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Vo l u m e 1 • I s s u e 3 • w w w. t h e vo i ce i n d i a • 905.920.1752




“Using the power of the pen to facilitate smooth integration for immigrants into the Canadian society.”

The Voices From Our Communities

Plans for the New Year.


year helps one reflect on past events and make changes or adjustments for the brand new year. Hence, the need for New Year’s resolution. Wikipedia dictionary sees New Year’s Resolution as a ‘commitment that an individual makes to a project or a habit,

Below are the 10 top New Year’s resolutions people make: 1. Spend more time with family and friends. 2. Fit in Fitness 3. Tame the Bulge 4. Quit Smoking 5. Enjoy Life More 6. Quit Drinking 7. Get Out of Debt 8. Learn Something New 9. Help Others 10. Get Organized (From Kimberly & Albrecht Powell,) Happy New Year Resolution!!!

One In Four Suffer From Bias Over Ethnicity


often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous’. The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year’s Day and remain until the set goal has been achieved, although many resolutions go unachieved and are often broken fairly shortly after they are set. New Year resolution like goal setting is very crucial to success in life. At least, once a year, we take moments to self reflect from our very busy lifestyles on the direction we would like our lives to take. The Voice in Diaspora went around the city to ask individuals to share their new year’s resolution with our readers. Below is what the voices from our communities had to say about their goals for 2008:

The Voice in Diaspora & SISO

A new Partnership is born! New beginnings, new partnerships When The Voice in Diaspora started a short while ago, we made a commitment to ensure that newcomers’ voices are heard; and to be a voice for them in the political, economical, social, cultural, and other areas of Canadian life. We aimed to facilitate communication, to dialogue, continued on page 

Jina Oh: My New Years, plan is to help make sure my 2 boys are healthy. As a new immigrant still getting used to the culture and people here, I would like a good community where every one live in peace and harmony. I would also work hard this year to see great improvement in my business. Albert Yalda (48 years): My New Year’s plans are: to lose weight through healthy eating and exercise; to be closer to God because that is very important, but most people do not think of that; and to do the little I could to continued on page 

Prescribing Gap May Leave Blacks In More Pain


TTAWA -- One in four Canadians say they have been victims of discrimination based on their race or ethnicity, according to a new study. Respondents to a national survey cited race, ethnicity, skin colour and gender as areas where they felt their rights had been violated. The survey, sponsored by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and the Association for

tudy shows minorities are less likely to get narcotics from ER doctors – From a study done in the US.

continued on page 10

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Emergency room doctors are prescribing strong narcotics more often to patients who complain of pain, but minorities are less likely to get them than whites, a new study finds. Even for the severe pain of kidney stones, minorities were prescribed narcotics such as oxy-

Mayor’s Levee, January 6th 2008


ayor Fred Eisenberger invited all Hamiltonians to his 2008 Levee at the Eaton Centre, to commemorate the New Year. Many people that turned out for the event were not disappointed as they were treated to an afternoon of delicious cake, cookies, soft drinks, and good companies. People used the opportunity to see and interact with the mayor, his staff and some council members like, Councillor MacHattie, Councillor Pearson and Councillor Ferguson. Also in attendance was the Deputy Consul General of China in Toronto, Li Zheng Ming. Mayor’s Levee is a tradition that mayors use to usher in the New Year, and to

meet with people in their communities. It is believed the Mayor’s Levee tradition began in the 18th century during the reign of King Louis XIV. It was designed to reinforce the idea that the sovereign was responsible to the people. History has it that the governor of New France, would sit on the doorstep of his home on New Year’s Day to greet residents, and he brought the tradition to Canada. While there might be some changes over the years to the custom of the levee, the intent has not changed as it was in the beginning - to show the government’s role of public service and extend best wishes for the new year. One important change as noted by one of Mayor Eisenberger’s staff is the serving of cakes and cookies this new years levee instead of cheese which is traditionally served. ■

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Jan 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 3

