give the most. And for many of us that is our mother. Not only did they give us life but they continue to give throughout their lives, in many cases when they do not even have enough for themselves. Sadly, I recently lost my mother Surinder Pangalia. So it is in this spirit that this issue of AAJ Magazine is dedicated to her memory. She was an inspirational woman who was born in Denowal
Kalan, Hoshiarpur, Punjab, on November 5th, 1944. After marrying at a young age she travelled to Canada in October 1977 where she raised her 8 children working tirelessly to give them a better life and instil honourable values in them all. A recipient of the Shakti Award for Resiliency, her name will live on through the Surinder Pangalia Hemant Foundation, providing scholarships and helping children in need, both locally and internationally. Surinder Pangalia, may you Rest In Peace.
Suki Pangalia CEO
P: 604.590.0007 E: firstname.lastname@example.org AAJ Media Group Surrey, BC ISSN 2371-2481
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. 14
THE TEAM Publishers Suki Pangalia Goldy Pataria Steve Sandhu
Medical Editors Dr. Paramjit Bhui Dr. Raj Bhui Dr. Dennis Bhui
Administration Preet Dhaliwal
Editorial Jordan Bateman Adrian Brugge Ferzana Jamani Chef Lucky Dhillon Sharon Dhaliwal Bharathi Sandhu Sherry Kooner Gurvinder Gill Kelly Bhatti
Editors Navkiran Brar Matt WIlliams Investigative Journalist Salim Jiwa
Navkiran Brar Karen Dhaliwal Dr. Suman Kollipara Sunny Mangat Matt Williams Advertising & Sales Paul Baraich Kelly Uppal Steve Sandhu Sonali Pangalia Sammy Randhawa Jay Nair Jaswinder Saggi
Design & Layout Brugge Design Adrian Brugge Tina Theuer Distribution Sahil Pangalia Photography Aziz Ladha Adrian Brugge Sonali Pangalia Sammy Randhawa Anthony Peres Travis Broxton
Images Credits 123RF Pixabay istockphoto Thank You! Compassion Canada Chris Haddock
Bringing Compassion to Canada
ISSUE Desi Santa is Coming to Town 10 Things to do in Vancouver for the Holidays Bringing Compassion to Canada Mental Health in the South Asian Community Rebirth to Realization Fentanyl Ovedoses Ginger Lemon Crème Brûlé Kabocha Squash & Walnut Wellington with Light Rosé Sauce Made in Vancouver set in Vancouver Night of Miracles Planning to Live Your Life Your Way Why Government Waste Hurts Wills & Estates Planning Meet The Children of Harmony House New Years Resolutions Should Be S.M.A.R.T. FVICBA Fall Dinner for Local Hospital
Lemon Ginger Crème Brûlé
20 24 28 30 34 36 38 40 46 48 50 54 56
Made in Vancouver
Night of Miracles
46 10 Things to do in Vancouver for Christmas
New Year's Resolutions should be S.M.A.R.T
IS COMING TO TOWN
Bruce Kehler is known as a man with a big heart, and a tradition of giving! Over the years Bruce has given a lot; so much in fact, that the number of causes that he has supported and continues to support cannot be listed here. Needless to say, there are many causes and communities, both here in Canada and abroad that have benefited from Bruce's 'Sharing is Caring' philosophy. As husband to his wife Georgina, a father to three daughters, and grandfather to three granddaughters and one grandson, Bruce has many demands on his time from both his family and his work. Together they own the majority of Canex building supplies along with partners Bruce Van den Brink, Brian Wireks, and Bryan de Visser. The company, located in Chilliwack, British Columbia was originally started by two brothers, Burt and Jerry Van den Brink in 1983. It was purchased in 1994 by Kehler and his partners, and has grown to over 100 employees, with sales approaching $100 million annually. The tremendous support of many communities has allowed the Kehler Group to grow and give back. When they do give back, they do so in a manner that will provide a lasting and ongoing benefit. One of the many examples of Bruce's goals to provide an enduring
benefit include his support of Binish Hayat's field hockey academy in Lahore, Pakistan. Binish, a young Pakistani woman in her early 30's has already achieved much. An Olympic medalist, she also has the status of becoming the first ever Pakistani Woman to be certified as a world class umpire in the field of floor hockey. Coming from humble beginnings, as one of 11 children, both she and her parents faced significant challenges just keeping her in the sport of field hockey. However, by persevering, Binish has enjoyed considerable success. After being introduced to Kehler one year ago by fellow Pakistani, Mukhtar Jat, Binish shared her dream to start a girlâ€™s field hockey academy for young girls from poor backgrounds in the villages in and around Lahore. A plan was put forward by Binish to Kehler, Canex Building Supplies, and Team Canex, who agreed to fund her dream for one year with the possibility of an extension. Tracksuits, equipment and shoes were purchased in April 2016 for 70 girls from the ages of 8 to 13 years old. After its' initial success, the academy was recently expanded to 100 girls with Kehler traveling to Lahore to cut the ribbon at the official opening ceremony in the biggest field hockey stadium in South Asia, with a capacity of over 70,000.
The academy is already starting to produce successful hockey players. In their first three inter-school and inter-city tournaments, they won two gold and one silver medal competing against players up-to 17 years old. With three players being scouted for a Pakistani Allstars team, Binish Hayat is clearly a very talented woman with an eye for talent and the ability to find diamonds in the rough.
Bruce always enjoyed the fact his father, Abe Kehler, played the role of Santa Claus, complete with the big beard, belly and heart, at the local shopping mall.
Through his support of Binish and her academy, Kehler heard that the Kindergarten kids at the all-girls school who's grounds the academy uses, had to sit on the floor each day in class as they had no desks. As a result, Kehler agreed to supply 100 desks along with $10,000 to be used at the discretion of the Principal for the benefit of the school. In both cases, supporting the hockey academy a n d the kindergarten class, Kehler
encouraged the girls to expect more from life, and to challenge some of the notions that determined who they are and what they can be. So what is it that drives Bruce to give so much to so many? Growing up in Campbell River, Bruce always enjoyed the fact his father, Abe Kehler, played the role of Santa Claus, complete with the big beard, belly and heart, at the local shopping mall. Seeing the joy that it brought to children over many years has stayed with Bruce throughout his life, inspiring Bruce to carry on his fatherâ€™s legacy of giving. After marrying at a young age and building a successful career and business in the building supplies and hardware industry, Bruce has become increasingly involved in the South Asian community. Feeling equally at home in the Temple as he does anywhere else, he truly is a white man with a brown heart, and he prides himself on living by the phrase, 'I see no colour, and I see no gender!' And he means it as his actions have shown.
It is through his desire to give, and his love of the South Asian community that gave rise to his latest creation: the Desi Santa! As Bruce was searching for a way to give and bring joy across cultures, he was struck by the idea to combine elements of his past with his dream for giving today in a global context. For a man whose heart truly does guide his actions, it came naturally to combine elements of what made him happy for so many years, with his desire spread joy and happiness today. Having seen the joy that Santa brings through his father's work as Santa Claus and building on his own history of giving to create a lasting benefit, he brought the best elements of both to his creation: The Desi Santa. After creating the concept, he shared his idea with Suki Pangalia, CEO of AAJ Magazine, and his Marketing and Business Development Assistant at Canex Building Supplies, Rabina Anjum, who became the natural choice to be The Desi's Santa's helper. And of course, no Santa (or his helper), is complete without a Santa costume, so Rabina got to work on creating a suitable costume for The Desi Santa. Bringing together elements of Santa's origins in Europe and North America with inputs from South Asia gave
Desi Santa and his helper a look that clearly says Santa with a South Asian twist. Once the costumes were complete, Desi Santa was ready to board his own purpose built transport. He exchanged the sleigh and reindeer for a sleigh-inspired tricycle rickshaw, also designed by Rabina, complete with bells, pedals and room for his helper and all of those gifts.
