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FORD CALLED OUT! EXCLUSIVE: MPP RANDY HILLIER

SIMONE J. SMITH/TORONTO CARIBBEAN “Come and get me Doug! He didn’t come. He won’t have his prescribed laws tested in the courts.” I have never seen someone speak out against the government as much as the man I had the pleasure of interviewing last week. As a representative of the Lenark – Frotenac and Kingston re-

gions, he has questioned the Premier about his approach to handling the current pandemic. He has long been a thorn in the PC Government’s side because he continues to question their decision-making, and how it benefits the people of Ontario. Since May, he has opposed many of the contradictory

COVID-19 laws, and last week Friday, I had the pleasure of speaking to MPP Randy Hillier. This article is a preview of a very powerful interview, that I think will add to the eye-opening interviews that I have had in the last couple weeks. Continued On Page 8

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FEATURE

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Toronto Caribbean News | www.TOCaribNews.com | Wednesday, November 11, 2020

NESSA PREPPY She believed, and she achieved! “I will always have a love for Toronto, Canada. It was the first international country I performed in. Toronto loved Tingo, and I love Toronto!” Nessa Preppy “Issa, issa snack Issa something fat Strictly facts From front or the back One big girls team Issa snack pack Issa issa scene Everybody bad and it’s that” If you are a soca, or dancehall fan, I don’t even have to take you back to the first time that you were exposed to this visual masterwork. Beautiful women, empowered by their sexuality, tantalized by the rhythm, voluptuous bodies gesticulating. Oh lord! Way too much for most to handle. The one question we all had on our minds was, who the hell is this woman? “Issa Snack,” “Tingo,” “So High,” and “Pull up,” are weapons in her musical arsenal that only give people a taste of who she is as an artist. With 231k followers on Instagram, and millions of views on her YouTube videos, a name that was unheard of a few years ago, is now on the tip of the dancehall/soca world’s tongue. Vanessa John (aka Nessa Preppy), may seem like an overnight success, but to those who know that success does not come overnight, her story will leave you wanting more. Kind of like how you feel when you finish watching one of her videos. Her unpredictability, risqué creative style, and love for her music and the joy it brings her fans, are the reasons why we are going to continue to see this young artist rise beyond all that is expected. I was so excited when Adanna Asson, Entertainment Publicist with CreativA MediA PR, contacted me about some of the new projects that Nessa was working on. After a short discussion, we set up an interview so I could have a girl chat about women empowerment, her powerful ascent, and what she wants for women across the world to know. Join me as we take a look at the life and times of Nessa Preppy. Her voice was so soft and pleasant, a little different from the boisterous energy that she displays in her videos and on stage. We had to re-schedule the interview a few times, and she graciously agreed to speak with me last Sunday. We went right into how she got into the music industry, and what her younger years looked like. “I was going on five years old when we moved to Trinidad,” Nessa began. “It was just myself, my mom and my older brothers. My dad

stayed in Germany. Living in Germany was different then it is now. It was a different culture and vibe, and my mom felt pulled back to her home. I grew up in Arima. My mom’s family all live there. My grandmother is a direct descendent of the original indigenous people to Trinidad. I was introduced to the culture early. In primary school, I started performing in Calypso talent shows. I would participate a lot. I performed a piece by the Mighty Sparrow “Pay as you Earn.” He was visiting and came up to me and let me know how well I had done. I didn’t win, but I was noticed.” Music was at the back of her mind throughout high school. In her heart she knew she would come back to music. At 16, she got back into it. She bounced around from studio to studio, networking trying to find herself within the music. When one of her first recordings got some airplay, she realized that she had to take this music thing seriously. “I was into hip hop,” she says laughing coyly. “I was finding myself. I do a lot of chanting, so it is still in my music. My style is mixed with dancehall. soca, and a little bit of hip-hop.” “Tingo was my first song with views. I put Tingo out two months earlier than the video. I thought it was a great song, but the moment the video dropped, it went viral. It was not being played on the radio. Once it reached two million views, then it hit the local airwaves. I learned during this part of my journey that if I was going to do anything, I would have to take it there every time. I have always had to put in the extra work. Issa Snack was overlooked. Women on the island had to call into the radio station for my song to be noticed. The ladies of Trinidad and Tobago are the ones that put me on. It is one of the reasons why I big up women so much. They have been my number one supporters.” I think one of the most powerful aspects of her rise is the fact that she has a group of free-spirited women supporting her. Throughout the video Issa Snack, there are shots of other women, dancing, bigging her up, sprouting words of affirmation. This is girl power at its finest. “A lot of women support my musical movement. I have seen where me doing things have other women more confident with themselves. I feel really good about that. A lot of times as women, things are taken away from us. There are women who want to do certain things, but society does hold them back. Empowering women makes me happy.” It is great that she has so much support from fans locally, and internationally, but I was curious as to how her inner circle felt about her provocative style. “My parents didn’t have an issue with it.

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I started taking sexier shots when I was of age. I moved out at 19 years old. I was the only female in the house, and I always felt protected. My brothers were very protective. I am a hot-blooded female artist. I like embracing my sexuality, dressing very sexy. I think that is just me, you know. It’s not for everyone. My family supports, and I am good with that.” With her focus on women’s freedom to do what makes them happy, I asked her if she had any words for her Toronto admirers. “Don’t let anyone hold you back. Believe that you can achieve anything. It may sound cliché, but take it from me, it works. I didn’t come from any special background or rich background. Hold yourself to a standard in your mind. Work towards that standard. Look at what is going on in a positive light, and by all means, educate yourself.” If you are a Nessa Preppy fan, you will love to know that she is coming out with her new album, “The Art of Flex,” on December 12thh, 2020. In January 2020, she started a YouTube show called “Party with Preppy.” On the show she talks about music, touring, and the overall artist experience. “There is R&B, dancehall, soca music. It is different than what people have seen of me. Recording should be what all artists are doing right now. It is hard because there is no motivation. I have been working on it for two years now. This was in creation long before COVID-19, so the vibe is different.” N e s s a ’s ability to crossover into new realms of music, her down to earth nature, and her all out sexiness are what make this creative artist a rising star.

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PAGE 3

Thousands of businesses no longer exist all due to the pandemic SIMONE SMITH simone@carib101.com

TC REPORTER

I write this article with a heavy heart. It has been one thing to watch people get sick, live in fear, deal with mental health challenges, and not have enough food to eat. It has been another thing watching people lose aspects of their lives that mean so much to them. In a survey of 10,969 Canadian small businesses from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, about 22% of small businesses have had their revenue drop to $0 during the pandemic. Did you read that $0.00? Let’s take even a closer look at how the lockdowns have affected smalland-medium sized Canadian businesses.

A survey of 500 small-and-medium sized Canadian companies (conducted by KPMG, September 2020) found that over half of these enterprises are just focusing on surviving The most recent survey by KPMG survey showed that nearly 40% of smalland medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) worry that they won’t recover from the economic fallout of the pandemic. Popular restaurants like Nando’s, the global chicken chain, closed 21 of its Canadian locations during the pandemic, including spots on Danforth, Beaches and Queen West. Another trendy restaurant that has had to close its doors is Friday Roots and Vibes. The former pop upturned permanent restaurant that was a staple for fried chicken and live acts, closed its doors for good. In this article, I really want to highlight the numbers, because for some reason, mainstream media only focuses on the rising number of cases, and not the rising number of loses that people are taking when it comes to their sources of income.

Most of these numbers are due to the stringent lockdowns that have fluctuated throughout the pandemic, which continue to weaken the Canadian economy. According to Statistics Canada, in April, Canada recorded 88,187 business closures, that’s more than twice the 39,078 that shut down in the same month last year. A survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business taken at the end of June found another 150,000 Canadians businesses, or 14% of the total, are at least somewhat considering bankruptcy or winding down their operations because of COVID-19. For some business owners, they say it wasn’t the pandemic that killed their small businesses; it was actually the commercial taxes. If we take a quick trip across the border, we will see quickly that things are not going so well over there either. The pandemic has closed some 3.3 million small businesses (at least temporarily) the sidelining of 440,000 African Ameri-

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cans was especially notable (Bloomberg Report). African American owners have faced tougher struggles in keeping their businesses open, mostly due to the fact that many of their businesses were not seen as “essential.” While the unemployment rate amongst Caucasians fell to 12.4 % in May 2020, the jobless rate for African Americans rose slightly to 16.8% (Bureau of Labour Statistics). The disparities shine a light on racial inequalities that exist and cannot be ignored. It is really unfortunate that through my research, I was unable to find more information on Canadian black business, and how they fared during this pandemic. It is the reason that the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce has been actively building statistics on what is occurring with black businesses in Canada. It would be good to know exactly how our numbers compare to our brothers and sisters in the United States.

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Toronto Caribbean News | www.TOCaribNews.com | Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Challenging the cozy image of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals; what have they not told us? SIMONE SMITH simone@carib101.com

TC REPORTER

“At Johnson & Johnson, there is no greater priority than the health and safety of the people we serve every day around the world. Our primary goal is to ensure the safety, wellbeing and privacy of the participants and all those involved in our trials.” The first thing I want you to do before reading this article – especially if you are a new parent – is to take a look around your home right now. For what you ask? I want you to take a look for a product that has become a household name for over 100 years. I can guarantee that for many of us, we all have used products from Johnson & Johnson. They have had a reassuringly cozy image as the ultimate family brand of: baby powder, baby shampoo and the maker of Band-Aids. They are also the name behind a massive range of drugs and medical devices, and most recently have stepped into the COVID-19 vaccine race. For many of us, we feel safe using Johnson & Johnson products because we have been reassured about their quality and safety. Their fantastic marketing team has told us that they are committed to providing transparent updates throughout their clinical development process. With their new vac-

cine trials, they promised this transparency, as well as compliance with regulatory standards and their own high ethical and scientific principles. This sounds great, and of course, many of us would believe these statements because we have used their products without any issues for years. Well, this article is not meant to scare you, but is meant to shed light on why once again, as educated consumers, we have to take our time to do research before we just trust the words of larger corporations. On October 12th, 2020, Johnson & Johnson released a statement about them having to temporarily pause their COVID-19 vaccine candidate trials, including the Phase 3 ENSEMBLE trial, due to an unexplained illness in a study participant. According to their statement, the participant’s illness is being reviewed and evaluated by the ENSEMBLE independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) as well as our internal clinical and safety physicians. They also remind their consumers that adverse events – illnesses, accidents, etc. - even those that are serious, are an expected part of any clinical study, especially large studies. After a thorough evaluation of a serious medical event experienced by the study participant, no clear cause was identified. They stated that there were many possible factors that could have caused the event. Based on the information gathered to date and the input of independent experts, Johnson & Johnson found no evidence that the vaccine candidate caused the event. You can personally read the released statement at (https://www.jnj.com/our-company/ johnson-johnson-prepares-to -resume -

phase-3-ensemble-trial-of-its-janssen-covid19-vaccine-candidate-in-the-us). I have spoken about the blanket immunity that many of these vaccine makers have received from the government, meaning that if any harm comes from these rushed COVID-19 vaccines, they are not held liable. I want our communities across the African diaspora to be well versed on the verbiage used by these companies, and to be weary of what is propagated through mainstream media sources. I also want to share with you the not so cozy information about the Johnson & Johnson Company. In the last few years, they have been hit with a series of product misfires and court judgements that have challenged both public trust and investor faith. At the beginning of October this year, a Philadelphia jury awarded $8 billion in punitive damages to a man claiming that the company did not warn young men that taking its anti-psychotic drug Risperdal could cause them to grow breasts. The lawyers for the plaintiff had something to say about the conduct of the company, “Johnson & Johnson is a company which has lost its way,” and the jury had chosen to impose punitive damages on “A corporation that valued profits over safety and profits over patients.” I want to note here that the US Food and Drug Administration approved Risperdal for the treatment of adults in 1993, and it brought in some $737 million in sales in 2018. They have also been going through five years of litigation over claims that it failed to warn customers that its blood-thinner Xarelto increased the risk of internal bleeding, and in March, Johnson & Johnson and co-maker Bayer agreed to pay $775m to settle about 25,000 lawsuits, though neither of

the companies admitted liability. In July 2018, Johnson & Johnson asked a judge in Trenton, New Jersey to dismiss as many as 14,000 lawsuits alleging its talc-based baby powder (yes, the one you use on your child) caused ovarian cancer. There have been complaints moving through the legal system since 1999, and the company has failed to inform the FDA that at least three tests by three different labs from 1972 to 1975 had found asbestos in its talc. In one of the tests, the levels were reported as “rather high.” One example of this complaint came from a California woman who actually won a legal battle against the pharmaceutical giant. In her complaint she states that the company’s baby powder caused her to develop terminal ovarian cancer. She was awarded $70 million in compensatory damages, and $347 million in punitive damages. Ms Echevarria claimed that for 40 years, she used the baby powder for feminine hygiene purposes, and this resulted in her ovarian cancer diagnosis. The cancer spread to her kidneys, and she was so ill she was unable to attend the court proceedings. Her lawyer, Mark Robinson, argued that Johnson & Johnson had encouraged female customers to continue using baby powder for feminine hygiene purposes despite the fact that there was a known link with ovarian cancer. My goal is to encourage my community to become educated consumers. Do the work. Know what you are bringing into your homes, and exposing to your family. The research is out there my friends, all we have to do is look for it.

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Outbreak at Glamorgan Junior Public School has teachers refusing to work PAUL JUNOR

paul@carib101.com

TC REPORTER

As the number of positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to increase in schools in Ontario, it has caused much anxiety, stress and dismay among staff members. Last week there was an outbreak at an elementary school (Glamorgan Junior Public School). It reported that nine staff members and two students tested positive. This resulted in 58 students being sent home from one wing of the school to self-isolate for 14 days. A certain number of staff members decided on Monday, November 2nd, 2020 that they would refuse to enter the school and work as the TDSB decided to keep the school open. The teachers issued a statement anonymously that they believed that there was the movement of staff members from the identified wing to the other wing, which could potentially place other staff and students at risk. They requested that the principal and TDSB close the school and implement additional safety measures. Unfortunately, this did not occur, and they refused to work. Don MacMillan, union representative of CUPE told CP24 that it is a “Terrible situation.� He stated, “The kids need to be in school, but we don’t need to be in an unsafe environment, by any means, by any sort.� It was revealed that several early childhood educators are also part of the

work refusal at the school. In order to respond to the lack of adult supervision in the school, the TDSB sent four Vice-Principals and support staff to the school. By midday, there was an additional: Principal, Vice-Principal as well as one occasional teacher, three lunchroom supervisors and one YMCA supervisor. President of the Elementary Teachers of Toronto (ETT) reported, “Because this is an individual work refusal, what the teachers do will depend on what they hear as a response from the Ministry of Labour to their direct concerns.� By examining what is occurring in the school, she notes, “The fact that it is in an area of the school, gives rise to the question about whether it is something to do with ventilation. Is it going to permeate through the building? We know that the government hasn’t funded for fixing the schools in a regular type of way so how is this being addressed? These are issues that have not been answered.� The principal Teri Molnar in a letter to parents/guardians/caregivers informed them that the Ministry of Labour and Toronto Public Health (TPH) found that the school was safe to stay open. After their investigation Toronto Public Health stated, “It does not indicate that we need to close the other wing of the school.� The Ministry of Labour inspected the school on October 29th, 2020, and their health and safety inspection found the building safe. It reported that, “The employer is conducting an internal investigation. At this time there is no further action required by our ministry as parties are required to investigate work refusals internally before calling the ministry.�

CANADA’S LEADING CARIBBEAN NEWSPAPER Selina McCallum TC REPORTER selina@carib101.com

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | www.TOCaribNews.com | Toronto Caribbean News

Coping with COVID; are Generation Z and Millennials not worried enough? JANIECE CAMPBELL janiece@carib101.com

TC REPORTER

Another coronavirus story… are you sick of hearing about it once again? Well, it seems as if many young people are in the same boat. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 35% of American youth between the ages of 18 to 29 believe that the pandemic has been made a bigger deal than it really is. As multiple Ontario regions make the shift back to Stage 3 and restrictions begin to loosen, there is a concern that people under 40 will primarily drive the spread increase. It’s easy to point fingers at young people. Unfortunately, it’s our demographic that’s throwing the holiday parties and going out to nightclubs. The carelessness and lack of panic could be attributed to the fact that 20 to 29-year olds only accounted for a mere 28,000 positive cases nation-wide since the beginning of the pandemic. Out of those cases, 1.3% have been admitted to hospital and 10 have died, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Young adults generally experience milder symptoms as well, which often leads to the question; what’s the big deal? While only few younger COVID-19 patients suffer a long-lasting illness, the virus’s slight effect on most healthy twenty-somethings is precisely what makes the age cohort dangerous. It’s been observed that younger people tend to live and work in situations that put them at much higher risk, whether it’s part-time jobs, needing to rely on public transit, schooling, housing or social situations. They also tend to have bigger social circles, while still being attached to their families. “You end up having different social networks,” says Dr. Andrew Morris, a professor at the faculty of medicine at the University of Toronto. “Compared to a 10-year-old whose main network is their household, plus or minus a few

friends, a young adult may not live with their parents anymore, so they may have roommates. Then they’re suddenly part of a much larger bubble.” The problem is exactly that. After working and/or socializing all day, many are often unaware of that they’ve contracted the virus and continue to live their lives normally, visiting social hotspots or having dinner with extended family and proceeding to unwittingly spread the illness. Researchers say though that it isn’t always the large, headline-making crowds that fuel the spread of COVID-19. Instead, it’s being transmitted within smaller circles. In early September, pool parties, card games and sleepovers were linked to one single family’s social life, which was responsible for a total of 31 positive cases in Windsor. Youth ages 14 to 19 made up the majority of the infected, with a total of 19 out of 31. “The vast majority of transmission is with close contact with someone who’s infected, typically for a prolonged period of time in an indoor environment,” said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, a Torontobased infectious disease specialist. It’s clear that COVID-19 isn’t disappearing anytime soon. Controlling the pandemic from this point on now lies on persuading young adults to take heed and be willing to endure a long winter of loneliness, not only for the protection of themselves but for the sake of others. The issue at hand may not be if young people take this virus seriously, but more so how can they learn to cope and live on without this constant fear of getting it. Toronto-based neurologist and science communicator Samantha Yammine says in an interview with Healthing that it’s important to give young people harm reduction tips instead of simply pointing to accidents in order to make smarter choices. “Instead of saying, ‘don’t do this, don’t go to parties, don’t do that,’ what can we do? What are the things we can do to minimize risk, knowing that we’ll never have zero risk, because it’s just impossible,” Yammine says. “If we focus on what we can do versus what we can’t do, we can empower people to make decisions that are more safe but allow them to live their lives.”