Call 905.520.1752

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How Poverty And Race Affect Your Health. T

hough other socio-economic factors affect your health and well being to some degree, poverty leaves an indelible mark that is as crippling as it is punishing to the life of an individual. Rightly put, poverty leaves both man and beast to the mercy of death. Below is an article illustrating the double tragedy of being poor and at the same time belonging to an ethnoracial group in Canada, and their impact on your health and well being. Read on. Regrettably, membership in an ethnoracial minority group or being a recently arrived migrant increases a person’s likelihood of being poor (Kazemipur & Halli, 2003; Statistics Canada, 2003a; Samaan, 2000). The phenomenon is complex but the role of racism must not be neglected. Adequate income, healthy environment and social position are linked to poverty and influence the health of growing ethno-racial minority and immigrant populations (Health Canada, 1994). Ethno-racial minorities, whether Canadian or foreign born, face greater economic difficulties than other Canadians and are disproportionately represented in jobs with long hours and low pay (Kazemipur & Halli, 2003; Jackson & Smith, 2002). Immigrants in particular face social differentials related to employment and occupational level (Shields, 2003). The 2001 unemployment rate for new immigrants (25 to 44)

was double that of Canadian-born workers (Statistics Canada, 2003b). Women from ethno-racial minorities may face an increased work burden with employment and childcare, generally work in lower-paid jobs, and frequently exercise less control in those jobs (Walters, 2004). These realities create conditions conducive to stress-related illnesses (Anderson, 2000).

tain categories of immigrants, however, such access is problematic. In the case of last-resort welfare assistance, those with temporary visas are denied access altogether and sponsored immigrants accumulate family debt if they are forced to turn to welfare. Pensions are problematic for immigrants who arrive later in life. Unlikely to be able to find work, they are denied access to Canada’s universal pension (Old Age Security) for their first 10 years in the country, even if they are over 65 and already citizens. Afterwards, their pensions often fall below the minimum income provided for other Canadian seniors through the guaranteed income supplement.

Employment conditions create barriers to health due to lack of financial and time resources and lack of employee benefits (Iglesias, Robertson, Johnsson, Engfeldt & Sundquist, 2003). People with low incomes and people of colour more often find themselves in living and work environments The association between education and that pose a threat to health through poor air quality, contamination of soil, water health status is also well documented. While and building materials, and vulnerability immigrants, especially seniors, have higher to accidents. Studies in the United States rates of individuals with no formal schooling, show strong associations between envi- working-age immigrants--particularly nonronmental hazards and concentration of Europeans--have a higher proportion of postfromeducation page  secondary than Canadians (Dunn & ethnic minorities (Northbridge & Shepard,...continued 1997). Race has been shown to be an im- Dyck, 2000). Unlike the Canadian-born popuportant variable in studies documenting lation, however, high educational attainment that people of colour typically have lower does not necessarily translate into higher inincomes than their white counterparts, come and social standing. Immigrants-- and even when they have higher levels of edu- refugees in particular--often find that their cation (Carey, 2000; Torczyner, 1997), and human capital has little value in the Canadian racism is cited as significant to people of labour market (Lamba, 2003). colour’s experience in the workplace (Sh(Jacqueline Oxman-Martinez, Centre for Apragge et al, 2004). plied Family Studies, McGill University and Jill

Given the higher levels of poverty found among ethno-racial minority and immigrant groups, access to government income security programs is important to well-being The Voice in Diaspora and health. For cerP.O. Box 417 Hamilton, Ontario Tel: 905.920.1752 - Fax: 905.769.5483

Our Mission

Using the power of the pen to facilitate smooth integration and assimilation for immigrants into the Canadian society.


Veronica Chris-Ike

Art & Creative Design Jihan Aydin www . A4AMEDIA . com

Advertising & Marketing Stella Chris-Ike, Avesta Tokhai, Terry-Ann Hasting


...continued from page 

Hanley, Groupe d’étude sur le racisme, la migration et l’exclusion, Université Libre de Bruxelles)

What are your thoughts about these staggering statistics? Please send your opinion/experience to Editor “The Voice in Diaspora Newspaper” ■

ensure the world is a more peaceful place to live. Wayne Macquire (58 years): My new year’s plans are: to lose weight, at least 20Lbs this 2008, by joining exercise classes, and most importantly, to eat less. Also, I downsized from a 3 bedroom house to a 1 bedroom apartment late last year. This is a huge change for me, and one that is very difficult to adapt to. So, part of this year’s plan is to adapt to my new living arrangement the best I could. Fumi Oni: My New Year’s resolution is to work harder this year to reach my goals! Almost everyone has important goals they have set for themselves to achieve in 2008. No matter what our targets are for this New Year, it is how focused we are to our goals that determine the successful outcome of those goals. Determination and focus is the key to success. ■


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A new Partnership is born!

and to build bridges between newcomers and other Canadians. Many, including some of our supporters, doubted that we could survive this ambitious undertaking. The journey has been challenging but fruitful, and has equipped us with experience and knowledge to take this commitment to the next level. In this process we have gained new supporters and strengthened our relationship with our supporters. And now we are ready to go to the next level… From its inception one of the strongest supporters of The Voice in Diaspora has been Settlement and Integration Services Organization, also known as SISO. The Voice in Diaspora and SISO not only share the same values but also there is a strong connection between what SISO does on a daily basis to help newcomers and what The Voice in Diaspora does by using the power of the pen to affect positive changes in the lives of immigrants in our communities.