It is through his desire to give, and his love of the South Asian community that gave rise to his latest creation: the Desi Santa! Now with Christmas approaching, the Desi Santa and his helper have already been busy spreading cheer and good wishes to all that they meet. With so much to do and so much to give, they made their debut appearance at the Surrey Board of Trade's Annual Surrey Business Excellence Awards night on November 3rd, hosted by the board's Chief Executive Officer Anita Huberman, and Chief Operating
Officer Indra Bhan at the Sheraton Guildford. During the evening, over 400 attendees from local and national businesses enjoyed mingling with the Desi Santa and his helper and sharing in the Christmas spirit. Then, only a few days later, the Desi Santa was busy again spreading the universal dream of Christmas across cultures, this time bringing joy and happiness to Seniors at PIC's Assisted Living South Asian Seniors' Christmas party on November 8th. Accompanied by his eager helper, along with Inderjeet Hundal and Charn Gill, they gave gifts of mugs and candy to everyone present. For the Grand Finale, The Desi Santa Will Be Coming to Town when he attends the Candy Land Kids Christmas Party in partnership with AAJ Magazine and Canex Building Supplies on Sunday December 18th at the Ultimate Banquet Hall's Christmas Celebration. With entertainment and activities for both the young and the young at heart, the Desi Santa will be spreading joy and happiness just as Abe Kehler did for so many years in Campbell River.
MATT WILLIAMS is a Contributing Editor at AAJ Magazine and works in Vancouverâ€™s vibrant Film and TV Industry. aajmag.ca
10 TO DO IN THINGS
VANCOUVER FOR THE HOLIDAYS Bright Nights at Stanley Park
Christmas 1. Enchant Light Maze New to Vancouver just in time for the holiday season of 2016, is Enchant, the world’s largest light maze. This maze is sure to be a magical experience, as it will be a first-time experience for all those who attend this year. The Enchant Maze is open Wednesday to Sunday from 4:00pm to 10:00pm, until January 31st, and is closed on December 25th. To ensure you get to see this light filled event first-hand, purchasing tickets on-line is recommended. Peak of Christmas 2. The at Grouse Mountain
Throughout the month of December and up to Januar y 2nd, 2017, The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain offers Christmas inspired activities for the entire family to enjoy, including: sleigh rides; an 8000 square foot outdoor ice skating pond; elf headquarters to create Christmas crafts and write letters to Santa; gingerbread house displays; holiday season movies in the Theatre in the Sky; Christmas Trees, visits with Santa Clause and reindeer and; other festive activities and events. These activities are complimentary with the purchase of an individual or family Grouse Mountain Alpine experience ticket.
Bright Nights at Stanley Park
Bright Nights is a longstanding favourite for children. This annual event runs every day until January 1st, except for Christmas Day. Bright Nights features holiday season decorations and illuminates Stanley Park with a stunning glimmer for all
to enjoy. Admission to Bright Nights is by donation, with all proceeds going to the BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund, so please give as best you can. Bright Nights also features a miniature train for which tickets need to be purchased in advance. Festival of Lights 4. The at Van Dusen Gardens
Vancouver’s VanDusen Botanical Gardens is transformed into a firstclass light display for all ages to enjoy. In 2015, over 100,000 people walked through the magnificently lit gardens. The Festival of Lights runs until January 2nd, 2017, and is open from 4:30pm until 9:00pm.
Burnaby Village Museum
Vancouver 5. The Christmas Market
Featuring a carousel ride and Christmas goodies, you’ll find vendors that sell a variety of treats and holiday favourites that are sure to bring back a feeling of childhood nostalgia (for those whose families have holiday traditions that span over generations). The Market is located at the Jack Poole Plaza, the site of the Olympic Cauldron. Great tips to consider when heading to the market: arrive in the early evening if you are planning on attending midweek, buy your tickets on-line if you can, plan a visit for a non-rainy day. Christmas 6. Heritage at Burnaby Village
At Burnaby Village you’ll find Heritage Christmas, where the outdoor museum becomes bright with lights and holiday décor. This is a free event that boasts old-fashioned streets and historic buildings, including: a school; church; old homes; periodcostumed townsfolk; a blacksmith;
Van Dusen Gardens
a historic Vancouver street car and; an ice-cream parlour too. The place to visit with much historical value is Heritage Christmas, open until January 2nd, 2017, from 1:00pm to 9:00pm daily, closed on December 24th and 25th. Paul’s Hospital 7. St. Lights of Hope
A tradition to downtown Vancouver and St. Paul’s hospital, this annual event features over 100,000 light bulbs that span a length of more than 10 kilometers. The lights are turned on to symbolize the Lights of Hope charity campaign supporting the hospital’s initiatives. 8. Visit a Local Foodbank
Santa AKA Father Christmas at the Burnaby Village Museum
How about going to your local foodbank and donating your time? Contact a foodbank and ask how you can give back this year. Whether you give your time or donate canned or non-perishable foods, let’s all get out and GIVE BACK this year. Let’s roll-up our sleeves and end our year on a giving note.
9. Visit Santa
why not get out and visit a new Santa at a different mall or venue for the first time?
Give 10. Back
Last but definitely not least, something to DO this year is take ACTION and GIVE BACK. How can you pay it forward this holiday season? Make a special delivery to someone in need, or someone special to you that might need to hear that you care about them during this time of year. Volunteer, and keep it up. Start giving your time. After all, your time is the most valuable gift you can ever give another human. What are the benefits of giving? Giving your talents, giving your skills, engaging in an act of altruism, or acting in some else’s interests releases endorphins in your brain that help prolong your life. If you have children, get your whole family involved. For example, for each gift a child receives, a family can agree to donate a gift or toy to a special cause. Another way to give: write a note or card to someone and tell them why you are grateful for them.
Many malls and venues throughout the Lower Mainland offer pictures with Santa. People often have a tradition where they go and see the same Santa every year. This year,
KAREN DHALIWAL is born and raised in BC, holds a BA with Honours and LLB. Karen is an entrepreneur, the Co-Founder and CEO of Love PH Water. She has a passion for reading, writing and giving back however she can. 22
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BRINGING COMPASSION TO CANADA 24
Many of us living in developed countries such as Canada will never experience poverty to the degree that those living in developing and third world countries continuously do. We live in our comfortable homes and go to work in our soaring glass towers wrapped up in our first world problems, aware of, but never truly knowing or experiencing, the hardships others face in less developed communities on a daily basis. Compassion Canada, a Christian organization that works to provide holistic child development through sponsorship, has taken on the task of changing how people see and understand poverty, through an initiative called the Compassion Experience. The Compassion Experience involves being immersed in a real story: the life of a child growing up in poverty. As part of the experience, you walk through various rooms. In each room, you are surrounded with real aspects of the poverty-stricken child’s life, and the struggles he or she faces. With each step, you actively participate in their journey by listening to their words narrate their story through a headset. Travelling through the rooms, you hear how the child is connected to the Compassion Program through a local church, and how the child gets the chance to be a child, receive education, learn about God, build lasting healthy relationships and find hope. In my
case, I had the chance to experience the story of Yannely, a girl from the Dominican Republic. Yannely’s story introduces you to a girl growing up with a single mother. She has “toys” (dolls that she has made with mud), and her dinner consists of a cup of rice and some bananas to be shared between her and her mother. Travelling through Yannely’s story, we hear her aunt suggest that her mother enroll her in the Compassion Program through a local church, and are introduced to the positive changes this brings to her life. The Compassion Centre showcases a clean environment, school supplies, and even tooth brushes standing upright for the children. We learn about the relationship that develops between Yannely and her sponsor, and how she finds strength in her spirituality. Moving through the rooms, we learn of how Yannely wants to become a doctor and is studying hard to do so. We also see how the relationship with her sponsor continues to grow, even in the hard and trying times. Continuing through the rooms, as Yannely gets older we see that she works harder and is coming closer to becoming a doctor, even in the face of a legal obstacle requiring her to have her father’s name to go to university in the Dominican Republic. Facing these challenges, Yannely finds strength in her Compassion Centre, her sponsor, her faith and herself, to persevere and get admitted into university.