NEWS

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NEWS

Toronto Caribbean News | www.TOCaribNews.com | Wednesday, November 11, 2020

MPP Randy Hillier questions Premier Ford, and his contradictory COVID-19 Laws SIMONE SMITH simone@carib101.com

TC REPORTER

Continued From Page 1 -- There has been a lot said about MPP Randy Hillier, and of course not all of it is good. There are reports of him being racist because of a Tweet that was posted questioning Federal Families, Children, and Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen, after he spoke about being racially profiled. Of course, this tweet happened to only be seen by the likes of CTV Ottawa News anchor Graham Richardson and Kayley Kennedy, the Federal Liberals’ candidate in Lanark – Frontenac – Kingston in last fall’s election. The PC Government sent a clear message to him that if he was not a team player, then he would not be working with them. I always find it interesting when the race card is thrown out, and the context that it is brought up in. In any political battle, the opposition will do their best to make themselves look better, and the other guy looks bad. I would ask the Liberal Government to take a look at their Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who not too long ago felt that black face was okay. He is all forgiving right? Yeah, interesting! I say that to say this; my job is not to condemn the actions of others. My job is to present information to my community and hold the government accountable for all of their actions, especially actions that are disproportionately going to affect us. The battle right now is about the stringent laws that continue to deplete us of our God given rights. During our discussion, Randy and I went over: • • • • • • •

The PCR screening tests Bill 218 The fact that 99% of people are not at risk of catching Covid-19 The many Covid-19 contradictions Isolation camps The devastating lockdowns How this pandemic has isolated people from their families and friends

I am going to only touch on a couple of these topics in this article, but I implore you to look past the distractions, and take hold of information that could very well save your life. Reliability of PCR Tests for COVID-19 Testing, testing, and more testing. Tests

have detected more than 14 million cases of COVID-19. It is simple right; you take the test, it shows up positive, and this means that you have the disease. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. When virus levels in a population are very low, the chances of a test accurately detecting COVID-19 is less than 50%. Testing is an important issue to look into, especially since the new round of testing has brought on lockdowns in regions across Ontario. Since May, the Public Health Agency of Canada as well as virologists and other doctors around the world have been warning of problems with PCR testing. Let’s take a look at how the PCR test works. PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction. This is a technique used in molecular biology that amplifies a DNA template to produce specific DNA fragments. Amplification cycles are used to amplify a sample to make it easier to find the RNA that identifies COVID in a person; the threshold, or maximum amplification cycle, known as ‘CT’, should not exceed 25, yet Ontario labs are testing at between 38 and 45 cycles. This simple increase in amplification causes false positives because of improper manipulation of the sample. Interestingly enough, our government knows that the test is faulty. Minister Elliott (Deputy Premier of Ontario and Ontario Minister of Health) has not reported when the government became aware of this problem and why nothing has yet been done to address it. Instead of committing to fixing the problem with PCR testing procedures, the Health Minister deflected by talking about other testing possibilities, many of which are not yet approved by Health Canada, or not widely available yet. Randy mentioned Dr Mike Yeadon, former Vice President and Chief Science Officer for Pfizer. Dr Yeadon argues that half, or even “almost all” of test for COVID-19 are false positives. He believes that the government is basing policies and creating lockdown, mask wearing, and social distancing laws based on what may well be completely fake data. Bill 218 This is a Bill that MPP Randy Hillier is openly speaking out against, and for good reason. Bill 218 prevents the public from suing our government institutions for their liability during COVID. It undermines ministerial responsibility and subverts common law. It almost seems like the government is attempting to conceal their actions, responsibility, and culpability for the harm they have caused in their response to COVID. Below is a brief look at the Supporting Ontario’s Recovery Act, 2020. You can find the full Bill by visiting (https://www.ola.org/en/

legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/ session-1/bill-218). Section 2 of the Act provides that no cause of action arises against any person as a direct or indirect result of an individual being or potentially being infected with or exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19) on or after March 17th, 2020 as a direct or indirect result of an act or omission of the person if, • • • •

(a) at the relevant time, the person acted or made a good faith effort to act in accordance with, (i) public health guidance relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) that applied to the person, and (ii) any federal, provincial or municipal law relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) that applied to the person; and (b) the act or omission of the person does not constitute gross negligence.

Proceedings directly or indirectly based on or related to any such matter may not be brought, and any that exist when the Act comes into force are deemed to have been dismissed without costs. The terms “good faith effort”, “law”, “public health guidance”, and “person” are defined and clarified in section 1 of the Act. So, we as the community have to leave trust in the government that they are acting in our “Good Faith.” Good faith is an abstract and comprehensive term that encompasses a sincere belief or motive without any malice or the desire to defraud others. Basically, we have to trust a government that has failed the African- Caribbean community in the past. This bill has a familiar tone to it. Our neighbours in the U.S. have U.S Code §  300aa–22.Standards of responsibility, which states that no vaccine manufacturer shall be liable in a civil action for damages arising from a vaccine-related injury or death associated with the administration of a vaccine after October 1st, 1988, if the injury or death resulted from side effects that were unavoidable even though the vaccine was properly prepared and was accompanied by proper directions and warnings. I will be honest; I am a little weary of any Bill that will allow someone to distance themselves from an outcome that they are responsible for. Something to ponder. Isolation/Quarantine Facilities This last point is of some concern. In parliament, Randy asked the Ford government if they knew how many of the isolation camps would be built and how many people the government expects to detain. If you have not heard the Government of Canada is currently soliciting feed-

back and information from industry service providers for additional Federal Quarantine/Isolation sites. If built, the worry is that these sites could be used for other requirements, and not only for COVID-19 imposed quarantines. If you are interested, you can find the solicitation for feedback on the Government of Canada’s Buyandsell.gc.ca website as a tender notice Letter of Interest, and Request for Information for Federal Quarantine/Isolation sites. Randy forwards that the government must be in negotiations and aware of these plans to potentially detain and isolate citizens and residents of our country and our province. When he began his line of questioning concerning the camps in parliament, his mike was turned off. Since then, the Premier has been actively dodging questions about the Isolation camps. The question that we need to ask our government is why? Why are they not talking about this? The Public Health Agency of Canada is currently managing eleven quarantine isolation sites across Canada. These include sites in: Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Winnipeg, Regina, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Fredericton, St. John’s (Newfoundland), and Whitehorse. Each site is set up to detain up to 1,600 travellers for up to fourteen days at a time. The sites can be temporarily discontinued until needed again by the Government of Canada. The facilities may be used for “other requirements” for the next two years, as deemed necessary to safeguard the public health. Let us take a look at a live example; Dr Jacques Girard, leader of the Quebec City public health authority, stated during a press conference that a number of customers who were supposed to wait for COVID-19 test results left, and that is why they were taken forcibly and place into isolation by the state. Why is this scary? Well, let’s take a look at the history of concentration camps. They were established on February 28th, 1933 under the “Protective Custody.” This law allowed the police to make arrests based on the suspicion of criminal activity and interred without a trial or legal representation. Not sure what to say Toronto. It looks like we are heading down a scary path, and all I can hope is that more of us wake up and start standing up for our human rights. For now, all we can do is do the work. This means being diligent media consumers and doing our research. Watch the full interview by loging on to: TorontoCaribbean.com/RandyHillier


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NEWS

Toronto Caribbean News | www.TOCaribNews.com | Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Pandemic pay to senior managerial school administrators sparks outrage PAUL JUNOR

paul@carib101.com

TC REPORTER

The announcement that the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) planned to pay between $2.2 million to $2.4 million in extra compensation to its senior managerial staff has raised red flags. In a statement by TDSB’s spokesperson, Ryan Bird, “Vice-principals and principals will receive 3-5 days of remuneration at their regular pay rate, which is equivalent to five days of the daily rate for a summer school principal.” The decision to do this is necessary, the statement notes because ,”In order to meet additional requirements for a safe reopening of schools in September, Principals and Vice-Principals were

required to attend work earlier in August compared to previous years.” In addition, some administrators will be able to retain a certain number of unused lieu days from the previous years, according to Ryan, “As they were unable to take them due to significant labour unrest followed immediately by the pandemic.” The extra compensation has received the blessings of TDSB’s Interim Directors: Andrew Gold, Karen Falconer and Monon Garder who in a letter of support stated, “So much work has been accomplished by school leaders to reopen our schools. On behalf of our students, their families and our staff, thank you for all that you have done to get our schools to this place.” Toronto District School Board has indicated that the bonuses will be paid to the administrators by December 10th, 2020. The terms for principals and viceprincipals to receive the bonus include: 1. Performing the duties of a principal specified in any act, regulation or ministerial guidance

2. Performing the duties and orders assigned by the board and its designate(s) 3. Ensuring that his/her school is used at the end of the school year in accordance with the direction of the school superintendent. 4. Ensuring that his/ her school is prepared for full operation by the first day of school in accordance with the direction of the school superintendent. There has been criticism levelled at the TDSB for this expected pandemic pay to administrators. Leslie Wolfe, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, and Toronto Teacher Bargaining Unit (TTBU) expressed, “OSSTF teachers and education workers have spent literally hundreds of thousands of hours planning, re-planning; preparing, re-preparing and then starting all over again due to the TDSB’s constant changes. We too have members who answered the call to support school opening in August. We too have members who are

owed lieu days.” This is particularly concerning that many teachers are currently dealing with the realities of large class sizes, while others are expecting to be tracked from 2018-2019 based on budgetary issues. “This ill-conceived compensation of one group of your so-called “ team” is divisive and completely undermines whatever tiny bit of morale might have benefit among OSSTF Toronto members,” Leslie finishes. TDSB Chair Alexander Brown reported that the bonus for the administrators will come from savings due to having to spend less money on supply teachers and professional development. Many critics insisted that: teachers, educational assistants, early childhood educators, custodians and secretaries also should be recognized for the extra work they do in ensuring that schools are safe. In addition, they believe that some of the money could go toward online learning and technology. At the end of the day, the needs of the students should be a priority.

Project Red Ribbon; promoting sober driving during the festive season TVISHA MISTRY

tvisha@carib101.com

TC REPORTER

More than 1,250 people die each year as a result of impaired driving in Canada. In Toronto alone, one-fourth of fatal car accidents are caused due to alcohol consumption. Mothers Against Drunk Driving better known as MADD Canada launched their annual campaign Project Red Ribbon in the month of November to raise awareness about the risks of impaired driving and to honor the victims and survivors of such crashes. MADD Canada is a Canadian charitable-volunteer-driven organization established in the year 1989. The organization is run by passionate volunteers dedicated to raise public awareness on the risks of impaired driving and to support those who are life-long victims; facing the consequences of someone else’s poor judgment. The Red Ribbon initiative asks

drivers to proudly display their red ribbons or red ribbon car decals on their vehicles as a symbol of their commitment and support to sober driving and the victims that are affected by it. The ribbon serves as a powerful tribute to the numerous victims injured and killed each year in crashes associated with alcohol and drugs. Running from November 2nd, 2020 until January 4th, 2021, Project Red Ribbon will promote sober driving during the festive season. Although parties and celebrations may be limited this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the holiday season is still a time of high risk for impaired driving. If you are celebrating this holiday season, make a sober ride home your priority. It is urged that individuals: call cabs, have a designated driver, or make alternative arrangements to reach home safely. Those looking for a safe, sober, and reliable ride home at the push of a button can check out Uber- MADD Canada’s Official Designated Driving App. “While the usual holiday gatherings and celebrations may be different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic the risk for impaired driving remains,” said MADD Canada National President JaymieLyne Hancock. “Our red ribbons serve as a reminder to everyone that if you are go-

ing to be consuming alcohol, cannabis, or other drugs, plan ahead for a sober ride home. Driving impaired is just never worth the risk.” The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness shared a message of support for today’s Project Red Ribbon launch. “The dangers and consequences associated with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be fatal. Today, we stand together to remember and honor the victims and survivors of impaired driving. Every Canadian driver is responsible for doing their part in keeping our roads safe. If you choose to consume alcohol or cannabis over the holiday season, stay home, and stay safe. It could save a life.” Project Red Ribbon will be done remotely this year as a result of the current global pandemic, COVIID-19, and in-person events and activities will be limited.

Where health and safety guidelines allow, MADD Canada volunteers will be out in the community distributing red ribbons, participating in check stops, and other events. Communities that prohibit such activities due to health and safety guidelines will have ribbons distributed by participative retailers and post. The campaign will also provide numerous activities on social media to share and enforce their message on sober driving. You can get involved in the initiative by getting your red ribbon or red ribbon car decal through the MADD Canada website at www.madd.ca, or by contacting the organization at 1-800-665-6233 or info@madd.ca. You can also donate online through the MADD Canada website, by calling 1-800-665-6233 or by texting “RIBBON” to 45678 to donate $10.


NEWS

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | www.TOCaribNews.com | Toronto Caribbean News

PAGE 11

Processing: Clean water for everyone…. OMNIYA ALI

amniya@carib101.com

TC REPORTER

Even in the midst of a global pandemic, several First Nations across Canada struggle to find clean, safe drinking water. With more than 100 drinking water advisories existing in First Nations at any given time, Canada is violating UN-recognized human rights to water and sanitation. Most recently Neskantaga First Nation, a remote Oji-Cree First Nation band government in northern Ontario has been pushed to the final straw of evacuation. Although evacuation draws attention to the alarming state of the water contamination, it is not a recent event. Neskantaga First Nation has endured 25 years

without safe drinking water; however, they most recently have stopped receiving any running water at all. As expressed by NDP MPP Sol Mamakwa “We cannot have this kind of apartheid system of access to clean drinking water.” The evacuation of about 200 people from Neskantaga First Nation took place on the week of October 19th, yet a plan to restore running water to the community has yet to come. With a quarter-century of depending on a boil-water advisory under their belts, the people of Neskantaga believed there could only be better outcomes from here. However, the system has proven to them otherwise. Due to the breakdown of two electrical pumps, most homes in the isolated First Nation received no water at all, while the few that did received contaminated water. According to Chief Chris Moonias, some residents are already reporting headaches and skin infections from the water. “It should say a lot,” Chief Chris Moonias told Matt Galloway in an inter-

view with The Current. “It should say to ... Canadians that, you know, this is not the country you believe it is.” While campaigning for elections in 2015, the Liberal party under Trudeau’s leadership, promised to end all First Nations boil-water advisories within five years. Five years later in 2020, 63 long-term drinking water advisories still exist. “They’re using COVID-19 as an excuse. How come they didn’t do it last year, two years ago, 2018 when we were promised? In 2016, we were promised that our water treatment plant would be finished in spring of 2018. Minister [Carolyn] Bennett, at the time, told my daughter right in her face that you will have clean drinking water in spring of 2018,” Chief Chris Moonias explained. Although the deadline was placed for March 2021, doubts have been expressed from the affected communities due to the lack of acknowledgment during The Liberal party’s September throne speech. Upon directly being asked about the situation in Neskantaga, Trudeau replied saying it is difficult to end boil-water

advisories, “otherwise other governments would have done it.” As an alternate solution, the Liberal government has been promoting public-private partnerships (P3s). historically, P3s cost more, lead to the privatization of water, and cause a loss of community control and jobs. Therefore, P3s cannot be the answer to the drinking water crisis in First Nations. “To me, that speaks to systemic racism. It’s not that government individuals are individually racist. It’s that the system itself is really not caring,” Assembly of First Nations Ontario Regional Chief Rose Anne Archibald said. Archibald also expressed that the problem is not superficial, it stems from chronic underfunding by all governments. She suggested that a long-term financial commitment is needed to address the humanitarian crisis. “Government after government has failed First Nations.” - Ontario Regional Chief Rose Anne Archibald

There is a dark cloud overshadowing Canada’s socio-economic progress MICHAEL THOMAS michael@carib101.com

TC REPORTER

An economy poll by Licensed Insolvency Trustees, Bromwich+Smith reveals that financial darkness has multiplied in a big way for many people and small businesses in this country as of March 2020. The poll shows the perception of debt, stigma and insolvency in clear view through the eyes of the public that is living this nightmare. This is the second poll in a two-part fall survey series that is designed to create a benchmark of public attitudes and force a discussion around the way that people who are in debt are viewed by others who are not in the same situation. After decades of trying and in some cases regaining their financial powers, many groups of Canadians now feel that this has been gradually but forcefully taken away

from them with no recourse. When asked which groups have lost the most ground in the past six months, lowincome earners topped the list (73%). Followed by seniors (57%), people on disability support (47%) and women (46%). Finishing out the list were new Canadians (42%), visible minorities (40%) and people on welfare (37%). Overall, nine-in-ten respondents felt the situation since March had set back socio-economic progress in general. The survey also reveals that 54% of women polled feel their gender has lost ground in 2020, meanwhile only 36% of men feel the same way about their better half’s fortunes. Toronto Caribbean Newspaper spoke with Jasmine Marra, Vice President at Browmich+Smith, and when asked if she sees any end to this troubling situation, she said, “I think it is a bit of a scary reality. The federal government certainly has done what they can to provide some subsidies and we saw the federal bank announce this week that there are no further plans for additional relief, so I think for those owning small businesses or Canadians in general that there are more likely to explore insolvency in the future.”