Philip U. Okpala, Fevel Toledo, Veronica Chris-Ike

As of the next issue, SISO will become an official partner with The Voice in Diaspora. We have a joint commitment to ensuring that immigration and immigrant issues will become a centre piece of our local agenda. While both partners are committed to the independence and integrity of The Voice in Diaspora, from next issue, readers would begin to see a reflection of our new partnership in the publications, and this will ensure a stronger voice for our community.

Publication will be done Monthly. Free copies will be distributed to businesses, shopping malls, churches, Non-profit organizations, adult learning centers, etc, in Hamilton and environs.

This is just one step in making The Voice in Diaspora a stronger voice for all of us. We aim to expand the geographic area of The Voice in Diaspora, and we have started a dialogue toward building coalitions with community based media, especially with the ethno-racial media.

The Voice in Diaspora Newspaper is published and distributed monthly free of charge. The views expressed by writers do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Voice in Diaspora Newspaper. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without prior permission is prohibited. The Voice in Diaspora Newspaper is not responsible for the accuracy of information provided by the advertisers & contributors.

We are committed to building networks and partnerships to reflect the collaborative voices of our diverse communities. To achieve this ambitious and worthwhile goal we need your support, opinion and involvement. Stay tuned for more information from The Voice in Diaspora. Thanks Veronica Chris-Ike Publisher/Editor The Voice in Diaspora Newspaper.

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Jan 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 3

Money Sense – (Real wealth isn’t about earning money — it’s about keeping money) MC

Hammer — who has a blog! sold the rights to his songs to raise money after being bankrupted by his lavish lifestyle. Hammer earned more than $33 million in the early nineties, but spent the money on a $12 million mansion (with gold-plated gates), a fleet of seventeen vehicles, two helicopters, and extravagant parties. Actress Kim Basinger paid $20 million to buy the town of Braselton, Georgia in 1989. When Basinger filed for bankruptcy just four years later, she was forced to sell the town. Imelda Marcos, former First Lady of the Philippines, had an extensive wardrobe: 15 mink coats, 65 parasols, 71 pairs of sunglasses, 508 gowns, 888 handbags, and over a thousand pairs of shoes. While Swaziland prepared for famine and suffered from an AIDS/HIV epidemic, the country’s king spent $45 million (US) of state funds to purchase a private jet. Newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst — the inspiration for Citizen Kane — built an enormous castle in California. The estate features 56 bedrooms, 41 fireplaces, 61 bathrooms, and 19 sitting rooms. The buildings total more than

90,000 square feet.

in 1996 with more than $8 million in debt.

Dennis Kozlowski, former CEO of Tyco, received widespread attention for his decadent lifestyle, which he funded in part from the coffers of the company he ran. For his wife’s 40th birthday, Kozlowski staged an extravagant $2 million party on the Italian island of Sardinia. The party featured a ice-sculpture of the Statue of David that pissed vodka. He charged the company half the bill for this orgy.

Author Mark Twain “made a substantial amount of money through his writing, but he squandered much of it in bad investments, mostly in new inventions. These included a bed clamp for infants, a new type

Michael Jackson may earn a lot of money, but he spends a lot too! “He purchased ten artificial intelligence Sony AIBO dog robots at $5,000 each, and it takes over $200,000 a month just to maintain and run his home. The King of Pop dazzled the American populace when he shopped away $6 million within a matter of hours on the TV documentary Living with Michael Jackson.” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was deep in debt when he died at 35. He was buried in an unmarked pauper’s grave. Boxer Mike Tyson earned over $300 million in his professional career. He lost it all, spending the money on cars, jewels, and more. He eventually filed for bankruptcy Actor Burt Reynolds filed for bankruptcy

of steam engine, and the kaolatype (or collotype: a machine designed to engrave printing plates).” Twain was a sucker for get rich quick schemes. Even the rich need to save for the future. “Over a 20-month period between 1996 and 1997 Elton John spent $205,774 on flowers alone — and that’s just a smidgen of his spending. In 1999, the BBC reported that John asked a merchant bank to help him borrow $40 million to pay off his debts. A year later he admitted running up debts more than $2 million a month. His spending sprees were reported to include purchases of classic cars, clothing and jewelry… ‘I’m not a nest-egg person,’ said John when defense lawyers questioned his spending habits. ‘I’m a single man. I like spending my money.’“