Inside Yannely's Compassion Centre
Yannely's Mud Dolls
Letters Yannely kept from her Compassion sponsor
At the end of the Compassion Experience with Yannely’s story, aajmag.ca
Yannely's medical clinic
we find ourselves standing in the middle of a medical clinic. Yannely, through the help of her sponsor and Compassion Canada, realized her goals of becoming a doctor. She came out of poverty to make a difference in her community, and is now lifting others up with hope in the same way her sponsor and Compassion once did for her.
The immersive nature of the Compassion Experience provides a relatable experience of what life in poverty is like, and how the power of hope and one person can be the change.
ADRIAN BRUGGE, is a communication and graphic designer with Brugge Design. He is also passoinate about social responsability and promoting change in the world.
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MENTAL HEALTH SOUTH ASIAN COMMUNITY IN THE
What if we treated everyone who had a physical illness like they had a mental illness? Would this person feel supported or understood? Why is it so easy to cast away someone with a mental illness because their illness cannot be seen? As mental illness cannot be seen, does this explain why it should not be understood?
In Canada, mental illness will affect 1 in 5 individuals in a given year, and 1 in 3 individuals will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime. Dealing with a mental health issue is more common than being diagnosed with cancer. The South Asian Community makes up 4.9% of the Canadian population. This means that the community is definitely not immune to mental illness. Despite these recent statistics, individuals dealing with a mental health issue are stigmatized and devalued because their illness cannot be seen. These individuals are often told to “just be happy.” Or to “get over it.” Or even told: “Your life is fine. Stop being so overly sensitive.” Or “stop being such a wimp.” We pride ourselves on having a strong sense of community and joke about having “brown power.” So then why do we often treat individuals dealing with a mental illness in our community like pariah? We can all probably agree that we have all had bad days and driving into work can cause a lot of emotional distress. Some of us forget about the person that cut us off on the road as soon as we turn off our car, whereas others are affected by this incident not only throughout their day, but the same incident has now caused them to stop driving their car indefinitely for fear of the
incident reoccurring. Why does this happen to some individuals? All individuals are comprised of genetics and unique life experiences, which shape their perceptions and how they deal with life events. But what happens when you are told that the way you perceive life events is causing your family to lose respect and status in the community? As there are no actual words to describe a mental health issue in South Asian languages, a bad day is just considered the normal ups and downs of life. Individuals unable to overcome the usual ups and downs are considered a burden on their families and there is the constant fear of losing ‘face’ and being shunned by the community. As a result, mental illness is not talked about and thoughts, emotions and fears are swept under the rug.
Listening to your family members without judgment is the first step in breaking through
H o w d o we b r e a k s t i g m a of mental illness in the South Asian Community? Listening to your family members without judgment is the first step in breaking through the barrier of stigma. Support, compassion and genuine understanding can help an individual suffering from a mental illness to voice their thoughts, feelings and fears. They should know that they are not alone because really - they look just like you.
REBIRTH TO REALIZATION
IN THE LAST ISSUE, WE RECOUNTED THE BEGINNING OF ANCIENT MASTER SUNITA’S JOURNEY TOWARDS SELF-AWARENESS, AND HER TRANSFORMATION INTO A SOOKSHMA YOGI. A three year old Sunita tagged along with her elder sisters to their school`s Indian Independence Day celebrations. She fidgeted about while her sisters kept gesturing her to be silent and sit still while the music competition was in progress. Suddenly, the child decided she had had enough of all the shushing and spontaneously sang out loud “Bhale Thaatha mana Bapooji,” a patriotic song on Mahatma Gandhi. The School Principal was impressed with the little girl`s rendition, picked her up and placed her on the table of trophies. He declared to everyone how beautifully she sang, and awarded her her first music prize ever, a pink and green ball. She heard all the claps and never forgot how excited she was to run home and show her mother her prize for singing. She would go on to win many music competitions after that and truly enjoyed singing. The rest is history and as many of you know, her voice is filled with healing vibrations, and has provided solace to many souls. I was drawn to that voice when I first met Sunita at the Roundhouse Center in Vancouver in 2006 at the
Diwali program. As I walked in, I heard this voice that seemed to pierce through the roof into the sky and heavens beyond. I had not seen her yet, but that voice simply stilled my mind and I stood there in bliss. Being a music connoisseur from childhood and having listened to many musical giants, I have never felt such pure, divine vibrations that resonate and fill the space with such grace.
Her first musical album ‘Anjali’ is a moving, melodious dedication to her connection with the Divine.
Sookshma is all about harnessing and emanating positive energy so that the Universe reflects positive vibrations back to you. Sunita demonstrates this with an interesting incident from her childhood. She loved plucking flowers for her mother`s prayers in their garden. She`d wake up early morning and ask a grownup to open the back door latch, have her basket ready and run into the garden. One day
while gathering her flowers, she saw a massive coiled snake right next to a tree nearby. Paralyzed for a moment and shivering, she slowly backed away and ran into the kitchen. Her mother immediately closed the door when she heard about the snake. After that, Sunita was too scared to go into the garden anymore. One evening a few days later, she heard her father scream out loud and clear “A Snake is coming, close all the doors!!” The heavy front doors were closed and for an hour, everyone was locked down until a snake charmer came and caught it. Later, her father explained that it was a young agitated Cobra. He was sitting in the front room with his work and suddenly saw the Cobra right next to him, hood erect, hissing at him. He calmly looked around for an exit and saw a cat snarling at it from the entrance. He then realized that the snake was probably being chased by the cat and had come into his room to escape the cat. He immediately shooed the cat away with a stick nearby, and noticed the Cobra slowly calm down. It stopped hissing at him and slithered away. Her father told her, if it weren’t
SOOKSHMA IS ALL ABOUT HARNESSING AND EMANATING POSITIVE ENERGY SO THAT THE UNIVERSE REFLECTS POSITIVE VIBRATIONS BACK TO YOU. aajmag.ca
for his calm energy and quick thinking with the cat, the Cobra would have definitely attacked him in its panic. Sunita realized that with the right energy emanating out of you, even poisonous snakes do not want to harm you unless they feel threatened. People, however, are easily controlled by their own chaotic thoughts and attitudes. Sookshma teaches one how to become tranquil even when surrounded by chaos. One of Sunita`s friends was an old lady, the female priest of the nearby Hanuman Temple, who always gave the little girl special attention. The child was drawn to her and visited her at the temple, where she would patiently wait for the old lady to give her Prasad. Every Saturday after the temple prayers, the priest would go into a trance like state, and start behaving like Hanuman, a monkey God in Hindu mythology. She would act like a monkey, biting fruits and throwing bits and pieces of fruit everywhere. This drama of being possessed by a God or Goddess spirit was common in those times, and a lot of innocent people truly believed the priest was for a moment possessed by the divine Hanuman. They told her their problems and she offered them advice while in this trance like state. Sunita used to observe this spectacle, and even as a child questioned the whole charade. However, she still enjoyed the priest’s affection, and learnt
a lot from her about discipline. A decade later, when the priest was about to retire, she confessed to the entire town that she truly was never possessed by Hanuman. It was only her way of trying to strengthen the faith of the people who visited the temple. This incident reinforced Sunita’s belief in always listening to her intuition, no matter what the outer eyes see and hear. Her inner conscience and realization represented the real truth. Around eleven years old, Sunita had spent a little too much time playing in the rain, and came down with a fever, which developed into severe Pneumonia. She was bed-ridden for a month and eventually became unconscious. She had not eaten anything for days. The skin on her tongue and hands started peeling. Her vocal cords had failed and she wasn’t able to speak, let alone sing. The doctor told her family that her condition was serious and wasn`t sure how long she had left. She wasn’t in any pain though and remembers seeing hazy faces around her bed whispering to each other. While unconscious, she remembers seeing a bright white light shining down at her, opening up into a milky white tunnel above her. She remembers flying into the tunnel, and slowly ascending very peacefully. Suddenly, she woke up with a jerk. Even today she remembers that experience with crystal clarity. People usually describe this
S O O K S H M A TEACHES ONE HOW TO BECOME T R A N Q U I L EVEN WHEN SURROUNDED BY CHAOS.