Marra also said that the results of the Economy Poll are staggering, especially when viewed through the prism of what’s happened to women’s fortunes in 2020, and that throughout this situation, women’s participation in the Canadian labor force fell from an all-time high to its lowest level in over three decades. In general, the lockdowns have had deadly financial ramifications across the country. To that end, one-in-five Canadians (19%) are likely to explore insolvency in the near future, with 14% of Canadian adults likely to seek advice about bankruptcy or a consumer proposal in the next month. This poll continued the theme of debt stigma by addressing, specifically the way people think of others and debt. It found that nine out of ten people acknowledged that people who don’t pay their debts “Perhaps can’t afford to.” When you dig deeper the stigma still remains. More than half of people (54%) responded, “People who don’t pay their debts are irresponsible.” One-third called them “Selfish,” (34%) and one quarter called them “Lazy” (26%). About the stigma surrounding debt Marra reported, “A lot of people believe that we are not managing our finances, but that is not true. More than likely, we see an

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external trigger. Most of the time it’s a divorce, unexpected job loss, or a critically ill spouse. These big unexpected events are the cause of the strain in our finances.” In proving that debt does not discriminate Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Marra said that the present situation, despite its problems, should be a teachable moment for everyone as many who thought they were financially balanced are now facing difficulties. It is crucial that Canadians realize that especially during these gloomy financial times that it’s okay to seek professional financial help. “One of the first things,” she said, “Is getting a handle on your finances, you know I think one of the most wonderful things about Canadians is that we are hopeful. We hope for the best, we believe in a brighter future, and for the most part it’s a country where we can achieve those things.” For more information on the poll and the people who conducted it please check here https://www.bromwichandsmith. com/


NEWS

PAGE 12

Toronto Caribbean News | www.TOCaribNews.com | Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Giving a voice to artists from the African-Caribbean diaspora; Night Stirred at Sea: Contemporary Caribbean Art locked down, unable to travel, and needing something to pull us out of our funk. The Toronto Caribbean Newspaper has been invited by PAMA a few times to be part of different cultural experiences, and I was very happy when we were contacted by PAMA’s Marketing Specialist Erin Fernandes about the exhibit. As usual, they invited us out to be a part of it, so on Thursday, October 29th, 2020, I excitedly made a trip to PAMA, knowing that I was going to be in for something special. As usual, PAMA did not disappoint. Erin greeted me warmly when I arrived. I was pleased by the COVID-19 protocols that the museum had instituted. They were not intimidating, nor were they discriminatory, and I really appreciated this. Once we had ensured that everything was safe, I was brought into the exhibit that was being prepped for the virtual reception being held that night. As soon as I walked in, I was transported back to some lovely memories of my visits to the beautiful island of Jamaica. The first photo that I saw was of an older melanated woman, sitting on a chair, looking straight at me with a stern, “You better behave yourself,� look on her face. I had to chuckle because the artist had captured that look at just the right time. As Erin walked with me through the exhibit, I was blown away by the work that I was seeing. Many of the artists whose work was on display had been featured in the inaugural Cart (Caribbean Art) Fair in late January and early February 2020 in Mandeville, Jamaica. This was only a month before the whole world went crazy, and we all had to start dealing with this pandemic. Naturally, the pandemic shut down everything, and for a while, no one

SIMONE SMITH simone@carib101.com

TC REPORTER

If you live in the City of Brampton, you have probably driven through downtown and noticed a huge billboard on the walls of the Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives building. It is a picture of a young albino man, enveloped in a sea of blue paint, with random white splashes that highlight the contrast between his skin and the background. What most captivated me about this piece are the expressions on the young man’s face. You can tell that he has experienced something, something that cannot quite be put into words, which is why the only way they could be expressed is through art. The three large art pieces (astutely named the Pressure Series) are the artistic creation of Brampton’s own Janice Reid, a Canadian artist of Jamaican heritage based out of Brampton Ontario. She is a portrait photographer and is one of ten artists featured in the Night Stirred at Sea: Contemporary Caribbean Art exhibit that opened on October 29th, 2020 at Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives. PAMA has partnered with Cart (Caribbean Art) Fair, Black Artist Network in Dialogue (BAND), and guest curators Karen Carter (Jamaican), and Greg Manuel to put together an exhibit that is a welcoming experience, especially during a time where many of us have been

was paying attention to anything but COVID-19. Then George Floyd happened, and the rise of the Black Lives Matter global movement occurred. There were protests happening all over the world. Dialogue surrounding racism became a topic of discussion, and the events shifted how many of us looked at life. Now, the role of the Caribbean, and how it has played in the development of the “new worldâ€? gave a voice to artists from the African-Caribbean diaspora. What these voices have proclaimed is no short of ingenious. The artists in this exhibition span a wide range of life experiences and their works explore the themes of: identity, community, colonization, gender and place. These artists include: • • • • • • • • • •

Krystal Ball (Jamaican/Canadian, Toronto based) Vanley Burke (Jamaican/British, London based) Katrina Coombs (Jamaican) Javier Dayes (Jamaican) Owen V. Gordon (Jamaican/Canadian, Toronto based) Ila Lovelace-Kuhnert (Trinidadian) Christina Leslie (Canadian, Toronto based) Miles Regis (Trinidadian/American, Los Angeles based) Janice Reid (Jamaican/Canadian, Brampton based) Storm Saulter (Jamaican)

After my tour with Erin, I had a chance to speak with the curators, and they filled me in on how this exhibit was brought to life. “This is just one example of how we are doing our best to pull Caribbean artists into the global art market,� Karen

begins. “It allows the whole world to know how talented Caribbean artists are. It connects the sector globally, and many of us Caribbean’s can connect with back home. It allows us to give back, not just here, but to the artists in the island.� “Karen approached me in December of 2019 about heading to Jamaica to be part of this project,� Greg shared. “I went home to think about it, but she called me to let me know that she had already bought my ticket. Hey! Who doesn’t want to go to Jamaica. Karen had done a lot of the preparation in advance, and we had a group of really supportive people and amazing artists to work with.� “I won’t lie,� Karen tells me, “I really hope that PAMA gets the go ahead for people to come and see this exhibit, even if they are timed showings. Seeing this exhibit virtually in no way compares to seeing it up close and personal.� I couldn’t agree with Karen more. The exhibition provides a window into the systematic beauty and deep-rooted tensions of Caribbean cultural identity, and it does a magnificent job of connecting the region and the larger Caribbean diaspora to the world. If you missed the Exhibition Reception that was held on Thursday October 29th, 2020, you have to check out the Focus on Photography, hosted by cocurator Greg Manuel on Thursday November 26th, 2020, and Focus on painting and textiles, hosted by Karen Carter on Thursday January 28th, 2021. Stay up to date on the exhibit and the restrictions by visiting www.peelregion.ca/pama/caribbean-art/

The 5-year-old Caribbean author making waves across the region Let’s get to know Coryn, because when I first sat down to talk with this beautiful girl, she looked like the average 5-year-old until she started to speak. Then you wonder if she’s even five years of age. She is well spoken with a passion for the arts, and a love for: music, yoga, painting and ballet. She is indeed multifaceted. When she is older Coryn has dreams to become a ballerina. Coryn’s mother Dionne BaptisteClarke, mentioned that one of the things she likes about her daughter is that once she is interested in something she fully commits to it. The mom explained, “You don’t have to tell her to practice. She commits to everything and she gives it her all, she would come and ask, “Mommy, can I have music for ballet please? She sings as well, so she’ll come, mommy, can I have music

JONELL PANTLITZ jonell@carib101.com

TC JR. REPORTER

I had the pleasure of speaking to Coryn Clarke of Trinidad and Tobago. When this dynamic multifaceted girl was 4-yearsold she became the author of Chronicles of Coryn: 7 Days of Fun. This easy-to-read picture book is the first in a series of informative and inspiring books through which the young author gives readers insight into her daily life while sharing the lessons she’s learnt along the way. RY 10TH

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to sing, please? And she would just do her thing. I know that she started taking full piano lessons with her dad. She would go on one of the keyboards and just practice without anybody telling her anything. So, once she decides she has an interest, she just commits to it.� Now that we are acquainted with this fascinating 5-year-old, let’s talk about her book. According to Coryn’s mother, everything in the book was her daughter’s idea. She said that it all started from a show called Read To Me TT. One night they asked Coryn to read, and ever since then, she came up with the idea that she wanted to write a book. Mom never took her seriously, but Coryn kept insisting that she was going to write a book and that is exactly what she did. Dionne revealed, “Around the 3rd of July, Coryn just pulled her table

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over to where I worked and she started to write. She would only stop to ask me to spell words she didn’t know, but still, I wasn’t taking her seriously until one day she asked me to read it. I realized that she was really writing. When I questioned her to find out what she was thinking she had a whole vision plan including the book launch.� Now, this is something that you don’t hear often. According to Coryn, she has a new book releasing later this year and she’s working on the third one. You can keep up with Coryn Clarke and learn more about her, her books and her journey on Facebook at Coryn Anaya Clarke and Instagram at Coryn Anaya. This beautiful little girl is one to keep our eyes on.


NEWS

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | www.TOCaribNews.com | Toronto Caribbean News

PAGE 13

There is power in telling your story JONELL PANTLITZ jonell@carib101.com

TC JR. REPORTER

We are all storytellers. From the day we started talking we have been developing our story. It is our story of our existence and experiences. We all have a unique story to tell and your story matters. You see, stories develop the way humans perceive things. From stories we create our reality and opinions. As human beings, we crave connection and our

stories are vital for our audience (family, friends, co-workers, etc.) to understand and connect with us. This art of storytelling originated decades ago from cave drawings (aka visual stories) that told us about prehistoric times. The drawings from these caves told the history and culture of these people, and later altered to oral traditions, in which stories were passed down from generations by word of mouth. Then, there was a shift to words formed into narratives, including written, printed and typed stories. With our new digital age, stories are shared with one push of a button. Everyone has a story to be told. Many of us are scared to tell those stories for the sake of it being considered uninteresting, boring or irrelevant. The rest of us are scared of being embarrassed by our past. However, the traces of our past are what

will shape the narrative of our future. There is so much to lose by living in fear wondering what the other person may think. If we are honest with ourselves, our stories have the power to impact the people in and out of our lives. Now, let’s take a walk down memory lane. Do you remember that one person that was exposed either in school or on social media? I have witnessed this happen countless times to women and men. What hurts me the most for these people is that they never got the chance to tell their story. The fate of their stories was in the hands of someone else, who now had the power to tailor it to how they wanted it to be presented to an audience of their choice. According to Lissa Rankin, an OB/ GYN physician, author, and founder of Owning Pink, “Every time you tell your story and someone else who cares bears witness

to it, you turn off the body’s stress responses, flipping off toxic stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine, and flipping on relaxation responses that release healing hormones like: oxytocin, dopamine, nitric oxide, and endorphins.” She also mentioned “Not only does this turn on the body’s innate self-repair mechanisms and function as preventative medicine or treatment if you’re sick. It also relaxes your nervous system and helps heal your mind of depression, anxiety, fear, anger, and feelings of disconnection.” Many of us are tortured by our inner selves and may feel disconnected from the world. However, the reality is millions relate to us. Share your story and hold the power to shape the narrative. We all have within us a story to tell. Don’t be afraid to share it with the world.

Shaking: Essential tremor or Parkinson’s disease? W. GIFFORDJONES MD DIANA GIFFORD-JONES TC HEALTH REPORTER

It’s fair to say, these are shaky times! In keeping with the rocky ride of 2020, have you noticed your hands shaking lately? Are you having trouble tying your shoes, signing your name, or embarrassed that the glass you’re holding is shaking? Parents may also have concerns if their child has shaky hand movements. A report from the University of California says that a condition called essential tremor can occur in young children and young adults. This problem increases with age. At around age 60, about 5% of people notice a slight tremor. Another study states that about 1%

of the population suffers from tremor. Essential tremor is the most common form and usually involves the hands and arms, less often other parts of the body. It occurs with movement, not at rest. This slight shaking can also affect the head, with movement from side to side, or up and down. On rare occasions, it involves the vocal cords, and the voice becomes halting. It may also be associated with poor balance. No one is certain of the cause. Researchers are studying a part of the brain called the cerebellum which plays a role in movement and muscle control. Doctors can usually make the diagnosis when symptoms have been present for at least three years, and no other signs of neurological disease are evident. But there are differences between essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease that help doctors to distinguish one from the other. For instance, considering statistical chances is helpful. Essential tremor is approximately eight times more common than Parkinson’s disease. Essential tremor normally occurs

during action, such as writing, eating or extending an arm to shake hands. But in Parkinson’s disease, the tremor occurs when the arm is not being moved. This is a “resting tremor”. There’s a difference in the tremor’s frequency and the magnitude. For essential tremor, it’s usually of higher frequency, with more repetitions over a length of time. In Parkinson’s disease, the frequency of movement is slower. A look to relatives may provide clues. A family history of essential tremor exists in more than 50% of cases; whereas in Parkinson’s disease, only 10-20%. In terms of symptoms, in essential tremor, the primary issue is anxiety regarding the shakiness. In Parkinson’s, other symptoms appear apart from the tremor, such as rigidity, slowed movements and balance issues. Treatment of the two is different as well. The majority of people who have essential tremor do not require treatment. In fact, researchers report that those with this condition rarely bother to seek treatment.

Or, they wait for many years before seeing a doctor. A change in lifestyle may ease mild tremors. Since sleep deprivation aggravates tremors, the answer is to get more shut-eye. There is little doubt that anxiety plays a major role with tremor. Sufferers indicate they try to avoid stressful activities such as public speaking due to the visibility of hand tremors. Yoga, stretching and relaxation exercises can be beneficial. Alcohol also has a moderating effect on tremor as long as used in moderation. Smoking must be eliminated as nicotine aggravates tremor. For patients with Parkinson’s disease, alcohol has no effect on the disease. But drugs such as levodopa usually provide some improvement of symptoms. And for parents who notice a child with shaky hands, have a doctor follow the case and keep a journal of what you see. As the child grows and becomes selfconscious of tremors, help them gain confidence through understanding of essential tremor.

The Honorable Miss Jean Augustine now holds the keys to the City of Vaughan MICHAEL THOMAS michael@carib101.com

TC REPORTER

What do you give a lady who has worked tirelessly in the field of women’s rights, children’s rights, human rights and has also pushed back against systemic and institutionalized racism in this country? One who has earned numerous accolades and awards and is respected and revered by the larger Toronto community. What a timely question. On October 25th, 2020 Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua issued the following statement after a virtual event, “It is with a great deal of joy and admiration that we come together virtually to celebrate the legacy and life’s work of the Honorable Jean Augustine. Today, she was bestowed with the key to the City of Vaughan and the Jean Augustine Park and Complex was named in her honor.” Mayor Bevilacqua spoke fondly of meeting Augustine for the first time in 1993 when she was nominated to represent the

federal riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore. That year he said, she not only won the election, but went on to become the first AfricanCanadian woman elected to the House of Commons, and the rest as they say is history. Augustine has a public service record that is more than a mile long and she is still serving the country in her own way today at 83-years young. Here is a brief summary of some of her achievements and positions. • Commander of the Order of the British Empire, 2014 • Order of Canada, Member • Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Member • Honourary Doctor of Laws, University of Toronto, 199x • Honourary Doctor of Laws, McGill University, 2009 • Honourary Doctor, York University • Honourary Doctor, University of Guelph • YWCA Women of Distinction Award • The Kaye Livingstone Awar • The Ontario Volunteer Award • The Pride Newspaper Achievement Award • The Rubena Willis Special Recognition Award • Toronto Lion’s Club Onyx Award • UWI Award

The Honorable Jean Augustine served four consecutive terms from 1993-2006 in the Parliament of Canada as the Member of Parliament for Etobicoke-Lakeshore. The first black woman elected to the House of Commons, Jean Augustine served in increasingly responsible roles including that of: Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Secretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women), Minister of State (Multiculturalism and Status of Women) of Canada, and Special Advisor on Grenada to the Prime Minister. Through her tenure, Ms. Augustine was an active parliamentarian participating in a number of Standing Committees, Task Forces, and Parliamentary Caucuses. Her last term was as Deputy Speaker and Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees. Toronto Caribbean Newspaper had the honor of speaking with Augustine about her recent award and life in general. “I am just so honored and elated,” Augustine began, “That the City of Vaughan would honor me in this way. I stressed in my speech that this is really a legacy for our young people growing up in the City of Vaughan: the African, Caribbean, black, and people of color can now see something in the City of Vaughan that is named after a black woman who worked hard, and who tried to do as much as she possibly can with and in community.”