800 Queenston Rd. Suite # 306 Stoney Creek , ON L8N 1K4 Phone : 905-594-9828 ext 222 Fax : 1-877-653-5421 E-mail : Jan 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 3

On the night of 01 February 1976, Elvis Presley decided he wanted a Fool’s Gold Loaf, a special sandwich made of hollowed bread, a jar of peanut butter, a jar of jelly, and a pound of bacon. He and an entourage flew from Memphis to Denver. The group ate their sandwiches and then flew home. Price: $50,000 - $60,000. When people make a lot of money, they’re able to spend a lot of money. The problem isn’t a single extravagant purchase, but a lavish lifestyle in which they spend more than they earn. Even the rich are subject to the fundamental law of wealth. Real wealth isn’t about earning money — it’s about keeping money.

“… Contact your local Primerica representative – today!” Ken Ruffell , Regional Vice President

Soccer star George Best went bankrupt in 1982. How’d he lose his money? “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds, and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”

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There are also countless stories of average people who make it big through the lottery (or other windfall), and then squander their wealth in years or months. These people often come from backgrounds that provide no training for handling large fortunes. It’s sad to think that a lot of these problems might have been alleviated with some basic financial literacy. People don’t plan to fail, they failed to plan. ■ From: Get Rich Slowly (www.getrichslowly. org).

This is a ‘Chadian wedding’ celebrated Dec. 24th 2007 in Hamilton between “Hachim Haggar (Groom), and Souat Saleh (Bride). This wedding is a celebration of love and is enriched with deep traditional flavour replicant of a typical Chadian wedding even though the venue was in Hamilton Ontario Canada, and not in far away Chad in West Africa. The bride and groom, with their invited guests all loooked radiant and beautifully adorned in their traditional gears, dancing, cheering and making merriment. This wedding showed patriotism and unity amongst the Chadian community residing in Hamilton and environs. Indeed our ethnic/cultural communities are alive and vibrant, and celebrations like this which helps to show our rich ethnic presence in our communities is one way we in diaspora could showcase our culture and celebrate our solidarity. Hip! Hip! Hip! Happy married life to Hachim and Souat, and long live the Chadian community in Hamilton & environs (from the Voice in Diaspora Newspaper)

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Jan 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 3

‘SISO Annual Christmas party’ held on Dec. 14th 2007 at Jamesville Community Centre. There were music, food, drinks, door prizes, surprises and christmas gifts for children from diverse ethnic/cultural populations in Hamilton.

Jan 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 3

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Mr. Russell’s 75th Birthday celebration. “ The Voice in Diaspora Newspaper wishes Mr Russell many more happy years

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Jan 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 3

Love & Humility


feel privileged to write this piece, knowing that I have no theological training. The concepts of ‘humility and love’ is as intriguing to me as I know they are to many readers of this article. Reflecting especially on humility has been a lifelong practice for me, simply because it was the most talked about religious principle my father always hammered on during my early years in the boarding school. My father never ceased to tell us children how the proud suffers a big fall because of pride. He delighted in waking us early prior to our departure to the boarding school, and fed our ears with biblical stories, cultural and societal expectations and obliga-

tions. He always ends his ‘sermons’ with “God uplifts the humble, and resists the proud” This adage has stayed with me ever since. However, I am not sure if I ever practice what he taught me regarding this concept, but I have seen there is a great amount of truth in his message, hence the need to share this piece with you dear readers. Humility is a virtue, it draws the believer closer to God’s love. Sometimes, it is very difficult to master, yet there is no gain in giving up trying. Humility toward the Lord enables you to ask persistently for His help and to believe He can do things you can not, thereby bringing His healing power into your world (See MT. 15:

21-28). Humility does not show weakness, rather it shows strength. One is never too big or too important to practice humility. For husbands and wives, humility in marriage is one virtue that must grace your relationships. Being proud makes one a loser, it wrecks your marriages, it breeds hatred and animosity. It is not important who says “I am sorry” Your relationship is one of love, trust, and mutual understanding, there is no competition. No victor, no vanquish. Love your neighbor, being careful not to offend him. Show the childlike humility that leads one into true believing

and greatness. One of the best ways to overcome our harmful desires is through serving others. Jesus served us with His life which He sacrificed that we might be reconciled to the father. In like manner, we have to make sacrifices that should better the lives of our fellow beings. When one start serving others and have genuine relationships with others, true love is shown and thus the purpose of life is more revealing, more fulfilling. As it is important to live harmoniously with one another, so it is more important to obey God’s ordinances to us. God wants us to love one another and be humble, what is difficult in practicing these? All believers believe God lives inside of us and we in Him, so where will God’s room be in a heart that is envious, proud, hateful and un-forgiving? Let us not deceive our selves with pretentious acts of self-righteous and ‘I am already in heaven’ kind of attitude when we know truthfully we hate our mother-in-laws; sister-in-laws, other races and colors; our colleagues; neighbors and what have you. Love calls for good and positive actions. It is everything but selfish. Love and humility combined makes a believer to realize a mistake, ask for forgiveness to both God and man, and make amend. In life, we have been wronged and we have wronged our fellow beings one way or the other. Even as you read this piece, you might be passing through hurts and disappointment through life, you are not alone. It continued on page 10