vision as a near death experience. She was very weak but she survived the pneumonia. However it took a long time for her to recover and get back to the life loving bubbly child. This is when Sookshma blossomed into her life through her fatherâ€™s teachings. His yoga practice inspired her to embrace ancient wisdom and regain her health. The pneumonia experience somehow made her more self-aware, and she developed a more introspective personality. She was
drawn again to music, started taking Indian classical music lessons and regained her singing voice.
These subtle exercises and practices of caring for herself, have evolved into the Sookshma Healing program today. Sookshma is to care for two precious resources, Mind and Body.
Spending a few minutes nurturing and caring for yourself prepares you for any challenges that come across in life. I myself along with many students have been a witness to many healings and transformations. All that you need to do is to take the first step towards Sookshma and the other ninety nine steps will follow, and lead you onto a path of optimal health, wealth and bliss in all aspects of life.
DR. SUMAN KOLLIPARA Co-founder of Peace Tree Society, a group that organizes workshops on overall well-being, using tools pioneered by Master Sunita. He comes with a unique background of Veterinary Medicine, Computer Science and 10 years of training in Meditation under Master Sunita.
Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.
Jinny Sims CUPE 3787
OVEDOSES In the past year, there has been an epidemic of opioid overdoses, particularly that of fentanyl. Many have sadly witnessed and/or heard of the unfortunate outcomes of fentanyl overdoses. However, not all are aware of what fentanyl is or the causes of a fentanyl overdose. I hope that from reading this article, you will be able to gain some understanding on the abuse and harmful effects of fentanyl and what can be done to better the situation. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever that is 100 times more potent than morphine. Although fentanyl is used for pain management, it
is rarely given to patients that have not used morphine or an equivalent drug before, due to its high potency. So why do individuals abuse fentanyl? Like other opioid drugs, fentanyl causes a euphoric effect, a pleasant floating sensation with reduced anxiety. When individuals frequently use opioid drugs, they start to develop tolerance to certain properties of opioids such as the euphoric effect. Once tolerance develops, these individuals may then start to seek other drugs that would provide that same euphoric effect. Along with the euphoric effect, other serious side effects come with the use of fentanyl, respiratory depression being one of the most severe. Respiratory depression essentially means an individual’s breathing has noticeably slowed down and they are at risk of respiratory arrest, a lack of breathing. One of the characteristics of fentanyl overdose that makes it more dangerous than other opioids is its chance of causing truncal rigidity, causing the trunk muscles to interfere with breathing. This euphoria desire has led to the unfortunate events caused by fentanyl overdose that many of us have heard through media.
Education! Talk to your family and friends about the harms associated w i t h f e n t a n yl a b u s e a n d t h e heightened risk of its use with other street drugs. For those friends and/ or family members that are aware of someone that abuses an opioid such as fentanyl, get a naloxone kit. Naloxone kits include two doses of naloxone and two syringes, and are now available without a prescription at pharmacies and outside of pharmacies at resources centers. Naloxone is a life saving drug, an antidote, which reveres the effects of an opioid overdose. Opioid overdose is a medical emergency and 911 should be called. Signs of an opioid overdose will include unresponsiveness, lack of or slowed breathing, blue discoloration of lips or nails and cold skin, as well as tiny pupils. Once administered, naloxone works within one to five minutes and it just may save the life of a loved one. For more details on naloxone visit: http://www.bcpharmacists.org/ naloxone
So what can one do?
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GINGER L E MON CRÈME BRÛLÉ
PREPARATION STEP 1
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit. Place six 4-ounce ceramic ramekins in a large roasting pan, large enough to hold them without them touching. Set aside.
Place baking pan in oven and bake about 40 minutes, or until custards are barely jiggly in the center. Remove the ramekins from the water and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.
STEP 2 Place the ginger, sugar and lemon strips into a food processor bowl and pulse until chopped medium-fine. Transfer to a saucepan and let sit 15-30 minutes in order for the sugar to draw out the liquids from the ginger and lemon peel. STEP 3 Stir cream into the ginger mixture and place pan over mediumlow heat. Bring to a full simmer, stirring frequently. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. Let sit and steep for 30 minutes.
STEP 7 When ready to serve, preheat oven to Hi-Broil. Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon sugar evenly over the top of each custard and place ramekins onto a baking sheet. Place in oven on the top rack and watch carefully until the sugar is a deep golden brown on top. Remove from oven and let sit about 15 minutes until the sugar becomes a hard, crackly surface.
STEP 5 Slowly pour the cream mixture into the ramekins, filling them full and place these in a baking pan. Next, carefully pour hot tap water into the bottom of the baking pan until it comes ½ way up to the sides of ramekins.
50 g Cup roughly chopped peeled fresh ginger 1
Zest from whole lemon
White sugar + 3 tablespoons for brûlée topping
3 cups Heavy cream
Serve immediately in ramekins and enjoy!
1 tbsp Vanilla extract
STEP 4 Strain the cream mixture through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. Place the yolks in a large bowl and whisk in vanilla, turmeric and salt. Slowly add the cream mixture to the yolks while whisking constantly. Whisk until completely blended.
Pinches of Turmeric and Salt
Nutritional fact: Turmeric & ginger are Incredibly antiinflammatory It’s that wonderful, mild-mannered root that gives curries their yellow color, is the Superman of the spice world. Turmeric root contains curcumin, which helps reduce inflammation
CHEF LUCKY DHILLON has life-long love affair with food and has shown that a serious chef can pull off an affordable and brilliant menu with local ingredients. aajmag.ca
KABOCHA SQUASH WALNUT WELLINGTON WITH LIGHT ROSÃ‰ SAUCE
WELLINGTON PREPARATION STEP 1 Heat oven to 375 Fahrenheit. Place the cut kabocha squash in a large roasting pan with shallot and ground nutmeg. Coat with butter and oil and season with salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes. Add the pecans and roast for another 10 minutes, or until the squash is cooked but still firm. STEP 2 Let the squash mix cool completely. Once cooled, add maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, chopped herbs, cooked lentils, and stir in the bread crumbs to the mix. STEP 3 Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a roughly 32 x 38cm rectangle. Trim 2 cm from one of the long edges and set aside. Transfer the pastry to a baking tray. Place the squash
mixture down the longest length in the middle to make a rectangular block, keeping a generous border of pastry all the way round. Lightly press to compact everything together. STEP 4 Brush around the pastry edges with the beaten egg, and then draw the 2 long edges up to meet and pinch together to seal – as you would a Cornish pasty. Tuck under the pastry at both ends, then brush all over with egg. Cut leaf shapes from the pastry trimmings and use to decorate the top of the Wellington. Glaze again and make a couple of small air holes with the point of a knife. STEP 5 Place the Wellington in the baking tray and bake for 3-40 minutes or until golden brown. Let the Wellington rest for at least 10 minutes at room temperature before serving.