Augustine, who grew up in Happy Hill St George’s, on the island of Grenada, was asked what advice she had for young black women who are aspiring to enter the political field? “In Grenada, I grew up surrounded by a lot of strong women and a grandmother who believed in education. People back then sometimes spoke in parables (To whom much is given, much is expected). I grew up as part of the church group and choirs, and so I learned very early to participate, care for others, and to do the best that I can at all times. In the sixties when I came here, you did not see black faces, and so it was hard to find a hairdresser or to find many things that were appropriate and that one knew.” This system did not provide certain things. There were no Charter of Rights and Freedoms, no Human Rights Commission or Code, no Landlord and Tenants Act, no school board talking to parents. It was a different Toronto and so I worked with others. I did not achieve all this by myself, and so I say to young people do the best you can. Get an education because it is tremendously important. Get a network of people around you, and always treat people with respect and kindness.” “There is an old saying,” she concludes, “If you want to go fast go alone, but if you want to go far take others with you.”


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Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | www.TOCaribNews.com | Toronto Caribbean News

PAGE 15

Students from at-risk communities in Toronto still in need of devices for online learning students. Ryan Bird, spokesperson for the TDSB reported that currently there are approximately 100 requests for loaned devices. This includes families that do not have devices or are in need of extra devices so that individual children do not have to share. Given that thousands of students have gone from in-person learning to online, there has been an increase in the need for devices. Ryan Bird observes that in response to increased digital learning, “We anticipate a new delivery of iPads in November that will be handed out to about 1,000 kindergarten students.� One of the drawbacks that resulted from students borrowing devices is that there is almost none available for students who attend in-person classes. The Ministry of Education has provided funds to many schools boards to obtain new devices when schools closed in March. School boards in the Greater Toronto Area have been able to distribute devices to students

PAUL JUNOR

paul@carib101.com

TC REPORTER

It is unfortunate that there are still so many families who have children that attend schools in the largest board in Canada, that still do not have devices to attend their online classes. The Toronto District School Board has provided 7,300 Chromebooks and iPads to students, there is still a waiting list for 800 iPads for children in kindergarten and 96 Chromebooks. Chromebooks are not ideal for younger children. They are much better suited for high school

who are lacking them. TDSB distributed 50,000. York Region District School Board (YRDB) and Peel District School Board( PDSB) both gave out about 20,000. Many of these were equipped with devices that enable students to have access to Internet services. Kayla Tischoff, who spoke on behalf of the PDSB told the Toronto Star that it does not currently have a waiting list. She states, “We’re currently able to provide technology where there is a need. With students moving between in-person and online learning, the needs at the school level may change, but at this time, we aren’t aware of any shortages.� Licinio Muguelo, spokesperson for the YRDB told the Toronto Star, “Our boards have delivered over 5,000 devices. In addition, we have not officially requested the return of the approximately 21,000 tech packages we deployed to returning students in the spring, which has resulted in depleted school inventories. In response

to the tech needs in our schools to support in a-class learning, a new supply of Chromebooks will be delivered to schools in the next few weeks.� Shazia Vlahos, spokesperson for the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) indicated that all students who needed devices have received them. “In some instances, there has been a lag between receiving the request for a device and delivery. We have not taken any computers out of in-class learning since we purchased new devices back in March.� There are many on-going challenges at the TDSB that have an effect on the ability of the board to provide devices to all students. There are many students from at-risk communities who have had their education disrupted because of their ability to obtain reliable Internet services with consistency.

What is Event 201, and why should we as a community know about it? nized leadership can put people in harm’s way, slow down response time, and make it more difficult to get operations back up and running. With how everything has been handled with this pandemic, many of us would say that as a global system, we were not prepared, but what if I told you that was FALSE? On Friday, October 18th, 2019 from 8:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., at The Pierre Hotel in New York, an invitation only audience of nearly 130 people attended an exercise named Event 201. A team from the John Hopkins Center for Health Security, along with: the World Economic forum, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, funded by the Open Philanthropy Project hosted a 3.5 hour pandemic tabletop exercise that simulated a series of dramatic, scenario-based facilitated discussions, confronting difficult dilemmas associated with response to a hypothetical, but scientifically plausible, pandemic. In attendance were 15 global business, government, and public health leaders. The simulation exercise highlighted unresolved real-world policy and economic issues that could be solved with sufficient political will, financial investment, and attention now and in the future, in the case of a global pandemic, kind of like, I don’t know, the COVID-19 Pandemic. The purpose of Event 201 was to examine and discuss the growing number of epidemic events occurring annually. Epidemic events were increasing, what was observed was the disruption that they caused to health, economies, and society. It was noted that managing these events were straining global capacity, and the experts agreed that it was only a matter of time before one of these epidemics be-

SIMONE SMITH simone@carib101.com

TC REPORTER

“To be clear, the Centre for Health Security and partners did not make a prediction during our table-top exercise. For the scenario, we modelled a fictional coronavirus pandemic, but we explicitly stated that it was not a prediction. Instead, the exercise served to highlight preparedness and response challenges that would likely arise in a very severe pandemic.� John Hopkins Centre for Health Security Why do we prepare? We prepare so that we are ready and equipped to handle whatever it is that is coming our way. We know that we cannot mitigate some of the challenges that may arise in any given situation but being prepared does keep us ahead of the curve. The importance of emergency preparedness cannot be overstated. Our world governments have a duty of care they are obligated to fulfil. This means that they should have plans and tools to help keep people safe and informed about potentially dangerous situations. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us exactly why planning is so important. The lack of a plan has had devastating effects on our world and has led to: confusing messages and uninformed political leaders. We know that disorgaRY 10TH

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You ready? Let’s talk about Event 201. Event 201 simulates an outbreak of a novel zoonotic coronavirus transmitted from bats to pigs to people that eventually becomes efficiently transmissible from person to person, leading to a severe pandemic. The pathogen was modelled on SARS and started in pig farms in Brazil. It was very quiet and slow at first, but then it started to spread rapidly. Once the epidemic exploded in South America, it was then exported by air travel to: Portugal, the United States, and China. It then went global. In the simulation, some countries at first were able to control it, but then eventually they lost control. The whole human population is susceptible during the initial months of the pandemic, and the cases increase exponentially, doubling every week. As the cases and deaths accumulate, the economic and societal consequences become increasingly severe. The scenario ends at the 18-month point, with 65 million deaths.

2018

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came global. This severe pandemic would become Event 201, and would require reliable cooperation among several industries, national governments, and key international institutions. What is ironic about this meeting is that about six weeks later, the first illness from the coronavirus was reported in Wuhan, China. I am going to go over what was discussed at this meeting, but I want to point out one more thing first; not only did the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation participate in and help set up the pandemic simulation of a coronavirus outbreak, but they just so happen to fund the group who owns the patent to the deadly coronavirus.

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The pandemic slows due to the decreasing number of susceptible people, but the pandemic continues at some rate until there is an effective vaccine or until 8090% of the global population has been exposed. From that point on, it is likely to be an endemic childhood disease. There is no possibility of a vaccine being available in the first year, and there is a fictional antiviral drug (Hydroxychloroquine, which is not mentioned by name) that can help the sick but not significantly limit spread of the disease. “Once you’re in the midst of a severe pandemic, your options are limited. The greatest good can happen with preplanning.â€? Eric Toner, Senior Scholar at the Centre for Health Security, John Hopkins University I want our readers to take a minute and read through Event 201 again. Read it as many times as it takes to identify the similarities that exist with what was predicted, and what has happened in 2020. Then I want you to start asking some questions: • • • •

Was our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at this meeting? Were any of our leaders in Canada at this meeting? If our leaders were at this meeting, were they taking notes? What did they learn?

With such details that are so similar to what has happened with the COVID-19 pandemic, why has there been so much confusion? Why did we as a nation not have a plan? There are so many questions, and not enough answers.


NEWS

PAGE 16

Toronto Caribbean News | www.TOCaribNews.com | Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Celebrating stories, and validating challenges; The Evolution of Nia Centre for the Arts is located at 524 Oakwood Avenue in the heart of the Oakwood/Eglinton area. It will provide opportunities for local artists to showcase their works, and a space to interact and nurture their talents and crafts. In the announcement at the news conference held on October 22nd, 2020, Executive Director Alicia Hall told reporters, “We recognize that despite black artists being celebrated around the globe, there isn’t a professional facility in the city where we can present their work. We often take for granted the rich diversity of cultures within the diaspora.� There will be a state-of-the-art 150 seat performance area with space for an artist studio, recording studio, digital media lab, hallway galleries and co-working spaces.

PAUL JUNOR

paul@carib101.com

TC REPORTER

The announcement of the creation of Canada’s first Black Art Centre on Friday, October 16th, was good news. It received widespread coverage by the local community-based media, Share and The Caribbean Camera as well as mainstream media. The 14,000-square-foot facility

“We are creating a destination for black Canadians. Finally, we will have a place to celebrate our stories and validate our challenges as well as our success.� Funding for the Nia Centre came from $2 million that the federal government provided in September 2019. The Nia Centre originally started as an initiative for young people by the Youth Challenge Fund, which is administered by the provincial government and the United Way. The City of Toronto, Canadian Heritage and Trillium Foundation also contributed. Alicia reiterates, “Since we were established, our mission has always been to support, promote and showcase art from the Afro Diaspora.� Toronto Mayor, John Tory, in his speech at the news conference recalled the history of the building as a bowling alley

and banquet hall. He told reporters, “Now it is going to be the first professional Black Arts Centre of its kind in Canada and I am proud that it is here in this building that the city has provided.� In many ways, the creation of this Centre is a fruition of the hard work done by many individuals who are involved in the black community in Toronto. Weyni Memgesha, who served as Artistic Director of the Soulpepper Theatre Company, Ian Kamau, Artistic Director, Artist and Designer, as well as Playwright, D’bi. Young Antiafrika, and Professor, Dr Mark Campbell of Ryerson University all worked together collectively to see this cultural facility come into existence. Work has already started on the project and a deadline has been set for October 2021.

Survey shows two-in-five Canadians could be left with their heads in the sand when financial supports run out credit counselling agency Credit Canada, found that of those Canadians receiving assistance, (39%) have no idea what they’ll do when the support runs out. This number balloons to 49% in the Atlantic and drops to 36% in Quebec. Additionally, this uncertainty is most prevalent among those aged 35-54 (44%) and levels out to 36% with both the 18-34 and the 55+ age cohorts. In general, one-in-four Canadians (24%) have used income supports (government assistance, CERB, EI, etc.) and (9%) have used payment deferrals (car, mortgage, rent, lines of credit, credit cards etc.) due to the present situation. One-in-ten said they would turn to traditional borrowing such as family loans, bank loans, and credit cards. On the positive side of the ledger, only 2% will resort to payday loans or short-term lenders who are famous for charging the highest rates and

MICHAEL THOMAS michael@carib101.com

TC REPORTER

Credit Canada did a recent survey and the result revealed that the lockdowns have left many Canadians losing the race when it comes to their financial future. This will be truthfully sobering especially when government support and payment deferrals finally come to an end. The Angus Reid study of 1,500 Canadians, sponsored by the non-profit

through the roof fees. What is hopeful and also encouraging in all this is that half (49%) of those receiving income supports or using payment deferrals are confident they’ll no longer need financial help at all once these supports have ended. Strangely just 2% of those receiving financial help said that they would seek professional help (bankruptcy/insolvency, credit counselling, etc.) Even though consumer insolvencies have seen a falling trend in recent months and the household debt-to-income ratio also fell in the second quarter; these figures are artificially blown-up by income supports. Canadians have had a false sense of security and a slew of insolvencies could come later this year. “For those without a debt management plan, now is the time to put one in

place,� said Keith Emery, Co-CEO of Credit Canada. “When government supports and payment deferrals come to a complete halt, the financial counselling network will reach beyond its critical mass if everyone waits until the last minute to get help.� Starting this November (Financial Literacy Month) Credit Canada is dedicating itself to a year-round effort to elevate credit education while ensuring Canadians have access to free resources all year round. Credit Canada is a not-for-profit credit-counselling agency providing free and confidential: debt and credit counselling, personal debt management, debt consolidation and resolutions since 1966. To learn more about Credit Canada and for more information on this matter please visit www.creditcanada.com.

York University, and A Different Booklist Cultural Centre introduce the Business Certificate Program Canada (York University’s Schulich School of Business), and A Different Booklist Cultural Centre (ADBCC), an important cultural centre in Toronto located at 756 Bathurst Street. In many ways, ADBCC which advertised itself on its website (https://adbcc. org) as “The People’s Residence� has been very active in the black community in Toronto. It hosts the annual “The Walk with Excellence,� which celebrates academic excellence of high school graduates in the Jane-Finch community. The “Freedom Train Ride,� that celebrates Emancipation Day. They also host “The Black and Caribbean Book Affair� and the “The People’s Podcast Series.� Itah Sadu, Managing Director of ADBCC explains that the purpose of this partnership is to ensure that academic initiatives are provided to the black commu-

PAUL JUNOR

paul@carib101.com

TC REPORTER

The announcement of the launch of a free business certificate program targeted to the black community is good news. It comes at a time when many black businesses have been severely affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is a culmination of a partnership between one of the best business schools in RY 10TH

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NEWS

PAGE 18

Toronto Caribbean News | www.TOCaribNews.com | Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Getting Cyndicated; Barbadian poet releases her debut EP LA SHAWNA GRIFFITH lashawna@carib101.com

BARBADOS TC REPORTER

BARBADOS -- Twenty-four-year-old Cyndi Celeste is a spoken-word artist from the beautiful island of Barbados. This international artiste holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Linguistics and Communication Studies from The University of The West Indies, Cave Hill Campus. This talented spoken-word artist decided to pay homage to her late mother by releasing her first EP entitled Cyndicated on her mother’s birthday September 8th, 2020. She spoke to a Barbadian Reporter for the Toronto Caribbean Newspaper, and said her mother was the one who inspired her to record her spoken word and thus her EP Cyndicated was born. “The first piece I recorded I only did it for fun at, but when I allowed her to hear it back in October or so last year she convinced me to get serious about actually releasing my work into the market not just performing at events. I did not know then that she would not be there to help me through the entire process. I decided to honour her by releasing it. That is why when I chose the release date,

I chose her birthday because the project started because of her, and I felt like giving it to her. It is immortalized on her birthday and that makes it much more special to me.” On top of her mother’s inspiration, Cyndi Celeste noted she was deeply inspired by her trip to Vrystaat Arts Festival in South Africa, which she attended in 2019. Celeste was one of four poets from Barbados who attended the festival. She explained that she was fascinated by how each poet had their own identity and practiced it unabashedly. Seeing the artistes’ freeness is what led to her creating Cyndicated so that she could step into her own identity. Cyndi Celeste said her EP is about identity as she is an Afro-descendant Caribbean person learning how to navigate and negotiate her identity how she sees fit. “The vibe of the project inevitably became an expression of black consciousness and that is perfectly fine since I wanted the EP to be about identification and representation. To complete this goal, I had to speak from my experience as a black person living in the Caribbean.” Reflecting on the response she has received since the launch of her EP, she said that persons have come to her while traversing the island of Barbados and said that they enjoyed her work. For the poet, her favourite pieces on the eight-track album dubbed Cyndicated are Badu and Say My Name. “I have two favorites: Badu of course because that piece is what started this entire journey and it also marks a time of transition for me as a performer. In writing the piece I was intentional with the language and flow

of it, so there was a tangible development that happened, and I could tell that my creative process had become more refined. My other favourite is Say My Name. The whole project was about stepping into my identity and a huge part of my identity was naming. For a long time, I struggled to figure out what my stage name would be and just used my first and last name. Say My Name was the moment I stepped into a stage name that has always been in front of me-Cyndi Celeste the two names that my mother gave to me.” Cyndi as she is affectionately called, explained how the EP was produced noting that everyone who played a role in the production Is a part of her personal life, thus making the album have a further sentimental value. “Producing the project was a ride. I call this a family project because it was made by a small group of people whom I considered to be family. I would also say that I am proof that you do not need a lot of fancy equipment to execute something like this. I started this project recording vocals on a Samsung headset and then approached some of my creative network for help. My partner Jamar Skeete created most of the musical accompaniment, Andre Daniel, a producer who was a friend of my late mother, allowed me to use his home studio to re-record high-quality vocals. Everyone involved in production and marketing is a part of this project to me, so I had a great time creating, learning, and planning it all out.” Cyndi Celeste recently performed at the UN 75 Concert, which featured a virtual

performance from Grammy Nominated Super Star Rihanna. The concert sought to bring upliftment to the world as it battles COVID-19. Cyndi Celeste was the lone female poet in the lineup at the show which was streamed on multiple social media sites across the world. Reflecting on her experience she said, “I am still reeling a bit. I tweeted after the show, ‘Guys I am crying I just shared a virtual stage with Rihanna’. When I got the call, the conversation was only about what the performance would be for and the types of messages the UN accepts. I had no idea who else was going to be in the lineup. The first time I saw the lineup was when the producers sent me the promotional flyer. To see the flyer and realize that I was the lone female poet in the lineup, and the rest of the performances were from musicians and dancers with super powerful performances, in the show, which featured performers from the entire region, was heartwarming.” The other poet was Barbadian poet Aja who is known as one of the pioneers for rhythm poetry in Barbados. “Right before the show, I felt my imposter syndrome creeping in but luckily all of my friends and family were supporting me and happily sharing my performance on social media.” Her album Cyndicated is available on Spotify, Itunes, Apple Music, Amazon, Deezer, and Pandora. Follow her journeys on social media through her: Facebook: Cyndi Celeste Poetry IG: @cyndi.celeste Twitter:@cyndi_celeste