Jan 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 3

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Ontario Government Warning About Phone Scam Q

UEEN’S PARK — A new telephone scam hitting Ontario involves a fraudster posing as a government representative and urging victims to divulge their banking information.

Anyone who has received such a call or wants to know more about this or other scams should contact the Ontario Consumer Protection Branch at 1-800-8899768, or 416-326-8800.

The Ontario Consumer Protection Branch has received several complaints from the public about receiving a phone call from an individual claiming to be with the fictitious “Consumer Protection Bureau of Canada”.

Anyone who believes they have been a victim of this or any other fraud including identity theft should call their local police or Phonebusters at 1-888-495-8501.

An automated telephone message tells people they may be the victim of identity theft and to press “9” for assistance. A caller then comes on the line to tell victims that their bank account has been compromised and urges them to provide banking information so their money can be transferred to a “secure” account. Any calls coming from the provincial Con-

sumer Protection Branch asking for banking information is a fraud. The Consumer Protection Branch would never ask an individual to transfer money from one account to another.


uebec City’s 400th birthday party began December 31, 2007 night with a major concert and a fireworks display in the city’s historic Old Town. The year long event would feature 400 dancers, singers and musicians.

Most Canadians are not aware of the celebration. This is despite the high amount of money being invested into the celebration which is almost $90 million dollars. A poll conducted this year for the federal

onsumers Can Call Gift Card Hotline With Questions And Complaints

QUEEN’S PARK — The McGuinty government is making a list and checking it twice to assure consumers that Ontario retailers are complying with the province’s ban on gift card expiry dates, Government and Consumer Services Minister Ted McMeekin said.

Do You Know - Quebec City is Celebrating 400th Years!

The celebration is a 10-month-long party and has been in preparation since a decade now. Some highlights of the celebration include: world hockey championships and a huge outdoor concert next summer featuring Céline Dion. The celebration will be wrap up with a show by Cirque du Soleil on Oct. 19, 2008.


McGuinty government celebrates the holidays with ban on gift card expiry dates

government — which has kicked in $40 million for the party — found more than 80 per cent of Canadians didn’t even know about the anniversary. Awareness ranged from 20 per cent in Atlantic Canada to 12 per cent in the Prairies, according to the Harris-Decima poll prepared for the Heritage Department. ■

“Gift cards are becoming increasingly popular during the holidays, especially as stocking stuffers,” said McMeekin. “And we want Ontario consumers to know that gift cards are worth the money they paid for them, regardless of when those cards are used.” The Ontario government’s ban on gift card expiry dates – the first of its kind in Canada – came into effect on October 1, 2007.  To further ensure that consumers get what they pay for, the new rules prohibit fees or deductions from a card’s value, often charged for “inactivity”, which is another way of expiring a gift card.

“These new regulations strike a good balance between responding to the concerns of consumers and taking into consideration the legitimate needs of retailers,” said Retail Council of Canada President and CEO Diane J. Brisebois. “We are pleased to work with the government to support compliance in the retail sector, and to work towards an even playing field for all gift card issuers.” “People who receive gift cards no longer need to rush into a purchase just to get full value from their card,” said Consumers Council of Canada Vice-President Eleanor Friedland.  “Ontario continues to set an example for other provinces to follow when it comes to consumer protection initiatives like this.” Ontario consumers who have questions, complaints or comments regarding the ban are encouraged to call the provinces toll free consumer hotline at 1-800-8899768, or in Toronto at 416-326-8800. ■

Land Transfer Tax Refund Program announced in the 2007 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review. The proposed amendments must be passed by the Legislature and receive Royal Assent to become law.