ROSÉ SAUCE PREPARATION STEP 1
Melt the butter over medium heat in a sauce pan. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Don’t let it brown or the sauce will be bitter. You’re just cooking the garlic through to remove the raw bite and infuse the butter. After 2 minutes, stir in the thyme and black pepper.
Next, add the tomato sauce and cream. Heat through, and then add the cheese. Stir to combine. Taste and add sugar and salt as needed. STEP 3 Serve over warm Wellington.
INGREDIENTS 50 g Cup roughly chopped peeled fresh ginger 1
Zest from whole lemon
White sugar + 3 tablespoons for brûlée topping
3 cups Heavy cream 9
1 tbsp Vanilla extract 2
Pinches of Turmeric & Salt
Nutritional fact: Kabocha Squash the Superstar of squashes This anti-inflammatory food is bursting with nutrition. It’s full of beta carotene, iron, vitamins A, C, fiber and some B vitamins. And it’s got 40 calories per cup AND less than half the carbs of most other squash (about 7 grams per cup).
CHEF LUCKY DHILLON has life-long love affair with food and has shown that a serious chef can pull off an affordable and brilliant menu with local ingredients. aajmag.ca
MADE IN VAN SET IN 40
With an agreeable climate and broad range of settings Vancouver has been the backdrop for both films and television series since the early 1900's. By way of its' location Vancouver can be cast as any one of a number of cities with the benefit of having nearby mountains, coastline, forests and lakes the city offers much to the film industries location scouts as they seek out suitable locations for their producers, directors and writers. And with so much to offer Vancouver has become the third largest movie production centre in North America hosting over 200 productions a year and generating over $1Billion of economic activity and revenue annually.
stories of Vancouver to be told. And with that in mind, one writer does choose to set many of his shows in Vancouver. The winner of 14 Gemini awards, Chris Haddock is the creator several Vancouver based TV shows including DaVinci's Inquest, DaVinci's City Hall, Intelligence and the Romeo Section (the Canadian Broadcasting Corporations only current, scripted Vancouver based TV Show), which is currently in its' second season. I sat down with Chris to talk about his motivation to make and set his TV shows in Vancouver.
I've written and produced shows in New York, Los Angeles, London, Toronto, and Vancouver - and it is here I've had the most control and growth and successes.
And as the industry has grown, more and more production facilities have been established locally with Studios is North Vancouver, Burnaby, Vancouver, Langley, Surrey and elsewhere. Supported by other related industries from equipment rental houses to catering companies the movie industry is very much at home in Vancouver. Without the locations and the facilities however, the industry would be nothing without the people that make the industry what it is and with decades of movie production experience Vancouver born and based artists, writers and technicians are ranked amongst the best in the world. So, with so much to offer, perhaps the only question that stands out for the Vancouver film industry is, why does Vancouver so rarely play itself? As a world class city with direct links to all corners of the globe and a demographically diverse population to match there must surely be countless
With the ability to create and set TV shows anywhere in the world, you have opted to set several of your creations in Vancouver. Why Vancouver over other cities? The simplest answer to why Vancouver is I was raised here and have learned the truth of the adage "write what you know". aajmag.ca
Vancouver is a port city, multi ethnic and culturally diverse, I write about the other side of the Vancouver postcard
Over the years I've written and produced shows in New York, Los Angeles, London, Toronto, and Vancouver - and it is here I've had the most control and growth and successes. Vancouver has a rich history and the future promises more of the same and I've got many stories of Vancouver and its denizens that I'd still like to tell. I like providing opportunities for local talent to participate in high quality productions that compete well alongside top internationally produced dramas. The teams that produce our shows are the equal of any and it is here that for me the working conditions are the best: I sleep in my own home at night with the dogs at the foot of the bed.
phenomenon. I felt writing stories that we'd read about in newspapers on a daily basis connected with the vital life of the city - and audiences responded immediately to the shows use of Vancouver as the setting and source of all the stories. It became an international hit almost out of the gate and I realized that writing about specifics made the show universal. I learned a lot about the city pursuing those stories. That led me to write City Hall which delved into the politics of the city. It followed the arrival in the Mayor's office of the lead character from DaVinci's inquest. All it's so tired concerned local Vancouver issues and made for great drama. I'd like to revisit that show.
Although there are many crime / detective shows, few feature Coroners despite coroners being prominent investigators. You chose to centre your series DaVinci's Inquest on the role of the Coroner. Why was that?
The Intelligence world and CSIS in particular is rarely discussed in Canada to the extent that it is almost unknown to many Canadians. So what was the motivation behind your series Intelligence?
At the time I created DaVinci's Inquest I had just come off writing a pilot for ABC TV and had written a medical examiner in the show. Here in BC the coroner does not need a medical degree - they can be a lay person with related skills of investigation. I combined the three popular TV procedurals: police medical and legal in the person of a cantankerous coroner who unlike the police was mandated to determine the social causes of a death if any. That gave me liberty to tackle social issues and make the show distinct.At the time I began Vancouver was just beginning to hear about the great number of missing and murdered women - many from downtown Vancouver's notorious low track - the industrial strip near the waterfront where the survival sex trade thrived. I began to write a parallel story that tracked the causes of this grisly
Intelligence was an attempt to write about crime in British Columbia, specifically the marijuana trade, as it flourished. Just in terms of the gangster genre - I wanted to make something that portrayed the Vancouver scene, where the trade provided a big part of the provincial economy. It provided an income for so many people, and provided many economic benefits off the illegal trade. As most of that trade was entrepreneurial I found it an intriguing way to look at how economies thrive underground, and how that economy is governed. It is here in the dope trade that great stakes are battled over. I also have a fondness of intelligence dramas, and wanted to take a look at that murky world of which we hear very little in mainstream
media. It was an under explored area here in Canadian television and I thought it had a depth of material to explore. Here in Canada, we hear and know much more about the American or British Intelligence services than our own. I wrote about the Canadian intelligence world and made a fiction out of it. Set right here is Vancouver. Your curent show, The Romeo Section, features the dark side of the Intelligence world. Why write about the gritty underworld when Vancouver 'chooses' not to see it? I've continued some of these themes of Intelligence in The Romeo Section, which is the show I'm writing and producing now. It is again about the world of intelligence and the Canadian operatives in it. Vancouver is a port city, multi ethnic and culturally diverse, I write about the other side of the Vancouver postcard that portrays it's natural beauty and the other side of the Intelligence world. On the surface, both are clean cut but beneath the surface there is another side and I wanted to bring this to life. The stories we tell are universal, just with our own special sauce that is Vancouver.
subsequent seasons and productions. Crew members will often remark on the family atmosphere that the productions have, many of whom also enjoy creating a TV show that features their own home town in their home town. As Haddock's work has shown, there are many stories to tell and the locations to tell them in Vancouver. Ranging from the postcard presentation pieces to the gritty underworld Vancouver will continue to offer writers and producers many opportunities to create compelling and entertaining films and TV shows by way of its' people and its' location. This, coupled with the locally available expertise of both the artists and technicians needed to bring the stories to life mean that we can hope to see many more productions that are not just made in Vancouver, but also set in Vancouver.
In addition to finding no shortage of stories in Vancouver's rich tapestry, Chris has no difficulty in finding cast or crew to work on his productions. Even with the BC film industry thriving and experiencing shortages of both artists and technicians many are eager to work on Haddock's productions often returning to work on
MATT WILLIAMS is a Contributing Editor at AAJ Magazine and works in Vancouverâ€™s vibrant Film and TV Industry. aajmag.ca
A Visual Feast of
Haute Couture from Ancient China Shen Yun displays exquisite culture of fashion 5,000 years in the making
A dancer in elegant Tang Dynasty (618-907) attire emanating grace and refinement.