World Diabetes Day: Benefits of breakfast for diabetes Fuel your body with a fresh start NOEL CUNNINGHAM noel@carib101.com

TC REPORTER

We all know that food plays a big role in our health and the purpose of food is not only to fulfil cravings or hunger, but to nourish our body. The food we eat daily can benefit or affect our body based on our lifestyle and eating habits. As we approach World Diabetes Day I want to focus on how eating breakfast can help our bodies natural insulin, and how it can curb or prevent diabetes with some help from Nutritionist-Educator Deborah Johnson. Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how our body

turns food into energy. Most of the food we eat is broken down into sugar (also called glucose) and released into your bloodstream. When your blood sugar goes up, it signals your pancreas to release insulin. When you are diabetic, your body doesn’t produce enough insulin if any at all. Diabetes can also lead to serious health conditions and in many ways, can be preventable. For 2020, the World Diabetes Day campaign focuses on promoting the role of nurses in the prevention and management of diabetes. World Diabetes Day is every year on November 14th, first created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Foundation and the World Health Organization. Eating a balanced and healthy diet is important for everyone, but persons with diabetes need to be careful when it comes to their diet. One of the main meals that you need is breakfast and I’ll tell you why. Did you know that people who regularly eat breakfast lowered their chances of developing type 2 diabetes? This week I got some help from Nutritionist-Educator Deborah Johnson, who is a Community Nutritionist. She holds a Master

of Science degree in nutrition and she is the founder of My Temple Wellness. Breakfast is important for everyone but why is it super important for someone with diabetes? DJ: When we wake up in the morning, our blood sugar or glucose level is generally low or stable. While no two persons are alike, people with diabetes do not respond to insulin the same as most, and their fasting blood sugar reading can go up in the morning, even if that person is following a strict diet. The foods that people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) eat to break their overnight fast, also known as breakfast, is the first meal of the day that is why this meal has been described as “the most important meal of the day” and is particularly vital for people with T2D. On most days for breakfast, people eat high carbohydrate or sugary: breakfast like cereals, donuts, muffins, bagels, and pancakes that cause blood sugar to rise rapidly. This rapid rise triggers the pancreas to release the hormone insulin. Insulin helps to lower blood sugar to a stable or normal range. As we know, what goes up must come

down, and it is no different with our blood sugar. The rise in insulin can cause the body to become insulin resistant that ultimately causes T2D. As a result, the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin due to being overworked from producing extra insulin to deal with the constant rise and fall of blood sugar. So what is the takeaway from all of this? Eating breakfast is of great importance for people with T2D, but the type of breakfast is even more important to keep the blood sugar level stable. Your breakfast must include the three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Do you believe having breakfast can also prevent diabetes? DJ: I do not believe that having breakfast will prevent type 2 diabetes. However, studies have indicated that eating a healthy balanced breakfast reduces the risk of obesity and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. So there you have it; the importance of breakfast and how it affects our body and blood sugar. This week, look out for my healthy breakfast egg muffin cups using whatever veggies you have in your fridge.


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The Simple Alternative is a business name of Canadian Memorial Services which is affiliated with Mount Pleasant Group of Cemeteries.


PAGE 20

FEATURE

Toronto Caribbean News | www.TOCaribNews.com | Wednesday, November 11, 2020

the the poetic poetic word word Project Acorn Corn Bread BY GLORIA O’KOYE Mother Nature’s scent was sweet and refreshing, Away from the toxic fumes caused by man made pollution. Life is busy preparing Before wrapping itself tight In a sparkling snowflake blanket Deep into the slumber it goes But before the season of rest creeps up, Every creature big and small Must stock up their cabins. The crunch of transition from Summer to autumn Will always be satisfying. West East

To

And North To South Communal foraging For nature’s little secret, To find acorns to eventually Turn into flour! Flour to be made into bread, A treat that can’t help But to be salivating! Strolling through the forests,

Even if it’s only the wind speaking... The residents will sing a universal Language That could be understood, If the ears of the beholder would allow Different dialects to pass on the message A pathway made of intuition Of trusting the creatures To greet the Guardians of the Red and White Oak Trees Giving thanks before Gathering its jewels, Is only right Because in order to maintain balance You must give back whenever You had received. Finding perfection in every symbol Of nourishment, Until the basket is heavy and full A mighty task for only one Is why we encourage collecting Together as a village, It will not only fill our stomachs But also for our souls

SUMMARY OF U INC. SIMONE SMITH simone@carib101.com

TC REPORTER

“The answer for your life is in your questions.” Carla Hemans Now, I am not allowed to expose her age, but when this vivaciously, beautiful woman told me she had three grown children, I had to stop her mid-sentence. “You’re kidding me, right?” I said once she gave me her age range. “You are too sweet Simone!” Carla said laughing. I am not sure how we became acquainted, but I have been a part of Carla’s Facebook group for a few months now. Her group is called Coach’s Corner – Shyness Prohibited. Now that I think about it, with a title like that, I would have joined her group just out of curiosity. What I became intrigued with were the type of posts that I saw in her group. I noticed that Carla asked a lot of questions; questions that you don’t really think about asking yourself until you see them. As I became more engaged, I saw more and more questions, which made me think, what does this woman do? Carla Hemans will tell you that she has tried everything. She has been an administrative assistant, as well as a Licensed Paralegal. Throughout her career experiences, she always felt that something was missing. During my talk with Carla, she shared her experiences with me, and exactly what happened during her transition. “Simone, I started coaching after years of going from job to job. I have a great husband, and three great children. From the outside, everything looked perfect. When I was analyzing my personal life, and the things I had, something didn’t seem right. I loved my husband, and I loved my children, but something was missing. I felt that I was living for other peo-

ple. I was working hard to please everyone but me. Eventually, it had to stop. I was lying down one day; I believe it was the morning. I opened my eyes and it was so dark, like just before daybreak dark. It was like just before dawn, but when I checked the time, it was 9:00 am. I went to my doctor, and he began to ask me questions about my life, my career. I told him what was going on in my life. He asked what type of stress I was dealing with. Whatever it was had caused what I was feeling. He recommended a life coach, and I started to see one.” Carla wanted to have more of an impact in people’s lives, so she decided to pursue her coaching career in 2018. What she discovered was that she had a passion for helping people. She enjoyed working with people who struggled with moving past uncomfortable or painful events in their lives. After all, she had experienced some of these difficulties, so she could relate.” “I began to question myself; what were my values? What is my purpose? I realized I was living a life that was not me. I started reading more. I read a lot of books that helped with my self-development. I started looking into my family dynamics. I began to learn why certain things were the way they were. This is why I speak so much on self-reflection. I started some deep introspection, and I saw how powerful it was. When COVID-19 hit, it was great. I was able to do more of what I wanted to do. Yes, I had started coaching in 2018, but I was only doing it on the weekend, and after work. I was also in school at the time, so I could not give it my all.” Summary of U Inc. became official in 2020. Many of her clients know her company as Carla Helps, as the name change is recent. “I think that my life has happened in the way it was supposed to happen. The only difference is now; I am intentional with my thinking. Ten years ago, I wasn’t thinking this intentionally, so signs and symbols were not appearing to me. I invite things into my life now. I invite things that are beneficial to me. I ask myself questions; what can I do for me? We hold everyone else accountable for us. We use people as

our reference point. We don’t know about them; we know about us. All we have to do is take the time to learn.” During our discussion, I opened up to Carla about some changes that I was going through. It was amazing to observe how well she was able to ask the right questions to get me thinking. “Now Simone,” Carla questioned, “What will happen if you stayed exactly where you are right now? Is there a point of you continuing, or should you stay where you are right now? If that is not where you want to be, then tell me where you want to be. I want you to visualize it for me. When you can visualize everything, it works in your favour. Take it a step forward, and ask yourself, what are the obstacles that could be in your way? The answer Simone for your life is in your questions.” I wrote every question down, and without her knowing it; Carla had helped me question aspects of my life that if answered, would bring clarity. That is the thing with a great life coach; they provide a foundation for great intrinsic motivation. A great coach will inspire you to try new things and make new discoveries. When working with her clients, Carla ensures that she sets them up for success. Her clients walk away with their own book that includes their personal story. She offers pre-designed programs, as well as individual programs to meet her client’s needs. “I took some time to create me, and in doing so, I discovered that life is a fantastic journey. Now I am here with the grace of God, and I’ve decided to dedicate my life to helping others.” Even the best of us can hit a wall. We come to a point where we don’t know who we are or what we want. We doubt ourselves. We may have a clear vision but have no clue how to achieve. Sometimes we just need someone to hold us accountable. What seems impossible can become possible, and it is good to know that we have people like Carla in this world to help us out. You can learn more about her by visiting https://www.carlahelpsnow.com/


PAGE 22

FEATURE

Toronto Caribbean News | www.TOCaribNews.com | Wednesday, November 11, 2020 Photo Credit: Lawrence Kerr Photography

DAVE “RANKIN” LINDSAY Uptown Top Rankin

Should’ve seen me and the ranking dread,uh! Check how we jamming an’ ting Love is all I bring Inna me khaki suit an’ ting Althia and Donna Anyone who is a true reggae head will know the song that I am referring to above. It is a Reggae one hit wonder that reached number 1 in 1978 on the UK charts. I thought that it was a good way to introduce our Classic Man this week. Anyone who has met Dave (aka Rankin) knows that he is one of the kindest souls you will ever meet. Hailing from Rexdale, Ontario, Dave always pays tribute to where he is from because he realizes how much it has shaped his views, his ideals, and many of his life lessons. A dedicated steward of life, Dave has had to overcome the negative thoughts about who he is, and his place in the world. What is empowering about being around someone like Dave is you see a person who is not held prisoner by his skin colour. He doesn’t care how he is judged, and he lives his life by his terms. What many people do not know about Dave is that he is actually somewhat of a miracle. On the right side of his head, close to the back, Dave has a bump that I questioned the first time I mentioned it. “When I was younger,” he shared, “I was dropped on my head. I think I was a baby at the time. I real-

ize now that things could have gone horribly wrong. When a baby drops on their head, especially when the skull is so soft, it is not a good thing. The only thing that I have left from that experience is this bump.” He is very nonchalant about it, but I don’t think that he realizes how incredible his story is. What is even more fascinating is that fact that not only is he a creative he is also a genius. Dave is currently the Managing Director at Hear 2 Help, a Community Development Company based out of Toronto. From 2016, he has committed his time and expertise to mentor and tutor students across the GTA. His strong pedagogical grounding was not something he was born with, but he has taken time to develop a pedagogical understanding and practice over time. Great teaching is much, much more than a set of techniques, and Dave realizes that. There is not a moment in his day that Dave is not educating himself through high-quality teacher preparation programs, on-going teacher training, and other professional development tools. This has expanded his range of teaching strategies, content knowledge, and has boosted his impact on his student’s achievement. His work as a mentor and tutor began with his role as a Cultural Educator and African History Lecturer. From November 2012 – December 2018, Dave alongside his partner Shadow, taught African History in the community. Two Sundays a month, the scholars would host lectures at the Spot located

in Yorkgate Mall. Although they did not receive the support from the community that was warranted, for six years, members of the community had access to information about Africa’s history that you would not find in the current school curriculum. There is only one other love that Dave has in his life, and that is music. He feeds that love by hosting his show Hear 2 House You on DrumsRadio.com. Toronto was first introduced to Dave as an Afro House Dj on Carib101.com Radio. Dave grew up around music, and it is one of the reasons that his love for it grew over the years. When I met Dave, I saw that he had a passion for music, and he was an awesome DJ. One of his issues was that he didn’t really like the music that was being released, and this meant he was not going to play that music. He decided to open himself to different genres, and this is when he fell in love with Afro House. When he first started Hear 2 House You, the show was music only. Dave is not much of a talker, so it took some urging, but eventually, Dave began to speak to his listeners and engage with words and music. This continued to evolve, and the show has now had the some of the greatest Afro House producers, guest deejay’s and artists visit to share their experiences: DJ Zakes Bantwini, Dj Juergen Mugen, Zulo Bravo, DJ Lady K, Sir LSG, Producer Ralf Gum, and DJ and Producer Silva Dadj are regulars on Hear 2 House You. You can catch his weekly show on Spotify, iTunes, Hear This.at, Google Play

and Tunein. If that was not enough, Dave has also co-hosted a radio show turned digital television show on MyTCNTV Network called Hear 2 Help You. Each week, the show reported news, conducted interviews, and presented African History to the global community. The show evolved to an all-news show (A Better Tomorrow), and now alongside the article (Azubuike), that he contributes to the Toronto Caribbean Newspaper, Dave delivers international news from across the African Diaspora. Not a man of many words, Dave remains a silent force for the African-Caribbean community in Toronto. When he does say something it is useful, powerful and insightful. He knows when to talk and what exactly to say at the right time. Dave appreciates his small accomplishments, and does not flaunt his success. Instead, he focuses on what matters most to his students, company and community. Life is unpredictable, and one of the best people you could have in your corner is the one and only Dave Rankin.

Written by Simone J. Smith Toronto Caribbean News


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PAGE 26

FOOD

Toronto Caribbean News | www.TOCaribNews.com | Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Healthy Breakfast

Egg Muffin Cups fact that the food we eat daily can benefit or affect our body based on our lifestyle and eating habits. NOEL With World Diabetes Day CUNNINGHAM approaching, I wanted to focus on how eating breakfast can help our noel@carib101.com bodies natural insulin, These low carb, easy egg CULINARY EXPERT muffins are simple to make and perfect for reheating throughout the week! A delicious, protein-packed This week my focus is on breakfast. breakfast recipe that’s gluten-free, Food plays a big role in our health paleo, vegetarian and keto-friendand the purpose of food is not only ly. You can make these while you to fulfill cravings or hunger, but to are getting ready to start your day nourish our body. When you get a and have them on the go. They chance, check out my article in this make a good lunch with salads. edition called,” World Diabetes Day: Benefits of breakfast for Diabetes fuel your body with a fresh start.” In this article, I discuss in detail the

Ingredients • 1 cups spinach, chopped • 1 large roma tomato, seeds removed and diced • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced • 12 small florets of broccoli • 6 eggs, whisked • ¼ cup milk • ½ teaspoon salt • Freshly ground black pepper • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese • 2 tbsp ricotta or feta cheese Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. 2. Divide spinach, tomatoes, broccoli and jalapeño evenly between 6 muffins in the tin.

3. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper until well combined. 4. Fill each muffin about 3/4 full with egg mixture, pouring over the veggies already in each tin. If using cheese, add 1 tablespoon on top of each egg muffin. 5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until eggs are set and puff up in the tin. Let egg muffins cool for a few minutes, then run a butter knife around the edges of each cup and remove. Eating breakfast cannot only be fun it can also be healthy. Enjoy, and please let me know how your recipe turns out.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | www.TOCaribNews.com | Toronto Caribbean News

FOOD

PAGE 27

Lets escape to the Tropical Cuisine HRISHIKESH DAS GUPTA hdg@carib101.com

CULINARY REPORTER

“Me and my wife used to celebrate our anniversary at Tropical Escape Restaurant. Her favorite Guyanese Chinese dish was special chicken fried rice with extra cabbage. Though she passed away a few years ago and I moved to Calgary, I still visit the restaurant every year to celebrate our anniversary. I always order her favorite dishes in her memory. ” Sanjay, a regular customer of Tropical Escape Restaurant Rajmini Ramkumar and her son Neil Ramkumar, the owners of the restaurant are celebrating the 15th anniversary of Tropical Escape Restaurant this year. Since 2005, they have been successfully serving the Guyanese, Chinese and Caribbean menu in Peel region. Rajmini, immigrated with her family in the early 1970’s from Guyana and established herself as a successful businesswoman in the West Indian community. She often heard from her family and friends that they were missing the West Indian flavors in Canada. Rajmini and Neil were also interested in delivering the

Caribbean feeling to the audiences. They brought the authentic tropical flavors in the Tropical Escape restaurant and lounge located at 2260 Bovaird Dr, Unit 112, Brampton, ON. Team Tropical Escape always uses fresh ingredients in their menu. They present the food in an artistic flair to represent the Caribbean culture. You have to see the appealing presentation to feel the vibe. They are willing to go the extra mile to serve their customers. Pre-covid, people used to line up every day to order their in house specials. The pepper shrimp, tropical pepper lamb, jerk chicken fried rice, and shrimp chow mein are extremely popular menu items at the restaurant. Peel region foodies used to start their weekend with the fresh coconut mixed with the Hennessy brandy at the Tropical Escape lounge. Neil mentioned as a business professional, he always believed in risk-taking to explore unforeseen opportunities. For example, he introduced crispy stuffed chicken jerk wontons and Escape spicy calamari with fresh hot chilies, garlic, onions, and sweet peppers to the tropical food lovers. It became an instant sensation last year. Neil mentioned an interesting incident from last year about the dishes and an elderly woman who had lost her interest in food. Her family ordered the “lunch special menu” from the Tropical Escape Restaurant and offered her chicken wings to taste. The lady lost all her hope and sensation about any food until she tried the spicy wings. She was extremely impressed with the food quality and asked for an-

Photo by Hrishokesh Das Gupta

other wing. According to her family, the tasting experience brought positivity and longevity towards food in her life again. Due to the pandemic, they completely shut down the dine-in options. All their upcoming events and programs canceled completely until further notice to slow the spread of COVID-19. This created a challenging time, but Rajmini and Neil never gave up. They started to “pay it forward” to the community that supported them for all those years. Rajmini, Neil and the team of Tropical Escape served hun-

dreds of meals to the front line workers including Brampton Civic Hospital, Scarborough Civic Hospital during the pandemic. For her outstanding contribution to the community, Rajmini recently received a recognition letter from Arif Virani, Member of Parliament, Parkdale- High Park. It’s really commendable how the restaurants are helping the community during the pandemic. Please support small restaurants like Tropical Escape and let me know what your favorite item is on their menu.