Report By Philip U. Okpala


nother reason to smile if you are a soon-to-be first time home buyer in Ontario: the province just announced a tax break of up to $2000 for all first time home buyers in Ontario. The rebate will apply to the provincial land transfer tax on all new and resale properties for first time buyers. Previously, this program was only available for first time buyers of new homes or condominiums. The McGuinty government is giving all first-time homebuyers a break on land transfer tax by proposing to expand the Land Transfer Tax Refund Program to include purchases of resale homes. On December 13, 2007, proposed amendments to the Land Transfer Tax Act were

It is proposed that the Land Transfer Tax Refund Program for First-Time Homebuyers be expanded to include purchases of resale homes. The maximum refund would be $2000. This proposal to include resale homes would be effective for agreements of purchase and sale entered into after December 13, 2007. How to Claim the Refund Until the Proposed Amendments Become Law Newly Constructed Homes Eligible first-time homebuyers of newly constructed homes should continue to have their lawyers claim the refund under current procedures at the time of registration. The date the agreement of purchase and sale is entered into is not a factor with respect to newly constructed homes.

Resale Homes Until the proposed amendments become law, first-time homebuyers of resale homes applying for a refund must pay Land transfer tax at registration and submit the following documentation to the Ministry of Revenue: 1. A properly completed form - Ontario Land Transfer Tax Refund Affidavit for FirstTime Purchasers of Eligible Homes (Resale) 2. A copy of the registered instrument on which land transfer tax was paid (in the case of electronic registration, please include a copy of the docket summary which relates to the transaction); 3. A copy of the agreement of purchase and sale (only those agreements of purchase and sale entered into after December 13, 2007 may qualify) along with a copy of the statement of adjustments. Refund applications on resale homes cannot currently be made electronically. Although eligible first-time buyers of resale homes may apply for the refund once the transaction has closed and the tax has been paid, the ministry would retain the

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refund requests for processing and would issue refunds if the proposed amendments become law. The following eligibility requirements are proposed to apply for resale homes, and continue to apply for newly constructed homes: A. The purchaser must be at least 18 years of age. B. Application for the refund must be made within 18 months after the date of the conveyance or disposition. C. The purchaser must occupy the home as his or her principal residence within 9 months of the date of closing. D. The purchaser cannot have owned a home or had any ownership interest in a home, anywhere in the world. E. A spouse of the purchaser cannot have owned a home or had any ownership interest in a home, anywhere in the world while he or she was the purchaser’s spouse. A resale home is referred to as an eligible home in the proposed legislation.

Jan 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 3

❖ to be continued

...continued from page 

Prescribing Gap May Leave Blacks In More Pain

deserve good pain control,” he said.

codone and morphine less frequently than whites. The analysis of more than 150,000 emergency room visits over 13 years found differences in prescribing by race in both urban and rural hospitals, in all U.S. regions and for every type of pain.

Stricter protocols for prescribing narcotics may help close the gap. A New York hospital recently studied its emergency patients and found no racial disparity in narcotics prescribed for broken bones. Montefiore Medical Center aggressively treats pain and is developing protocols for painkillers that dictate initial dosages and times to check with patients to see if they need more pain medicine, said Dr. David Esses, emergency department associate director at Montefiore. In the study, opioid narcotics were prescribed in 31 percent of the pain-related visits involving whites, 28 percent for Asians, 24 percent for Hispanics and 23 percent for blacks. Minorities were slightly more likely than whites to get aspirin, ibuprofen and similar drugs for pain. In more than 2,000 visits for kidney stones, whites got narcotics 72 percent of the time, Hispanics 68 percent, Asians 67 percent and blacks 56 percent. The data came from a well-regarded government survey that collects information on emergency room visits for four weeks each year from 500 U.S. hospitals. The new study was funded by federal grants.

“The gaps between whites and nonwhites have not appeared to close at all,” said study co-author Dr. Mark Pletcher of the University of California, San Francisco. The study appears in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association. Prescribing narcotics for pain in emergency rooms rose during the study, from 23 percent of those complaining of pain in 1993 to 37 percent in 2005. The increase coincided with changing attitudes among doctors who now regard pain management as a key to healing. Doctors in accredited hospitals must ask patients about pain, just as they monitor vital signs such as temperature and pulse. Even with the increase, the racial gap endured. Linda Simoni-Wastila of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Pharmacy said the race gap finding may reveal some doctors’ suspicions that minority patients could be drug abusers lying about pain to get narcotics. Irony in race assumption The irony, she said, is that blacks are the least likely group to abuse prescription drugs. Hispanics are becoming as likely as whites to abuse prescription opioids and stimulants, according to her research. She was not involved in the current study. The study’s authors said doctors may be less likely to see signs of painkiller abuse in white patients, or they may be undertreating pain in minority patients. Patient behavior may play a role, Pletcher said. Minority patients “may be less likely to keep complaining about their pain or feel they

Stricter protocols

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“It’s time to move past describing disparities and work on narrowing them,” said Dr. Thomas L. Fisher, an emergency room doctor at the University of Chicago Medical Center who was not involved in the study. Fisher, who is black, said he is not immune to letting subconscious assumptions inappropriately influence his work as a doctor. “If anybody argues they have no social biases that sway clinical practice, they have not been thoughtful about the issue or they’re not being honest with themselves,” he said. ■ (Independent Source).