Fashion was serious business in ancient China. The right clothes gave off an aura of refinement and dignity. Traditional clothing embodied the virtues of Chinese antiquity and contributed to the culture’s perception of self. For thousands of years, generations of designers made fashion a fine art, and their creations also became an important component of Chinese culture. S h e n Y u n Performing Arts, a New York-based group that tours globally each season, showcases not only the dance and music of 5,000 years of Chinese history and culture, but also features the art of fashion. Each dance is a veritable fashion show in and of itself, consisting of the handmade haute couture reaching across China’s
vast geographies and throughout its periods of history. Dressing for Harmony Hanfu, the clothing of China’s ethnic majority, consisted of hundreds of variations. The garments were characterized by loose gowns, wide sleeves, and flat, open collars folded over to the right. Rather than using buttons or strings, most were kept in place by a sash belt. High hats and wide belts were distinguishing marks of scholars and officials. In “The Book of Changes,” or “Yijing,” a passage praises the three sovereigns—the Yellow Emperor, Yao, and Shun—for “ruling with their arms hanging in their sleeves.” These early rulers valued harmony between heaven and earth. As a result, the country stayed largely peaceful, and they governed without worries, their hands literally tucked away as they watched the years pass.
Ethnic Attire Ethnic attire is as diverse as Chinese culture itself, with great disparities based on region or ethnicity. The 55 ethnic minorities located throughout the country display a multitude of styles and an extensive range of colours. Historically, the country’s vastness, along with the great contrasts in geography and climate, led to the various groups developing very different forms of dress and adornment. For example, the Tibetan people adapted to their environment with warm and insulating clothing that is also suitable to their itinerant lifestyle. The symbolic Tibetan chuba, made from sheepskin, is a long coat that is both practical and fashionable. The coat is large and loose with big open sleeves that can be rolled up in the heat of the day and used as a bedcover at night.
people, who ruled China during its last dynasty, the Qing. Manchu qipaos favoured hues of blue and pink, with hems and borders in auspicious white.
Traditional Manchurian Apparel
Around the world, one of the garments most often associated with Chinese dress is the qipao. Also called the cheongsam or Mandarin gown, it is distinguished by its high collar, narrow waist, and slit skirt. It can be worn long or short.
These costumes and many more can be seen in a Shen Yun performance. Shen Yun’s costume artists collect countless designs of traditional attire and recreate hundreds of new pieces each season, all in an array of eye-catching colours. Every detail is given meticulous attention and is a result of artistic inspiration and careful polishing.
But actually, the qipao is not a Han Chinese invention—it is the traditional apparel of the Manchurian
A scene from Shen Yun’s “Ladies of the Manchu Court,” reflecting imperial women’s fashion during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
The designers stress harmonic balance and contrast. Their objective is an authentic presentation of the attire that comes from China’s divinely inspired traditional culture, and a consummate stage effect. Shen Yun will have their Vancouver opening performance at Queen Elizabeth Theatre on January 29, the second day in the Chinese New Year.
For more information please visit:
NIGHT OF MIRACLES
SOUTH ASIAN COMMUNITY RAISES OVER $483,000 FOR BC CHILDRENâ€™S HOSPITAL 46
Members of BC’s South Asian community and other guests raised over $483,000 at the eighth annual A Night of Miracles (ANOM) gala November 5 at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel. The annual gala, an evening of entertainment, fine dining, philanthropy, and stories of the care and treatment at BC Children’s Hospital, inspired the generosity of the South Asian community, adding to the total of $4.2 million over the past eight years. Funds raised on November 5 will support the purchase of a new stateof-the art bronchoscopy system, telescopes and a video laryngoscopy set for the hospital’s Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose and Throat – ENT) and Respiratory specialties. “I’m truly impressed by the generosity of the South Asian community, and its commitment to Children’s Hospital and the child health,” said Teri Nicholas, president and CEO of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. “The tireless work of volunteers, the generosity of donors and sponsors shows a deep and growing compassion for the sickest and most critically injured children in BC and the Yukon.” Working with volunteers and donors on this gala over the last
eight years has shown A Night of Miracles’ founding chair Robin Dhir that this community is committed to the cause for the long term. “I’m very proud of how the community works together to embrace a cause that is heartfelt for every one of us,” he said. “The first A Night of Miracles gala was the launch of a grander vision. Today, we’ve accomplished more for children at BC Children’s Hospital than any of us could have ever imagined.” BC Minister of Justice and Attorney General Suzanne Anton joined more than 400 guests at the gala, which was emceed by Sonia Beeksma of Global BC. The gala was co-presented by returning sponsors Fasken Martineau and RBC Royal Bank. Dinner was created by Jesse Hochhaussen, executive chef of the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel, in collaboration with Vikram Vij of Vij’s Restaurant. The new equipment makes it easier for caregivers to see inside children’s airways and examine problems such as bleeding, foreign objects, tumours or inflammation. It will be used in the current hospital and in the Teck Acute Care Centre, the heart of the new BC Children’s Hospital, when it opens in late 2017.
About BC Children’s Hospital BC Children’s Hospital is the province’s only full-service acute-care hospital dedicated to serving close to one million children living in BC and the Yukon. All children who are seriously ill or injured are referred to BC Children’s Hospital and are either treated at the hospital facility in Vancouver or, in consultation with BC Children’s specialists, in their home community. Last year, more than 84,000 children were treated at BC Children’s Hospital. Funds raised by the foundation are used to support BC Children’s Hospital, its research institute and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children. For more information, visit www.bcchf.ca and follow @ BCCHF on Twitter.
For more information, contact: Joanna Newman
BC Children’s Hospital Foundation
TO LIVE YOUR LIFE
This holiday season, as we gather with our loved ones, it is a good time to consider how we can provide for and protect ourselves and our loved ones as we age. In B.C., adults have legal personal planning options that can be used to ensure that their wishes with respect to their assets, health care and other decisions are respected.
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Some of the ways you can plan for your future include writing down your wishes about your health care in an “Advance Directive” or “Representation Agreement”, naming someone to act for you in a “Power of Attorney”, and setting out what you would like to happen to your assets when you die in a “Will”. Advance directives, also known as living wills, set out your wishes regarding your health care and medical choices while you are still able to communicate them, and they can be valuable to your loved ones and health care providers in the event that end of life decisions have to be made. A Representation Agreement is a legally enforceable document that allows you to name someone to represent you in your personal or health care decisions should you become incapable of managing your affairs yourself. Powers of Attorney are used to appoint a person or persons that you trust to attend to your legal or financial matters while you are alive. There are options for how these can be drafted, including making an “Enduring” Power of Attorney, which will continue to be valid if you lose the capacity to act for yourself. You may also wish to limit the length of time or the purpose for which a Power of Attorney is granted.
Wills are a document that most people are familiar with; they set out where your assets should go after your death, as well as who you would like to carry out your wishes as the executor or executrix of your Will. For young people who may not yet be considering a Will, it is wise to make one so that you are able to specify the person that you would like to act as a guardian for the care of your minor children. Even though Wills may seem simple, it is important that they are drafted in a way that clearly sets out your wishes, that they are signed in a way that makes them legally enforceable, and that you consider your general estate planning when you write your Will. With respect to estate planning, it is best to seek legal and financial advice so that you understand which of your assets will fall into or outside of your estate, and the implications of that distinction. Personal planning is a valuable way to ensure that your wishes will be respected if a loved one or someone else is called upon to make decisions for you. By seeking legal advice from a trusted professional, and completing legal documents that reflect your wishes, you can provide peace of mind to yourself as well as to your family.