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HEALTH

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | www.TOCaribNews.com | Toronto Caribbean News

PAGE 29

When it comes to natural supplements, how do you assess what you need? W. GIFFORDJONES MD DIANA GIFFORD-JONES COMMON SENSE HEALTH

Readers of this column know, the GiffordJones natural health philosophy is built on the premise that the medical establishment should not be your first stop for staying healthy. Doctors are best as a last resort. Tragic bad luck aside; your first defense should be Mother Nature in combination with good lifestyle choices. But what does this mean as you age? Natural supplements are low-cost and widely available, but they are not marketed with the same multimillion-dollar budgets as most pharmaceutical drugs. So, a good starting point is to adopt common sense. Unless your doctor has a strong ra-

tionale for putting you on drugs, and a plan to get you off them, you should ask more questions and do more homework. Have you, for example, enquired about the root causes of the ailments that age inevitably brings? Where can you turn for options? Experts in your local natural health food store can help. There are some natural supplements that are easy to understand and the choices are simple. A good example would be vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is common, especially during the winter months for those who live in the north. We know vitamin D fortifies our immune system and the range of advisable dosages is clear. There is little difference, one brand to another. Other vitamins and minerals are more complex. It’s worth your while to get good advice. Vitamin C is one of them. Vitamin C at very small doses will protect you from scurvy. But at much higher doses, it fortifies your body’s immune response and protects your cardiovascular system from build up of plaque in the arteries. Vitamin C is best when combined with lysine. Why? Because vitamin C is required to manufac-

Winter squash: health benefits and uses Butternut, pumpkin, spaghetti, kabocha, acorn — winter squashes are abundant at this time of year. Unlike summer varieties that are picked when they’re young and tender, winter types are best when left to mature on the vine. Their long growing season allows them to become sweet and develop a thick, hard skin that means they can be stored for up to six months.

Winter squash is a versatile ingredient that can be used in soups, stews, pies, muffins and more. You can stuff and bake them or cut them thinly and roast them to make chips.

While these veggies — technically fruit — come in different sizes, shapes and flavours, they all have one in common: their amazing health benefits.

However you prepare yours, don’t forget to roast the seeds — they make a nutritious and tasty snack.

Not only are winter squashes high in fibre and antioxidants, they’re also excellent sources of potassium and vitamin A. Additionally, they contain important minerals such as copper, iron and magnesium as well as a number of B-complex vitamins.

Just like their summer cousins, winter squash blossoms are delicious in a salad or stuffed and fried.

ture healthy collagen, the glue that holds coronary cells together, just like mortar is needed for bricks. Lysine, like steel rods in cement, makes collagen stronger. Experts will know the research. Linus Pauling, two-time Nobel laureate, claimed it takes a mere 10 milligrams of vitamin C to prevent scurvy, but several thousand to prevent heart attack. Williams Stehbens, Professor of Anatomy at Wellington University in New Zealand, proved Pauling was right. Stebhens’ research showed that coronary arteries closest to the heart are under the greatest pressure. This causes collagen to fracture resulting in the formation of a blood clot and death. What about other supplements? How should you assess what you need or should try? Let’s take a common issue. It’s a fact that aging leads to wear and tear on our bodies. Joint pain is a common complaint, the result of osteoarthritis. Oftentimes, waiting too long to recognize this problem is the bell that tolls for a medical solution. Surgery to fix knees, hips or shoulders comes with significant risks. The

smarter approach is to address these joint problems before they require surgical procedures. Experts in naturopathic or alternative treatments may have good remedies for you. Keep in mind the fast pace of scientific research on the complex interactions that nutrients have in our guts and metabolism. New findings are published in scientific journals everyday. Fortunately, even natural remedies are gaining more attention in research labs. That pain in the knee or other joints may benefit from organic sulphur, an essential mineral and natural component of soil, and in turn, our food. Healing Earth is a supplement that combines this mineral with humic acid. These ingredients act together to alleviate inflammatory conditions and relieve the pain of osteoarthritis. Clinical studies confirm its efficacy. The bottom line: think about the root of your health problems, get advice from experts who focus on prevention of disease, and make daily good choices to keep yourself away from needing medical interventions.

Gastritis: symptoms, causes and treatments Gastritis is a condition caused by inflammation of the stomach lining. It can be characterized as either chronic or astute. Most cases aren’t serious and symptoms typically go away once the condition’s treated. SYMPTOMS The most common symptoms of gastritis include: • Indigestion • Stomach pain • Heartburn • Difficulty digesting food • Nausea • Vomiting • Bloating • Loss of appetite • Blood in the stool

Sometimes gastritis presents no symptoms at all. CAUSES Among the possible causes of gastritis are: • Use of anti-inflammatory drugs • Overconsumption of alcohol • Bile reflux • Stress • Tobacco • A bacterium, parasite or virus in the stomach TREATMENT In some cases, the only treatment that’s needed is to avoid consuming items that cause stomach irritation such as alcohol, spicy foods, coffee and anti-inflammatories. In cases of acute gastritis — when symptoms start suddenly and go away after a few days — liquid meals may help to soothe the stomach. If it’s chronic, treatments may include antibiotics, acid blockers or antacids.


The solution to COVID-19 is right in front of your nose. • Wear a face covering. • Keep 2m apart from anyone outside of your household. • Limit your close contact to your household only. • Wash your hands often.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | www.TOCaribNews.com | Toronto Caribbean News

How to create a Christmas village

COMMUNITY

How to impersonate Santa Do you plan to dress up as Santa Claus this year? Whether it’s to raise money for charity or make a surprise appearance at a holiday party, you’ll want to give a compelling performance. Here’s how to nail the part.

A miniature Christmas village is the perfect decorative piece to add to your home for the holidays. Here are a few tips to help you create an enchanting display your whole family will love. THE COMPONENTS Take some time to reflect on the elements that will make up your village before you go out and buy anything. For example, you’ll want to opt for figurines and buildings from the same brand to ensure everything in your village is proportional. Be sure to include: • Moving parts. Animated features such as a skating rink, cable car, train, windmill or merry-go-round will bring your village to life and draw the eye to various sections.

THE ASSEMBLY First, you need to choose a spot for your village such as under the Christmas tree or on a fireplace mantel. The location should give you enough room to create depth and varying heights in your display. If certain features need to be plugged in, make sure there’s an electrical outlet nearby. To maximize your village’s wow factor, test out several configurations (with the lighting turned on) and choose the option that best showcases each element. Use risers, boxes or books to elevate sections of the village as needed. Once you’ve settled on the layout, add the streets, artificial snow and accessories. If there are wires, make sure they’re hidden.

• Infrastructure. Streets, bridges and walls will provide structure to your village and help you organize the buildings in a logical way.

Finally, place the figurines near street lamps or illuminated buildings so they’re visible in the evening too. If some areas of the village are in shadow, add a miniature spotlight or a tiny strand of string lights.

• Accessories. Benches, fire hydrants, street lamps, trees, flag poles, birds and other de­tails are essential to create a realistic display.

If you keep these tips in mind, your Christmas village is sure to become a holiday essential.

PAGE 31

THE LOOK Santa is an iconic figure, and most children have seen him plenty of times on TV, in books and at the mall. This means you need to get the costume right, from the classic red cap and long, white beard down to the fur-trimmed black boots. Details like a plump belly, white gloves, a gold belt buckle and round reading glasses are key to a credible impersonation. RESERVE YOUR SANTA SUIT EARLY To make sure you look the part, buy or rent everything you need from a costume store in your region. Remember, Santa is a popular guy around the holidays, so don’t wait!

THE VOICE Santa’s booming laugh is instantly recognizable, and imitating it is the perfect way to announce your arrival as this legendary figure. To ensure you make a good first impression, spend some time rehearsing your Santa laugh. You’ll also need to get used to speaking in a deep, jovial voice that’ll command attention but won’t frighten young children. THE ATTITUDE The trickiest part about dressing up as this larger-than-life figure is staying in character. Be prepared to answer questions from curious youngsters about your sleigh, reindeer and life at the North Pole. If a child is reluctant to approach you, crouch down to be less intimidating and let them come to you. Good luck and merry Christmas!


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LIFE

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | www.TOCaribNews.com | Toronto Caribbean News

PAGE 33

How to handle your inner-critic life. Carter G. Woodson has rightly said, “If you can control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his action. When you determine what a man shall think you do not have to concern yourself about what he will do. If you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior status, for he will seek it himself.” Do not let your inner dialogue, your negative perception of yourself control your life. Inner-critic is sometimes a product of childhood abuse, lack of parental support or validation while we were young. Perhaps you’ve once given a lecture, written an article, attended an interview, made a sales presentation, defend a project or proposal, competed in an athletic event, acted in a play, given a concert, or performed any kind of job, and then found yourself on the way home listening to that voice in your head telling you how you messed up, even though there is no factual basis for it, what you should have done differently, how you could have and should

DANIEL COLE

daniel@carib101.com

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

James Allen once said, “You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thought takes you.” We all have that inner voice in our head that keeps whispering to us, and oftentimes, they are negative whispers. Voices like, “You are not good enough,” “Who do you think you are?”, “You are not that smart,”“You are not that beautiful”, ‘Nobody cares what you have to say.’, to name a few; The problem is, if these whispers are not contained, managed or dealt with, over time, it sets the tone and trajectory for our

have done it better? I’m sure you have. If you listen to that voice for very long, it undermines your self-confidence, erodes your self-esteem, and even demoralize you. Daniel Amen once said, “Don’t believe everything you hear – even in your own mind.” Anytime that little voice whispers to us, the underlying message is positive, but that’s not the way it’s presented - the tone is often negative. It is our responsibility to build up ourselves to positively respond to our inner critic and turn it to inner coach. Ignoring the voice won’t help, we need to be conscious of it and positively respond to it. As a child, I was so very inquisitive, and I once asked myself how does the lie detector machine work? How can a machine tell that I am not telling the truth? Little did I know then that the polygraph machine tests how our body reacts to our thoughts - change of temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, muscle tension and how much the hands sweat, when responding to questions.

When you are hooked up to a lie detector and are asked a question such as “Did you steal the money?” your hand will get colder, your heart will beat faster, your blood pressure will go up, your breathing will get faster, your muscles will get tighter, and your hands will sweat if you did take the money and you lie about it. These kinds of physiological changes occur not only when you are lying but also in reaction to every thought you think. The truth is, you are what you think, and your life will always drift towards your most dominant thought. Lisa Firestone once wrote, “You can respond to your inner critic by writing down a more realistic and compassionate evaluation of yourself. Write these responses in the first person (as “I” statements). In response to a thought like, “You’re such an idiot,” you could write, “I may struggle at times, but I am smart and competent in many ways.” This exercise isn’t meant to build you up or boost your ego but to show a kinder, more honest attitude toward yourself.

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PAGE 34

LIFE

Toronto Caribbean News | www.TOCaribNews.com | Wednesday, November 11, 2020

“So, what are you in for Simone? Trafficking?” Reliving my past trauma SIMONE SMITH simone@carib101.com

HUMAN SPECIALIST

Friends! How many of us have them? Friends! BY MAKAYLA B. 12 YEARS OLD TC JUNIOR CONTRIBUTOR Friends. We all know what that word means. Or do we? Friends are people that aren’t related to us, but share a connection with what we may not share with other people we know. Sometimes those we think are our friends aren’t. Your friends will almost always be there for you whether you think you need them or not. The way your friends act could also possibly affect the way you act too. Sometimes people don’t always have good friends, and that influences them negatively. All of my friends are very supportive of each other. When one of us is sad, we all work together to cheer them up. Every one of my friends have quite a few qualities in common, which are: supportiveness, kindness, always being there when we need each other or not, and standing up for each other if someone is bullying us. Just like my friends, I am very supportive about their choices and what they want to do, and will try to stop them if I think they could get in trouble. Friends are something people need in their lives and probably can’t live without. No matter what, your friends will always be there for you to help you so that you can push through and succeed in life. Without my friends, I probably wouldn’t have accomplished a lot of the things I have accomplished. My friends have always been there for me when others couldn’t, and have always encouraged me to follow my dreams and for that I am very grateful.

EMPOWERING OUR YOUNG MINDS OF TOMORROW TORONTO CARIBBEAN NEWS INC.

As Angella walked down the path, I began to slowly look around taking in what was going to be my home for the next little bit. That hit me like a ton of bricks and I stopped for a moment to catch my breath. How long was I going to be here? The thought had not really crossed my mind, but now that I was being led to what was going to be my new life, it was something I had to consider. Angella noticed I had stopped and turned around. “Are you okay Simone?” I think that she saw the look on my face, so she turned around and walked back to me. “I know. Trust me. I know. It is so overwhelming right now. It is how I felt when I first arrived five years ago.” Her words shot through me like lightning. Five years, I thought to myself. Five years. I couldn’t even think about this right now. “You get used to it like anything else. No worries. Let’s go! I want to introduce you to your house mates.”

Whatever had frozen my feet to the floor finally allowed me to move them. I continued to follow Angella, as she led me down a corridor, which opened up into a courtyard. Again, I allowed myself to take in the beauty of the country. There were large, looming trees, with palm shaped leaves that seemed to blanket the sky. I could still see the brightness of the sun shining through, but the trees cast a beautiful shade. As we walked through the courtyard, I began to feel like I was in an episode of Orange Is The New Black. I was the new girl after all, so the women who were there were taking me in. I was happy in a way that I didn’t speak Spanish, because I didn’t want to know what they were saying. “You will be staying in the house with most of the English speaking women,” Angella told me as we continued to walk through the courtyard. “Your house has women from America, the United Kingdom, and Canada. I think you will be comfortable here.” Comfortable, I thought to myself. That was a stretch. I kept my mouth shut because I know that she was doing her best to make me feel better. “So, what are you in for Simone? Trafficking? “That is a great question,” I responded. “To be honest, I have no idea. The paperwork is here, but I have not been able to make sense of it. It is all in Spanish.” “So, you are not here for traffick-

ing?” Angella seemed surprised. “Most of the girls here are here for drug charges. I am here for trying to bring drugs back to the States for my boyfriend. I know. Stupid right? We all have to learn our lessons in life I guess. I won’t lie to you. I am shocked that you have no idea what you are in for. Don’t worry! I am sure that you will find someone to translate your paperwork for you. We’re here!” We had stopped in front of a building that looked similar to other buildings scattered across the courtyard. There were women hanging outside of the building, carrying on with what looked like a normal day for them. Angella went to speak to the guards who were standing outside of the building, and I stood there. I took a deep breath and tried my best not to look directly at some of the women who were staring me dead in the face. It was hard to figure out what to do in the moment. Angella finished her conversation with the guards and walked back to me. “You’re all set Simone. Welcome to your new home. I have to head over to the church, but I will come and check on you later. The guards are going to bring you in, and you will be directed to where you are going to sleep. Good luck!” She turned around and walked away. I just stood there. The guards gestured to me, and I took another deep breath before I walked into the house. “Here we go Simone!”

Welcome to Scorpio season; manifesting the life you deserve GARCIA AKUA

garcia@carib101.com

COSMIC CORNER

Love & Light Gems! I hope you are all well and staying safe. We have a lot going on this month with cosmic energy! Last weekend we entered very potent energy with our second full moon of the month! The energy is aligned and intense! Our Sun was in Scorpio at 8*, our Moon in Taurus at 8* as well as Uranus in Taurus at 8* degrees, you see all those 8s? Scorpio rules the 8th house of astrology, the house of death, rebirth, transformation, sex and magic. As discussed before, Scorpio is deep-water energy, bringing to surface things we often have hidden or buried away. With the Sun highlighting these energies and the Moon being the regulator of water and emotions, we have an indication of what might be illuminated in our lives this weekend, going into early November. Taurus is the first earth sign of the zodiac. Ruled by Venus, it promotes love, comfort, nourishment and divine feminine energy. It is also the energy of material possessions and resources.