...continued from page  One In Four Suf-

fer From Bias Over Ethnicity

two per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Canadian Studies, was released (December 10th 2007) to coincide with the 59th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. “This is, in our opinion, a high percentage,” said Ayman Al-Yassini, executive director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. “It demonstrates the urgent need to ensure that the rights of all individuals in society are protected.”

The impact of Canada’s changing democratic face was brought into focus by the latest Stats Can census data. The census showed Canada’s foreign-born population grew by almost 14 per cent between 2001 and 2006. That was four times higher than the 3.3 per cent growth rate of the Canadian-born population in the same time period. In the past six years, visible minorities have overtaken European-born immigrants coming to Canada. The largest proportion of newcomers arrived from Asia and the Middle East, accounting for 58 per cent of new arrivals, according to the 2006 census data - roughly the same rate as in 2001.

The survey found that among people who identify with an ethnic or racial minority, one in five said that the discrimination they experienced came from an employer or potential employer. The study was based on a survey conducted by Decima pollsters on behalf of the Canadian Heritage Department over a 10-day period in March 2007. Some 2,050 respondents were surveyed, with a margin of error of

Are you an ethnic/ cultural artist? Do you want to showcase your work and talent?

The Voice in Diaspora wants to hear from you to participate in a cultural artistic exhibition taking place fall next year.


for more information. Also visit our website at 10

Jan 2008 • Volume 1 • Issue 3

■ CanWest News Service

Love & Humility

is your total trust in God that will make a difference in your life. Are you being discriminated against because of your belief system; race, culture, skin color, socio-economic status, and physical attributes? Take heart, and trust in your maker. Remember your God is not dead! He is alive, the same yesterday, today and forever. Just remember to practice love and humility, I will ensure I continue to do the same. God bless us, Amen. (Submitted by Veronica Chris-Ike)

Health Canada issues warning on natural health products


ealth Canada has warned Canadians not to use natural health products manufactured by Manitoba Company Wild Vineyard, saying some have been tainted by heavy metal contamination including lead. In a warning posted on its website, the federal agency said Wild Vineyard is not authorized to manufacture, package, label or import natural health products in Canada. The agency said it is worried the products may pose a health risk to consumers. The Selkirk-based company has recalled all of its products, which are available at retail stores across the country and over the internet despite the fact that they are not authorized for sale in Canada. Health Canada has also placed an import alert on the company with the Canada Border Services Agency. In an interview with the Winnipeg Sun, company manager Terry Bell said he was not aware of anyone falling ill because of the products and that the recall was issued “as a precaution.”

“I’ve had clients calling me saying, ‘This is the only thing that makes me feel good,’ “ Bell said. But in its release, Health Canada said it has “evidence” that some Wild Vineyard products have been affected by heavy metal contamination, including substances such as lead. It did not specify what the evidence was. Health Canada said the products may also have been labeled inappropriately. Wild Vineyard product lines include Will’s Rain Forest, Heavenly Orchard, Organic Haven and Herbal Valley as well as other brands. Symptoms of exposure to heavy metals can include nausea; abdominal pain; vomiting; muscle cramps; diarrhea; heart abnormalities; anemia; and bone, liver, kidney and nervous system problems. People who have used Wild Vineyard products and are worried about their health should contact a medical professional and report any adverse reactions to Health Canada (1-866-234-2345), the release said. ■

Political appointees receive hefty raises


RTC, refugee board members enjoy 7% hikes. The Harper government quietly gave pay raises of up to seven per cent to hundreds of political appointees this year, bumping some recipients into annual salary ranges that now top out at $455,000.Most appointees received acrossthe-board 3.9 per cent increases to their salary ranges in June, including a 2.1 per cent bump in base pay and

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increases to performance pay, but some saw even larger increases in their basesalary range. The biggest hike in base pay rates went to those on quasi- judicial panels or tribunals, such as commissioners with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission or members of the Immigration and Refugee Board. ■ CanWest News Service December 18, 2007