SHERRY KOONER is a lawyer at Wilson Rasmussen LLP, with a practice focused on wills and estates, real estate law, and business law. aajmag.ca
Money, even for government, is a finite resource. There is only so much of it to go around. And every dollar of government money comes from somewhere – a taxpayer, often scrimping to get by, or a business paying its share.
That’s why we consider tax dollars to be a sacred trust between a government and the people. If a taxpayer doesn’t meet his or her tax obligations, government can put them in jail or seize their assets. We have no choice but to pay; the least our elected politicians should be expected to do is spend that money wisely and efficiently. Sadly, that doesn’t always happen.
Every spring in Ottawa, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation host its annual Teddy Waste Awards, recognizing the worst of government waste. We point out various ways t h a t C a n a d i a n g o ve r n m e n t s , agencies and politicians have let the public down by wasting our tax dollars. We never lack for nominees. Employment and Social Development Canada once wasted $2.5 million advertising a Canada jobs grant program during the Stanley Cup playoffs. One big problem: the grant program didn’t exist. Step back and consider that for a second. The average Canadian family made roughly $80,000 last year, and paid $10,616 of that in income tax (that’s just income tax – generally 42% of a family’s income
the tragedy of government waste. We could list hundreds of examples of bad government priorities here. When the City of Calgary spent $236,000 to put decorative lights on a sewage pump station – which change colour depending on how much sewage is being pumped at that moment – it’s a clear waste of money. That’s $236,000 in taxpayer dollars that could have been spent by Calgary to house the homeless in their struggling downtown core. TransLink won a lifetime achievement award in 2015 for its record of waste. During the 2015 TransLink sales tax referendum, we highlighted more than 80 specific instances of how the Lower Mainland’s transit authority had
Generally 42% of a family’s income ends up in government coffers once every tax is added up ends up in government coffers once every tax is added up). That $2.5 million waste of money meant 235 Canadian families worked all year, paid their income taxes, and saw it completely wasted by their government. This should hurt. That $2.5 million should have been spent on surgeries or schools or parks or left in taxpayers’ pockets. It’s $2.5 million that wasn’t spent on something tangible that could have actually helped someone. And that’s
wa s t e d m o n e y . F o r e x a m p l e , TransLink executives collected hundreds of thousands of dollars to lease and park vehicles. That’s money that could have gone directly to maintain SkyTrain better. Taxpayers do not simply demand efficiency from government for efficiency’s sake. We ask for wise, prudent care of our tax dollars so they can be stretched further, so they can help more people and contribute more to society. When those dollars are wasted, it’s corrosive to that trust aajmag.ca
between taxpayer and government. W.A.C. Bennett, the BC premier who led this province for more than 20 years, once had a cabinet minister boldly tell him he would treat taxpayers' money as if it were his own. “Oh, no, you won't,” Bennett said, “not as long as I'm premier.
That money is tax money, it's trust money, and I want 110 cents worth of value out of every dollar.” Bennett knew that tax money had to be treated even more carefully that one’s own money – that’s what the people deserved.
are trust money, and we should ask for 110 cents of value from every single dollar.
This is the standard we should set for our politicians. Our tax dollars
JORDAN BATEMAN is BC Director at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
Wilson Rasmussen LLP Lawyers & Notaries
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Make a Different Resolution this Holiday Season
“Have you made a will yet?” “What? No! I’m too young to make a will”. “You are not too young...life is unpredictable and it is really important so your family knows your wishes.” “It doesn’t even matter if I make a will or not since everything will automatically go to my spouse and my kids”.
There is a common misconception that if you do not make a will, all your possessions and land automatically passes onto your spouse, children, or other family members. However, this is not always the case and it can be more complicated than a simple “everything goes to my wife” situation.
When a person dies without a will, they are said to have died ‘intestate’. In this situation, the provincial legislation Wills, Estates and Succession Act [SBC 2009] Chapter 13 (“WESA”), steps in and lays out how that person’s personal possessions and personal land (collectively referred to as a person’s ‘estate’) will be divided. For example, if you die and leave a spouse, then everything does go to the spouse. However, it is not an automatic process. There are a number of steps and procedures that the spouse and the government must abide by. And this procedure takes a long time. While reading this, some people may realize this is not an ideal situation, because they wish their family members and loved ones to deal with their estate. And more importantly, they wish to divide their estate in a way they want and not how WESA lays it out. With the upcoming holiday season upon us, the focus for many of us is ‘planning’. Whether it is planning out the perfect Christmas party for our family and friends or taking the time to plan a trip with our loved ones or choosing the perfect gifts for our children.
of us will end up planning the more common resolutions, for example eating healthier, quitting smoking, and finding a better job. However, alongside these resolutions, this one resolution often gets overlooked and ignored. We do not make a resolution and plan in relation to what will happen to our estate after we have passed away. We often think to ourselves, “there is so much time to deal with that”, or “I am not old; I do not need to make such a plan yet”. But what we fail to realize is that this plan will, not only save a lot of heartache for our family, but will clearly lay out what our wishes are after we have passed on. So this holiday season, one thing we should keep in mind while we are excitedly opening our gifts and spending valuable time with our loved ones, is what do I want to leave behind for my family after I have passed on? How do I want to provide for them with what I have now so that they will have an easier time dealing with everything after I am gone? If you wish to learn to learn more about estate planning, please contact your lawyer or contact The Canadian Bar Association BC Branch at (604) 687-3404 for more information.
Amidst all this planning, one of the most important plans made during the holiday season is preparing the perfect New Years’ resolution. Some
SHARON DHALIWAL studied law at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. She currently advises clients on Wills and Estates and is an instructor in the legal program at CDI College. aajmag.ca
CHILDREN OF HARMONY HOUSE It was an early Monday morning and I excitedly, yet nervously, stepped into Harmony House. Harmony House consists of two villas that have been converted into centres for the children of the Gurgaon slums. As I pushed through the black steel gates of Harmony House, I could hear the children singing their morning prayer.
Once I stepped into Harmony House, I was introduced to house manager Harpriya and was taken on a tour of the first house. She walked me through each room, and to my surprise each room was completely filled with children.
As I entered the f i r s t ro o m I w a s greeted with bright smiles, curiosity and then they all arose a n d unani m ous l y said “Good morning, ma’am.” I responded with a huge smile and said “Good morning.” There were a number of rooms over the two floors, which were set-up as classrooms for learning, medical attention and eating. We then passed by the kitchen, where there were three women who were preparing breakfast and planning lunch for the children. We made our way to the makeshift assembly hall where children were making crafts, which is also where the children eat during mealtime. Within about an hour, I was taken to the second Harmony House, which caters to the older children. We did a similar walk through of the house. I was then pointed to a room and was told I could start with the kids in the reading room. I timidly entered the classroom, in which children ranging from 13-17 years of age were reading. As I entered they all smiled and stood
up, I waved my hands for them to stay seated and I then nervously broke the ice with “Hi, my name is Sunny. Is it ok if we go around the room and introduce ourselves?” I was nervous all morning and a thousand questions ran through my mind, until I spoke these two sentences. Would they understand my broken Hindi? Will they understand English? Are they going to like me? What if they don’t? I find it funny now at how intimidated I was of these kids, especially reflecting on this in hindsight, and that no matter what age or what our background is - we all want to be liked and to fit in. One by one, they began standing up and telling me their names and which class they were in - some were very shy with their English and some were very bold. From that moment on and the many days after that, I don’t think my smile has left my face. After they introduced themselves I gave a brief introduction about myself and explained why I was there. I was there to help them with their English and also to do some research on some of the Delhi communities. As we spoke and got to know each other, we decided to make an agreement for the next two days: today they were only to speak in English and tomorrow I would only speak in Hindi with them. You see, my Hindi was about as good as their English – so we all agreed, that was a fair arrangement. I thought it would put us on an equal platform; that I was to learn from them, as much as they were to learn from me. We started the lesson with me asking them to each write a poem
or a short story (topic of their choice) and once complete they were to read aloud their story – in English. The children jumped to the idea and believe me when I say these children are brave, as I was already nervous about having to speak my broken Hindi the next day. Poonam is a 16-year-old girl who wants to become a singer and a writer. She is one of the older girls at Harmony House, and many of the younger children look to her for guidance. And to be fair, so did I – she is a natural leader. She is also a talented singer, in which she indulged me and the children by singing a song by the band One Direction. She also brought over her journal to show off her work, which was filled with beautiful poetry, colorful drawings and stickers. Her dream is to have one of them published in a magazine or newspaper. So I thought I would have one of her poems included in this article. Her younger brother was also in attendance; he wants to become a computer engineer. Although, after seeing his beautiful drawings and paintings; I think his passion is in Art. Then there was Saima who is 14 years old, a very poised and gracious young woman. Saima wants to become a news journalist and was very brave in openly asking me questions and also shared her writings with me as well. As we were writing, a young boisterous boy by the name of Rahul joined our group. He has the biggest smile I have ever seen, and he loves to talk; so much so that I constantly have to remind him to slow down. He quickly stole my heart. In addition to his love of talking, he also enjoys playing chess and is very determined to beat me yet. Rahul wants to become a police officer.