Uranus is an unpredictable planet; it promotes spiritual awakening, freedom, revolution and sudden changes. Uranus is also future thinking, and also influences electricity, technology and the internet. Uranus has been in Taurus since May 2019 and will remain here until 2026. The last time Uranus was in Taurus was in 1930. During this period the world experienced The Great Depression and major changes to the way we managed and accumulated money and resources. This Uranus energy is activated with this Full Moon, be mindful of your spending habits. The combination of the Uranus energy with Scorpio, Taurus and the Moon calls for emotional extremes. I will reiterate, if it does not directly affect you, MIND YOUR BUSINESS!! The energy is volatile, but directing the energy inward allows for amazing opportunities for magical manifestation. During the Scorpio season, the veil between the spiritual realm and the physical realm is very thin. Scorpio is water, which holds your subconscious thoughts and is very intuitive energy. It meets with Taurus earth energy, which is fertile, resourceful and physical material. We have the opportunity to manifest what’s in the spiritual realm in our physical realm. We have the opportunity to consult our spiritual guides and ancestors to align our manifestations with our highest self! These are magical times!! The key here is MINDING YOUR BUSINESS!! The Universe does not discriminate against our thoughts or actions. What-

ever we focus on, is what we give life to, and is what you will manifest. With all this illuminating energy, we have a lot of our own issues rising to the surface. We started the month of October with a Full Moon in Aries. The Aries fiery energy allowed us to work on healing our identity and egos. We used the fire element to burn away our fears and insecurities. With Mercury also in retrograde in Scorpio, some of these fears and insecurities may resurface due to our subconscious programming. We are closing out cycles now and preparing for resets and new beginnings. Get clear on what you truly want to grow in your life. This energy is setting us up for 2021. Our Next Full Moon is a Lunar Eclipse, initiating the reset. Use this time to reflect on this last year and apply the lessons we have learnt. What are you bringing into 2021 with you? Revisit your October New Moon in Libra goals: 1. Who are you now? How are you showing up for yourself? 2. What are you giving yourself permission to receive? 3. What do you deserve? 4. How can Self Love bring balance to your life? We have the power to manifest the life we want and deserve. Bet on yourself, VOTE for yourself and most importantly, love yourSELF!!


LIFE

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | www.TOCaribNews.com | Toronto Caribbean News

PAGE 35

Far from perfect; the reforms of Akhenaten 1352 - 1334 BC DAVE RANKIN dave@carib101.com

AFRICAN HISTORY

One could only imagine what life must have looked like to Akhenaten at this juncture. He had married a “beautiful woman” in Nefertiti who stood by his side faithfully and bore him six daughters. Akhetaten, Kemet’s newest capital city dedicated to the deity Aten, was completed with sheer elegance. Again, refer to When We Ruled by Robin Walker and When Egypt Ruled the East by George Steindorff and Keith C. Seele for complete descriptions of the city. If we had to sum it all up in one word, perfect, comes to mind. However, as perfect as it may have been on the surface,

there were underlying issues that we will divulge in this week’s entry, which eventually led to the demise of the man whose name, meant “He who is Beneficial of Aten.” As much as tributes were paid to Kemet by nation states under the empire, their allegiance slowly waned year after year when Akhenaten never appeared at the head of his army to quell any instances of a revolt. Back then, it was one thing to send your army into battle, but to never appear on the battlefield with your troops set the stage to lose alliances, especially since it was the duty of the pharaoh/nesew to ensure that nation states fell in line. Eventually these northern Syrian states sided with the powerful Hittite group from Asia Minor who, with help from the “warlike” Haribu, began to invade surrounding areas and eliminated anyone who was still loyal to Kemet. As a side note, it is here that I make mention that the Haribu is synonymous with the Hebrews of the Old Testament. There is a report that a prince of Jerusalem wrote to Akhenaten begging the

nesew “to care for his land.” However, this fell on deaf ears, and both the Hittites and Habiru successfully plundered the land. In the realm of economics, these tributes paid by nation states fattened the coiffeurs of Kemet. With Kemet losing their stronghold in Western Asia, this meant less money coming into the country, and we all know far too well that this was not a profitable situation. To add salt to the wound, around Akhenaten’s 16th year of reign, he had a fall out with Nefertiti and she was banished to the other end of the city. Details of the fallout are sketchy at best, however there is a loose adaptation based on the life and times of Akhenaten and his family in a French animated film titled La Reine du Soleil or in English, The Princess of the Sun which details some of the events. The ramification of the fallout and the growing presence of the Hittites led Akhenaten to act decisively with leaving an heir to the throne. First, he appointed Smenkhkare, the husband of his eldest daughter Meritaten, as co-regent. This didn’t

last too long, as at some point in time he and Meritaten disappeared from the pages of history. It is believed that the couple attempted to mend the relationship with the priesthood of Amen but died in the process. Next, Akhenaten married his thirteen-year-old daughter, Ankhesenpaten. Probably in hopes to produce a male heir. However, the move was disastrous as she bore him a baby girl. Despite the turmoil of the final years of Akhenaten’s life, his efforts still remain in the hearts, minds, and pages of history. Scholars all around the world regard his religious reformation as a precursor to Moses of the Old Testament and his monotheistic movement. The similarities of his ‘Great Hymn to Aten’bear a striking resemblance of Psalm 104. Akhenaten was a man who marched to his own beat and attempted to curb some of the practices that allowed Kemet to lose its way. He truly was a nesew of great devotion and lived up to his coronation name “Wa-NRe” or “the Unique One of Re.”

These aren’t my marks! Guidance Counsellor changes marks on student’s report card PAUL JUNOR

paul@carib101.com

YOUTH EDUCATION

It is unfortunate that it had to take social media to draw attention to the plight of Medina Jones in early October. She was a student at Oakville Trafalgar High School, a school in the Halton District School Board (HDSB) in which her predicted grades on her university application were deliberately lowered by her guidance counsellor. Her marks were subsequently increased as reported by the Wednesday, October 28th, issue of the Toronto Star. The response from social media, and the launch of a third-party investigation by the HDSB has brought attention to the issue of systemic racism at the school.

Medina’s frustration with the administrators at her school led her to posting on Instagram the struggles that she faced. As a result of this, there had been more than 16,000 views, likes and comments as former and current students expressed their views. Many spoke of personal racist experiences. Medina explained, “When I saw the outpouring of responses, then I realized, this kind of thing is really resonating with a lot of people. There is a pattern with what this guidance counsellor has done.” She believes that this is simply not due to lack of awareness on the part of the guidance counsellor, but is a systemic issue. She states, “This wasn’t done out of ignorance. This process has been successfully done for students who are white. The people who are being impacted by this guidance department aren’t every student; it’s disproportionately black, Indigenous and students of colour.” Rowda Mohamud, Medina’s mother, communicated with the principal and contacted the board’s principal of equity and inclusive education. She states, “It was completely arbitrary. She didn’t even tell us what she did to change the marks. I want to under-

stand what these people actually did to generate the first set of grades and the second set of grades. I want to see what process they followed or didn’t follow. I am not happy that this simply got changed.” The investigation by the HDSB is a positive move, as it signals that the board is serious and is willing to get to the heart of the matter. An email to Mohamud states, “There will be an investigation into the issues you, Medina and others have raised around the systemic racism and in particular anti-black racism at Oakville Trafalgar, and especially in the Guidance department.” The Toronto Star reported that HDSB’s spokesperson, Marnie Denton reported that a staff member of the school has been placed on administrative leave, but did not reveal who it was. A survey was sent out by Tina Salmini (Superintendent of Education), which received 34 responses even though there are about 1,200 students in the school. It was only accessible for one week. According to Denton, the survey was meant to, “Gather reports of potential discriminatory experiences by students and parents, to ensure the integrity of the data

collection process so that the board’s response could be based on the highest quality data possible.” Denton reported that, “Students identified several areas of concern regarding student-student and student-staff interaction around the following topics: age, race, ethnicity, citizenship, gender identities/ gender expression, sexual orientation, religion/ creed/ spiritual affiliation.” Mohamud is critical of the survey and believes that it was poorly conducted and it was too short a time period to get more feedback from the school community. Denton told the Toronto Star that, “The responses collected will be used to inform decision-making at the school and if needed at the Board level. We will use the information collected to identify course of action to support and sustain an inclusive, equitable and discrimination-free learning environment here at Oakville Trafalgar High School.” Medina, who has been impacted personally, is still sceptical. She notes, “We still don’t have answers. The whole issue with the marks, even with changing of the mark’s, they didn’t follow a process.”


PAGE 36

LIFE

Toronto Caribbean News | www.TOCaribNews.com | Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Family is a factor in academic success Did you know that your home and family environment can affect your children’s academic performance in a major way? Studies demonstrate that encouraging exchanges and discussions du­ring the family’s eve­­ning meal is one of the most effective ways to maximize the chances of academic success. Children develop self-esteem when they grow up in a family where others take the time to listen and be interested in what they do. At school, this feeling is re­flected in an in­creased confidence in their abi­lity to succeed. Not only does this confidence allow them to obtain bet­ter re­sults, but it sti­mu­lates them to give the effort re­qui­red to succeed, even when they’re having problems. As a parent, your role in this is crucial. •

• • • •

Opt for a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet, exercise and 8 to 12 hours of sleep every day can increase a child’s concentration and reduce stress. Encourage your children. Praise effort as well as success. Help your children become more inde­pen­dent. Supervise ho­mework but don’t do it for them. Have fun as a family. Playing is a great way to combine fun and lear­ ning. Work with your child’s teacher. Go to mee­ tings and don’t hesitate to contact the school if you have concerns.

Be there for your children and never give up on them. Teach them to have a positive attitude about their education, and, most importantly, commit to giving them support throughout their schooling.

Should we have another child? Is it true that having a third child will raise our cost of living that much more? Certain factors have to be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to have another child. For example, the arrival of a third child may require you to buy a bigger car or move to a bigger house. It will definitely mean extra costs for most outings, as family packages are generally designed for two adults and two children. On the other hand, you already have everything you need: bed, stroller, clothes, toys, etc. And best of all, you possess all the necessary parenting skills. Parents of a third child aren’t scared of little things like a few teething problems. Organized and resourceful, these parents thoroughly enjoy their youngest offspring and feel much more relaxed about the whole idea of parenting. While the oldest two are having fun together, Mom and Dad can take the time to look after the baby without feeling guilty. And what about the pride the older kids feel when they help their parents by bringing a toy or picking up the pacifier that’s fallen on the floor? Families with three children learn to share and communicate with each other; they learn to split everything in three rather than down the middle. According to many experts, children from large families often grow up to be more generous and responsible as adults. Still wondering whether or not

you should have another child? Start by asking yourself about your habits and your lifestyle. Do you mind if your routine gets turned upside down again? Do you have enough time and energy to devote to a larger family? Can you afford a third child? If you answered yes to the above, then there’s no need to ask yourself any more questions.


Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | www.TOCaribNews.com | Toronto Caribbean News

Integrating history: The power of questioning TARA MYSHRALL tara@carib101.com

COMPELLED TO CHANGE

I sat there shocked when my name was called to the stage in my grade 8 graduation. I had won the history award. As Miss Dixon stood on the stage with her raspy voice, she said “Tara is receiving this award because she always asks questions and is curious.” Even from that young age, I had a desire to understand why people did what they did, and how we are conditioned. I believe this inquiring state of mind will be the only way that we can bring about the change we want in the world. We must first learn what it is that the books are teaching us and then ask questions about what’s missing. We must understand that we have the right to look at a situation in our history from all points of view to truly get an understanding of what’s taken place and how that has created the people that we are today. I believe it’s this love of history and people and understanding that fuels my desire for travel. When I went to Peru on the way to Machu Picchu, we stayed in Cusco. Our guide took us to this magnificent church with altars and beautiful deities. Dennis, our guide, was telling us about the Peruvian painters who were hired by the Spanish to paint pictures of Mother Mary and Jesus. The painters had never seen a white, angelic, slim woman that they were asked to paint, nor did they share the views of this Catholic Church at the time. They had to do what they were told, but they were smart enough to embed some of their belief systems into the paintings. You see for the natives there is nothing

more beautiful than Mother Earth, Pacha Mama and so instead of painting a small, slim Mother Mary, they painted her as a big robust mountain. As I was coming to the end of the church, I saw this large statue of a white horse and a Spanish soldier with reigns pulled and sword drawn. As I got closer, I noticed a Peruvian man underneath the horse’s back legs and he was being trampled into the earth. This sent a violent surge of anger mixed with confusion through my body and I had to get out of the church. As I stood outside and took a deep breath of the thin mountain air, I wondered why the Peruvian people would keep such a tormenting reminder at the gates of this church. As Dennis found me, he calmly explained that we have to remember our history, even the unspeakable events that transpired, to learn from them. I couldn’t believe at the time that he would go to this church every Sunday and pray with his community while knowing that the statue was there. He decided to take the sense of community from the church, he decided to remember the pains inflicted on his people and he decided to be like those native painters’ centuries earlier. He would know his history and embed his teachings from his grandfathers and medicine men with his current knowledge and stay on his quest to share this knowledge with others. If we are compelled to change our future we must continue to learn all of our past, the part we learned in the history books and all the pieces left out to preserve the power of the few. We must continue to question, to seek answers and to think critically about what we learn. We must judge what we find with both compassion and conviction and not merely accept the status quo. Change happens when we integrate our ideas and make them our own. When we decide how we will use the past to shape the future and inform the people we want to become.

Your love life is important, even when you’re a parent Do you feel that your only role in life is to be a parent? What about all those romantic moments you used to enjoy together before you started a family? Do you feel guilty when you make time for your relationship? Experts say it’s important to remember that nurturing your relationship with one another is crucial, especially when you’re parents. When a baby is born it’s normal to devote all your energy to this new member of the family. Between nursing, diapers, parenting joys and worries, time flies by so fast that you end up without any time for yourself. Parents bond deeply with their children and this relationship takes up more and more room in their lives. Mom is tired, Dad feels neglected and the marriage takes a beating. This is when you have to take immediate action. Of course you are parents, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect your love life. Nurturing your relationship must

re­main on your list of priorities. How can you take better care of your relationship? Take advantage of every opportunity to be alone together. Is the baby sleeping? Turn off the TV and have a romantic tête-à-tête. Don’t talk about the kids; they’ll be fine! Cozy up with each other, whisper sweet nothings and don’t look at the pile of dirty dishes in the sink. A long kiss, a hug and a bath together don’t cost anything, and often that’s all it takes to prevent coolness and indifference from creeping into your relationship. When possible, ask someone to come and look after the kids so you can treat yourselves to an evening at the movies, go for a walk or go out for a cup of coffee together. Get out, break the routine and have fun. If you feel guilty, remember this: taking care of your marriage is part of your responsibilities as a parent.

LIFE

PAGE 37


PAGE 38

HOW TO

Toronto Caribbean News | www.TOCaribNews.com | Wednesday, November 11, 2020

How to make your home more ENERGY-EFFICIENT If you want to decrease your carbon footprint while paying less for your utility bills, reducing the amount of energy your household consumes is key. Here’s how to make your home more energy efficient. USE ENERGY-EFFICIENT LIGHTING Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are better options than traditional incandescent lights. LEDs are the most energy-efficient, consuming about a quarter of the energy of incandescent bulbs. What’s more, they last 10 times longer.

SEAL OR REPLACE WINDOWS Heat loss and gain through windows account for about 25 to 30 per cent of residential energy usage. You can make your windows more energy-efficient by adding weatherstripping, installing blinds or curtains and ensuring that window edges are well-sealed with caulk. In addition, consider replacing damaged or poorly insulated windows with energy-efficient ones that are double- or triple-paned. TUNE UP YOUR HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEM Get your furnace, air conditioner, water heater or other appliance professionally serviced on an annual basis. This will help ensure your heating and cooling system runs at peak efficiency year-round. In addition, be sure to perform any regular maintenance tasks recommended by the manufacturer such as replacing the filters. CHOOSE ENERGY-EFFICIENT APPLIANCES Look for the Energy Star label when buying large appliances such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, stoves and televisions. Energy Star-certified appliances use 10 to 50

per cent less energy than standard appliances. In addition, choose bathroom fixtures that conserve water such as lowflow showerheads and toilets. To maximize your efforts at making your home more energy efficient, consider hiring a certified energy auditor. This professional can evaluate the inefficiencies in your home and provide expert recommendations.

Tips for buying energy-efficient APPLIANCES In addition to being eco-friendly, energy-efficient appliances can save you money on your utility bills. Here are some tips for choosing the best energy-efficient appliances for your home. LOOK AT THE LABELS Most large appliances sold in Canada are required to have a black-and-white EnerGuide label. This sticker displays the appliance’s annual energy consumption and indicates how it performs relative to other models in its class. Always consult the EnerGuide label to learn more about the appliance before you buy it. You should also look for the Energy Star logo, which indicates that the product meets strict standards for energy efficiency. CONSIDER THE SIZE It’s often important to determine what size you need your

appliances to be, es­pecially when it comes to HVAC systems. If your unit is too small for your house, it will operate at peak capacity for long periods of time, which isn’t energy efficient. An oversized appliance isn’t ideal either, as it costs more up front and is more expensive to operate. Size is also an important factor when buying refrigerators, washers, dryers, furnaces and boilers. MAKE A “SMART” PURCHASE Smart appliances are products you can sync up with a smart phone or home energy management system. This provides you with greater control over the way the appliance operates as well as real-time data about its energy usage. In addition, many smart appliances, such as refrigerators, laundry machines and HVAC systems, can be programmed to operate when electricity rates are lowest, saving you money.

Finally, once you’ve selected your new appliance, make sure to get it installed by the right professional. A faulty installation can impede your appliance’s energy efficiency and even cause it to break down.