Then of course there is 11 year old Priya, a young girl that could win you over with her mischievous grin. Priya wants to become a fighter pilot – she was my kind of girl! We instantly clicked. She is a very smart girl and she is well aware of it. I love her mischievous behavior and the sly grin she gives when she knows she is pushing her limits. She reminds me a lot of myself. One thing I immediately noticed about all the children was how happy they are. These children did not have very much, but I admire their ability in being happy with so little. Perhaps, it was because this was all they knew, or perhaps it is a reminder that very little is needed to be happy. These children come from backgrounds that most of us could never imagine. Yet, their determination and resilience was overwhelming. I found myself in absolute awe of them. Reflecting back, I find it interesting that I chose to volunteer my time with these children in order to try and attempt to give back to humanity. However, the reality is I have been given so much more from these children – more than I could have ever imagined. These children come with pure hearts and have given me so much love. From the moment I stepped through the Harmony House doors; I was given unconditional love. I don’t think I could ever repay them in this lifetime, for the kindness and generosity they have extended to me. Over this past month, these children have taught me the power of resiliency. We each have the power and ability to recover from difficulties in life. Moreover, we all need to be willing to put hard work in and understand that change does not occur overnight. As young Priya states, the moral of her short story is “hard work is a
key to success.â€? These children work extremely hard every single day, in order to change their course in life. They attend school all day and then go home after and help their parents with work.
Moreover, these children have also reminded me of the value of a smile. And despite being such a simple gesture, it goes a long way. A smile is the perfect way to bridge two people, no matter how different they may seem to be. These children have aspirations of becoming journalists, fashion designers, lawyers and doctors and I will pray each and every day that they are able to make their dreams come true.
Harmony House is more than just a school; it essentially acts as a day shelter for the women and children of the Gurgaon streets. It is a nonprofit organisation in Gurgaon, just on the outskirts of Delhi, India. The centre provides free food, hygiene services, education, medical attention and social services to the women and children in the nearby slums. According to Save the Children India, there are approximately 50,000 children who live on the streets of Delhi, India. Harmony House provides vulnerable, underprivileged and marginalized children the opportunity to change their path in life. In addition to providing basic rights, the centre provides vocational classes; yoga, stitching and beauty courses in order to help women and children find jobs for their future. Between the two centres, on average they take in about 400-450 children per day. These children are fed and educated, but most importantly loved on a daily basis. Harmony House was founded by husband and wife team, Lucy Bruce and Gaurav Sinha. Gaurav, an
Indian national, married British born Lucy and they now reside in Dubai. The house has a number of staff, ranging from teachers, doctors and cooks etc. both paid and volunteer. The Harmony House staff work tremendously hard for these children, to ensure they are fed, educated and provided every opportunity to succeed in life. Most importantly, each and every member of staff is very welcoming and engaging, and there is no doubt in my mind that they are the reason why these children are so incredibly happy. I want to thank Harmony House and the staff for allowing me the privilege to spend time with the children over the last month. I also want to thank each and every child at Harmony House for allowing me to be a part of their life. However small a part I may have played in their life, I trust them to know that each of them have left an imprint on mine.
Sunny Mangat Happy Holidays from India
If you are interested in making a small contribution to the future success of these undeniably brilliant children, please visit the Harmony House website for more details. http://www.harmonyhouseindia.org/make-a-donation.html
SUNNY MANGAT, M.A. is a Human Rights Activist, and a PhD student researching sexual violence against women in India.
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NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS SHOULD BE
It’s that time of year again! The time of the year when we get together with those closest to us, and reflect on the ups and downs that the passing year had in store for us. The
time of the year during which we think about how we are going to change certain things in our lives, improve ourselves, and push ourselves to be better individuals.
Inevitably, many, if not all of us, will come up with New Years Resolutions. For the majority, the first few months of the new year will be full of motivation and dedication; but as our daily responsibilities catch up with us, coupled with the curve balls that life will throw at us, we will struggle to stay on track.
My business-minded brain has decided that New Year’s resolutions should be S.M.A.R.T. This acronym is well known in the field of business: it’s a mnemonic acronym that provides criteria to guide in the setting and accomplishment of corporate objectives. It is used in project management, employee performance management and
personal development. I truly believe it can be applied to New Year’s Resolutions.
Here’s a breakdown of what S.M.A.R.T. stands for: S SPECIFIC M MEASURABLE A ACHIEVABLE R RELEVANT T TIME BOUND
If you come up with resolutions that cover all of these requirements, successful achievement of your goals is in your hands! Let’s use a common resolution as an example, such as losing weight. If I make a resolution to lose 20 lbs in one month, I am setting myself up for failure. Although the goal is measurable (using a weighing scale), relevant (it is something that needs to be done), and time bound (set for one month); it is not specific enough, and it is very difficult to achieve. In other words, we are missing the S and the A of the S.M.A.R.T acronym. To
make this goal a more realistic one, we can do the following. First, we can break down the 20 lb weight loss into weeks, rather than a month. For instance, we can change the goal to: lose 5 lbs per week. Secondly, we can stretch the goal out over two or three months rather than one. As you can see, changing certain aspects of a goal can make it more accomplishable!
More often than not, we set ourselves up for failure. If we come up with S.M.A.R.T. goals, we are more likely to be successful.
NAVKIRAN BRAR, Editor of AAJ Magazine, is a well rounded professional, with a passion for writing, academics and entrepreneurship.
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FVICBA FALL DINNER FOR LOCAL HOSPITAL support the Critical Care Simulation Lab at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital. Complete with a media wall, photo booth, martini and coffee bars, a costume contest and plenty of media coverage, the night was not only a chance to network but also to dance the night way to the rhythm and beats of a live DJ.
Glitz, glamour, and costumes were the name of the game at the Fraser Valley Indo-Canadian Business Association’s 29th Annual Fall Dinner and Dance on October 28th. From TV characters to animals and everything in between, Abbotsford’s business community showcased its love of costumes at an event that was well attended and organized to
With tremendous support from sponsors, donors, and the community at large, the Fraser Valley Indo-Canadian Business Association was able to donate $12,000 in proceeds to the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation in support of the Simulation Lab. “None of this would be possible without the support of our donors, sponsors, and association membership. We want to thank everyone for helping us give back to this amazing cause that will raise the standard of care in our community which is definitely a benefit to all” says Bharathi Sandhu, chair of the Fraser Valley Indo-Canadian Business Association.
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AAJ Magazine Winter Issue January-February