FUN

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | www.TOCaribNews.com | Toronto Caribbean News

PAGE 39

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 8 TO NOVEMBER 14, 2020

ARIES

The luckiest signs this week: SCORPIO, SAGITTARIUS AND CAPRICORN

You’ll need to spend a lot of time negotiating to find an outcome that works for you. You’ll also find the perfect solution to your financial pro-blems and possibly manage to land the job of your dreams.

TAURUS

Once you calculate how much you can afford to spend, you’ll give your wardrobe a boost with beautiful pieces from local stores. You might also want to spruce up your hair or skincare routine to make yourself look more professional.

PUZZLE NO. 722 ANSWER TO PUZZLE NO. 722

HOW TO PLAY : Fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 through 9 only once.

GEMINI

You won’t be particularly motiva ted to leave the house. You’ll even ma-nage to work from home for a few days, which will make you more ef-ficient. You’ll also take on a massive project to tidy up your home.

Each 3x3 box is outlined with a darker line. You already have a few numbers to get you started. Remember: You must not repeat the numbers 1 through 9 in the same line, column, or 3x3 box.

CANCER

You might be put off by an interac-tion with a family member. Don’t wait too long to set the record straight. You need to be clear on who’s making the decisions if you want to find the light at the end of the tunnel.

LEO

PUZZLE NO. 12 41. Expertise 45. What “Taps” means 47. Quilting party 48. Suffer 49. Seep 50. Wager 51. Groups 52. Little bird 53. Descend Mt. Snow

ACROSS 1. Deli purchase 4. Gambler’s town 8. Commotion 12. Expert person 13. Baking box 14. In the center of 15. ____ and outs 16. Conclude

18. Harvesting machines 20. Affirmative answers 21. Some 22. Flower sites 23. Made holy 26. Pupil’s transport 27. Scamp

30. Starfish arms 31. Rummy 32. Ride the wind 33. Lumberjack’s implement 34. Society lass 35. Within reach 36. Glide 38. Maiden 39. Wake up

DOWN 1. Fur 2. Teenager’s woe 3. Flat-topped formation 4. Rat, e.g. 5. All 6. Fishermen’s tools 7. Billfold item 8. Softened 9. Oversight 10. Eat formally 11. Poems 17. Cereal grasses 19. Overtake 22. Hot-dog roll 23. Bikini part 24. Negligent 25. Vision

26. Apron part 28. Frenzied 29. Jimmy 31. Mousse alternative 32. Pepper’s mate 34. Daily fare 35. Rush 37. Cigar remnants 38. Sheer fabric 39. Woeful expression

40. ____ pudding 41. Othello, e.g. 42. Recedes 43. Smell strongly 44. Abominable Snowman 46. Mama pig

ANSWER TO PUZZLE NO. 12

You might be unexpectedly promo-ted after the departure of a co-worker. You’ll be asked to take on a leadership role while your boss is away on vacation. Alternatively, you might get a raise.

VIRGO

Certain pieces of your life will fall into place, making it easier to re-solve several ongoing issues. At work, inspiration will strike and al low you to take great strides toward com-pleting a project and achieving your goals.

LIBRA

With the right resources, you’ll ma-nage to improve all facets of your life. In particular, you’ll be inspired to make changes that improve your well-being and help you explore your spiritual side.

SCORPIO

You’ll oversee of a group of people in order to participate in a memo-rable event. The results will directly reflect the effort you put into the project. Additionally, you’ll manage to overcome some of your shyness.

SAGITTARIUS

You’ll take on new responsibilities this week. Fortunately, your priori-ties will align with your skillset. Your loved ones will help you create a plan of action to ensure you get everything done.

CAPRICORN

The decision to return to school isn’t always easy. In your case, however, the choice will be profitable and perfectly in line with your life goals. Perseverance is the key to your success, and your loved ones will support you along the way.

AQUARIUS

You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons before you make a decision that will have major repercussions. You might also join a spiritual move-ment or group that will expand your horizons.

CROSSWORD PUZZLE ANSWERS USE AMERICAN SPELLING

ICHF BabyHeart Trip to Guyana TCCF works with three international partners to treat poor and critically ill Caribbean children at four treatment centres. At Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, it works with the Herbie Fund to treat children su ering from most major ailments. In Austin Texas, it works with SpineHope to treat children su ering from spinal problems such as scoliosis. In Guyana and the Dominican Republic, it works with ICHF/BabyHeart Foundation to treat children su ering from congenital heart disease. The modus operandi at the two Caribbean centres is that TCCF assists with sending medical mission teams consisting of cardiac surgeons, anaesthetists and paediatric intensive care unit nurses to deliver treatment and also train local sta in post-operative care.

@tccfangels #tccfangels | to donate www.tccfangels.com

PISCES

You must take time to reflect be-fore you make a decision, even if you’re faced with a lot of pressure. Your intuition will guide you to the right answer, but you’ll need to be patient. The best solutions take time.


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PAGE 42

REAL ESTATE

Toronto Caribbean News | www.TOCaribNews.com | Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Small town real estate surging from pandemic JAY BRIJPAUL brijpaul@carib101.com

REAL ESTATE PRO

The pandemic impels us to make adjustments, and one of the biggest is working from home. With more people working from home, buyers are moving to small towns. There, the air is fresher, the towns are less crowded and home prices are cheaper. Rural living is slower paced and quieter but buying an out-of-town property requires more diligence. Families with young children should research the schools in the neighbourhood. Visit the schools and chat with the teachers so that you can get a feel for what your children will experience. While online classes are becoming more prevalent, social interaction is essential. Recently, one of my clients moved back from their out-of-town home because the children did not feel comfortable at the school. It is smart to encourage other friends

and family members to move to the same town. This will make it easier to settle in. A town that is growing is a good place to plant roots. Visit the amenities such as recreation centres, shops and hospitals. These amenities dwindle in small towns and someone may have to travel across town to use them. Since location is key in real estate, settle in an area close to schools, shops and amenities. The property price might be higher compared to homes a little further away, but you will enjoy the amenities and when you are ready to uproot again, buyers will pay premium for your homes. A trip to the municipal office in the area is insightful. Look at the major employers in the area. With sustainable employment, the town would generate more revenue. More people would be employed, and the wheel of commerce would spin faster. The cost involved in running the town is split among the employers and homeowners. If there are only a few employers and the population is small, then chances are property taxes will be high and the town will have fewer amenities. In the GTA, we are spoilt with homes that run on natural gas and we have electricity, water and a sewer system. However, an out-of-town property might have well water and septic systems. It is vital to have these sys-

tems checked out. Well water must be tested for bacteria and flow rate. Water samples must be taken over a period of time. The septic system must be at a lower gradient than the well to prevent contamination. If there is oil heating, then, an environmental assessment might be required by the lender. Make your offer conditional upon inspecting the property. It is important to use a local inspector. Ask the homeowner for the contractors’ information who usually takes care of the well and the septic system. These contractors are helpful. Buying a home in small town is not “a do it yourself” project. An experienced realtor can assist. Realtors will research the area and look for homes that match your needs. Is it better to use a local realtor or a realtor who is representing the seller? There is no right or wrong answer. A local realtor would know the neighbourhood better. A realtor who represents the seller might be bias when it comes to negotiation and due diligence. A good realtor can make a major difference although they may not be local. An exit strategy is good to have in the event that things do not work out the way you envision it. As such, always buy what is easy to sell. If you buy premium, you will live in premium and eventually sell premium. Choose a home first by location, then size and

then amenities. It is easier to update a bigger home than to extend a smaller one. In small towns, you will have fewer contractors to assist in repairs. The cost for such services will be more and the waiting period longer. If it is a pre-built, then research the builder. There are some great builders in small towns. However, you will find a few rotten apples. Look at other subdivisions they have already built and approach some of the homeowners. Let them know your intention and ask for advice. Always seek legal advice before finalizing any offers. While small towns offer a more relaxing lifestyle, it is not for everyone. The big cities are fast paced and have many choices to consider such as universities, hospitals, public transit and recreational facilities. My recommendation is that before uprooting, look at all the options. For example, seniors can sell their home in the city, buy a cheaper home in small town and free up some of their wealth to enjoy retirement. Buying an out-of-town property has many advantages such as bigger properties, lower price and quieter neighbourhoods. If you are working from home or retiring, then it’s a great option. In a changing world, social distancing is essential. Enjoy the fresh air.

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PAGE 44

FINANCE

Toronto Caribbean News | www.TOCaribNews.com | Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Dream big to inspire big changes CLEVE DeSOUZA cleve@carib101.com

WEALTH MANAGEMENT

What we focus on as 2020 ends is what we’ll achieve in 2021. That makes November the season of goal setting and dream building. The pandemic and related economic difficulties make this dreaming season one of the most important ever. For the last few months, you’ve had more time at home with family. You probably gave more thought to what you want from life. Now is the time to turn those thoughts into dreams. Dreams can inspire big changes, such as saving money and working hard to reach your biggest goals. “What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.” Traditional Buddhist adage We talk to people every day about

paying down debt. If we focus every conversation on the debt itself, we only attract more debt. Instead, we focus on helping people imagine a future in which they build wealth and acquire assets. When we become people with wealth and assets, paying off debt is inevitable. We help people find the path to their becoming their best selves. This month, as 2020 winds down, think about what you want out of life. Now is the time to think about big goals. Do you want to retire at 55? Is owning your own business important to you? Do you want financial independence? As you dream, keep asking yourself why you want these things. If you can’t articulate the why, you may not be dreaming the right dream. Many people say they want to retire early. It’s a common goal. If you can’t say what you’ll do with the extra time, then maybe early retirement isn’t the right dream for you. The same goes for any goal. Spell out your why and you’ll discover what really matters to you. Another question to consider – is your dream big enough? Achieving a dream demands sacrifice. If the dream isn’t big enough, you’ll find it hard to make the necessary sacrifices. Just climbing out of debt

isn’t enough for most people. We need to have a vision of the reward for doing the hard work of paying off debt. “Only make moves when your heart’s in it.” Andrew Wiggins, NBA player One question to avoid right now is how you’ll finance your dream. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Once you know what you want, talk to a financial planner to find the path. Most Canadians rely solely on a job (or two) for income. That’s not the only way to earn money. Wealthy people don’t focus on paycheques. Instead, wealthy people build their assets. For example, investing money in a savings account earns you .05% interest. Compare that to a 5-year Government Issued Certificate (GIC), which can pay as much as 1.8% interest. If you’re willing to accept more risk, your potential return on investment also increases. Big dreams are never a mistake. The only mistake is downsizing your dreams to fit your paycheque. Instead, set goals and build your wealth to make your dreams real. “Dream big dreams. Small dreams have no magic.” Dottie Boreyko, American philanthropist

COVID-19 and short-term disability benefits ANDREW STEWART andrew@carib101.com

FAMILY ADVISOR

The situation surrounding COVID-19 is very fluid and continues to evolve rapidly. As we head into colder months many of us are concerned how the virus will be contained. The Ontario government recently announced it has expanded access to COVID-19 testing to include select pharmacies throughout the province. As the pandemic continues, it’s important to know how to access testing if you’re experiencing signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or suspect you have been exposed to the virus. You can take a self-assessment to help you decide if you need a test. For students and children in school and childcare they should complete the school screening questionnaire on the covid-19.ontario. ca website by answering yes or no to nine health questions. If symptoms are prevalent only an assessment centre can test you. You can get tested at an assessment centre or select pharmacies if you are not showing symptoms, and are eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative as de-

termined by the Ministry of Health or Ministry of Long-term Care or public health. By now many companies have reopened physical locations and are doing their best to implement all the measures the leading health and safety experts suggest. If your work is in-person, it’s important to make sure the right protection measures are in place. Keeping a healthy distance of two meters has become our new normal globally and return to work is no different. It will unlikely be 100% and outbreaks will always cause nervousness. Apprehensions employees have about self-isolating or mandated quarantine is loss of income. If you’re lucky to have group benefits provided by your employer, you would think and hope that you are eligible for short-term disability. Short-term disability is designed to replace an employee’s earnings if they are unable to work due to illness and injury. As a result, employees must meet certain criteria to be eligible for this benefit. Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are unable to work from home are eligible for coverage from Day 1 of their self-isolation period. Those who have not been tested but have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and are unable to work from home, should also be eligible for coverage. A situation could arise that you are in quarantine for other reasons and do not have symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Unfortunately, you would not be eligible for coverage. If that’s

the case, you should consider applying for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits if you do not have an option to work from home. What proof is required for someone making a short-term disability claim because they have tested positive for COVID-19? How do you submit a short-term disability claim and how long will you be paid for a COVID-related disability claim? In most cases you will need to complete a Short-Term Disability COVID-19 Claim Form. For individuals with a positive test result, its required to provide the date of their test, the name of the clinic/facility where they were tested and the results of the test. The form will ask to indicate the symptoms associated with your illness, do you have any other health problems that might affect recovery, and can you work from home? Given that the employee has tested positive, there is no waiting period and will be paid for 14 days. The federal government has introduced three new benefits: the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB). These new federal benefits have no impact on short-term disability claims or benefits. If an employee has tested positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and are unable to work from home, they could apply for the federal government’s recovery benefits.


October 29, 2020 – February 21, 2021 Virtual Programming Highlights • October 29, 7 pm: Exhibition Opening Reception

• November 26, 7 pm: Art & Book Club • November 28, 2 pm: Artist Talk – The Photographers • January 28, 2021: Artist Talk – Painting and Textiles Owen V. Gordon (Jamaican/Canadian, 1946-), Extreme Social Distances, 2020, oil on paper, 55.8 x 76 cm, Courtesy of the artist, Nicholas Metivier Gallery and BAND

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SPORTS

PAGE 46

Toronto Caribbean News | www.TOCaribNews.com | Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The End of an Era? Uriah Hall defeats Silva in a decisive victory around the world, Silva’s age didn’t deter him from entering the cage, and he is currently the UFC’s oldest active fighter at 45 years old. On October 31st, Silva stepped into the cage against the much younger Uriah Hall (36 years) at UFC Fight Night 181. Uriah “Prime Time� Hall, a JamaicanAmerican martial artist boasting a satisfactory 16-9 record and going into the fight with a two fight winning streak looked like a strong opponent for Silva. Despite his younger age and explosive movements, Uriah Hall knew defeating the legendary Silva would be no easy task. As for Silva, many rumours were surrounding the event that this would be Silva’s retirement fight.

MARCEL MARIAK marcel@carib101.com

TC JUNIOR REPORTER

The UFC is a massive fight promotion with over 500 fighters on their roster. Out of these fighters, only a small percentage are dominant enough in their careers to ever become a UFC champion; and out of this small cadre of champions, only one or two can captivate the world. The Brazilian, Anderson “The Spider� Silva, is recognized by many fans as one of the most dominant fighters of all time. His impressive record of title defences, paired with an ability to put opponents to sleep with a single touch made Silva an instant favourite in the MMA community. At his peak, Silva was arguably the most dominant fighter in the world. Unfortunately, as the years wore on and Silva aged, younger more explosive fighters began to surpass him. Luckily for MMA fans RY 10TH

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The Fight At the beginning of the bout, both fighters were hesitant to engage with the other. Uriah Hall was well aware of Silva’s elusive movements and knockout capability, and Silva recognized that his body wouldn’t be able to handle too much punishment from the younger warrior. Both fighters started the first round with a lengthy “feeling out process� in which they attempted to pick up on their foe’s rhythm. During the first round, the warriors exchanged a few fight shots and leg kicks, with neither fighter throwing any powerful blows.

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In the second round, both fighters seemed to become a bit more comfortable with each other as they both began to commit more to their strikes and engage often. While Uriah Hall was throwing powerful strikes at his opponent, The Spider’s elusive movements and lightning-fast footwork made it nearly impossible for the young fighter to land significant strikes. Throughout the second round, both warriors continued to exchange strikes with neither fighter looking to bring the fight to the canvas. At the end of the second round, both fighters looked warmed up and came out into the third round firing on all cylinders. Hall became much more calm and aggressive with his attacks, while Silva showed off the elusive movement and creative striking that put him on the map. In the closing seconds of the first round, Anderson Silva attempted an aggressive attack but as he was closing the distance, he found himself on the receiving end of a powerful right hand. This strike put Silva on the mat and Hall followed up with a powerful ground-and-pound. Before Hall could finish the fight, the horn sounded on the third round and Silva was saved by the bell. In the fourth round, Hall was determined to maintain his momentum and

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finish his hurt opponent. Only one minute into the first round, Hall hit Silva with another shot that dropped the former champion. Committed to finishing the fight this time, Hall attacked Silva with a brutal ground attack, and the referee, Herb Dean, was forced to stop the fight. At the end of the day, the outcome of the fight wasn’t surprising. The younger, more explosive fighter was able to defeat the weathered veteran. After the fight, both warriors knelt in front of each other in an emotional sign of respect. Hall bowed to his childhood hero and said, “I’m so sorry. I love you.� Sadly, this loss could spell the end of the road for Silva. With a broken nose, lacerated eyelid, and a 6-month medical suspension, there’s a good chance that The Spider will not be returning to the cage. Although he did not comment on his retirement in the post-fight interview, it’s reasonable to assume that Silva won’t be returning. While the fight didn’t go as Silva had hoped, he inspired a generation of young fighters and his legacy will live on forever. As for Hall, the young lion will undoubtedly continue to strive for the middleweight belt and to cement his legacy in the UFC.


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