Republic of Chad Capital (and largest city): N’Djamena Official languages: French, Arabic Government: Republic President: Idriss Déby Independence: from the France Declared: August 11, 1960 Area: 1,284,000 km² (21st) 495,753 sq mi Water: (%): 1.9 Population: 10,146,000 (75th)  1993 census: 6,279,921  GDP (PPP): $15.260 billion (128th) Currency: CFA franc (XAF) Calling code: +235 Chad Chad (French: Tchad; Arabic;), officially the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west. Due to its distance from the sea and its largely desert climate, the country is sometimes referred to as the “Dead Heart of Africa”. Chad is divided into three major geographical regions: a desert zone in the north, an arid Sahelian belt in the centre

and a more fertile Sudanese savanna zone in the south. Lake Chad, after which the country is named, is the largest wetland in Chad and the second largest in Africa. Chad is home to over 200 different ethnic and linguistic groups. French and Arabic are the official languages. Islam is the most widely practiced religion. History In the 7th millennium BC, ecological conditions in the northern half of Chadian territory favoured human settlement, and the region experienced a strong population increase. Some of the most important African archaeological sites are found in Chad, mainly in the Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti Region; some date to earlier than 2,000 BC. For more than 2000 years, the Chadian Basin has been inhabited by agricultural and sedentary peoples. The region became a crossroads of civilizations. The earliest of these were the legendary Sao, known from artifacts and oral histories. Colonial Rule French colonial expansion led to the creation of the Territoire Militaire des Pays et Protectorats du Tchad in 1900. By 1920, France had secured full control of the colony and incorporated it as part of French Equatorial Africa. French rule in Chad was characterized by an absence of policies to unify the territory and sluggish modernization. The French primarily viewed the colony as an unimportant source of untrained labour and raw cotton; France introduced large-scale cotton production in 1929. Only the south was governed ef-

fectively; French presence in the north and east was nominal. The educational system suffered from this neglect. After World War II, France granted Chad the status of overseas territory and its inhabitants the right to elect representatives to the French National Assembly and a Chadian assembly. The largest political party was the Chadian Progressive Party (PPT), based in the southern half of the colony. Chad was granted independence on August 11, 1960 with the PPT’s leader, François Tombalbaye, as its first president. Constitution Chad’s constitution provides for a strong executive branch headed by a president who dominates the political system. The president has the power to appoint the prime minister and the cabinet, and exercises considerable influence over appointments of judges, generals, provincial officials and heads of Chad’s para-statal firms. Chad’s legal system is based on French civil law and Chadian customary law where the latter does not interfere with public order or constitutional guarantees of equality. The legal system’s highest jurisdictions, the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Council, have become fully operational since 2000. The National Assembly makes legislation. Education Educators face considerable challenges due to the nation’s dispersed population and a certain degree of reluctance on the part of parents to send their children to school. Although attendance is compulso-

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ry, only 68% of boys continue past primary school, and more than half of the population is illiterate. Higher education is provided at the University of N’Djamena. Regions of Chad Chad is divided into 18 regions. This system came about in 2003 as part of the decentralization process, when the government abolished the previous 14 prefectures. Each region is headed by a presidentially appointed governor. Prefects administer the 50 departments within the regions. The departments are divided into 200 sub-prefectures, which are in turn composed of 446 cantons. Weather Each year a tropical weather system known as the intertropical front crosses Chad from south to north, bringing a wet season that lasts from May to October in the south and from June to September in the Sahel. Variations in local rainfall create three major geographical zones. The Sahara lies in the country’s northern third. Yearly precipitations there are under 50 millimetres (2 in); in fact, Borkou in Chad is the most arid area of the Sahara. Vegetation throughout this belt is scarce; only the occasional spontaneous palm grove survives, the only ones to do so south of the Tropic of Cancer. The Sahara gives way to a Sahelian belt in Chad’s centre; precipitation there varies from 300 mm to 600 mm (12–24 in) per year. In the Sahel a steppe of thorny bushes (mostly acacias) gradually

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Immigrant Women – Canadian Perspective Well Educated Do you know that 73% of immigrants arriving in Ontario are university educated? (Statistics Canada. January 2006). 18% of immigrant women have a university degree, in comparison with 14% of Canadian-born women. In addition, young immigrant women are more likely than their non-immigrant peers to be enrolled in school. (Statistics Canada. March 2006. Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report, 5th edition. Ottawa). Three quarters of recent arrivals classified as spouses and dependents of the economic class plan to get further education or training. Seventy-five percent of economic class spouses and dependents are women. Higher Unemployment Rates: Six months after their arrival, only 32% of women in the family class are employed, compared with 54% of men. (Statistics Canada. October 2003. Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada: Process, Progress, and Prospects. Ottawa).

In 2001, immigrant women had an unemployment rate of 8.1%, compared 7% with Canadian-born women, and 6.8% for immigrant men. Newer immigrants of both sexes are facing greater difficulties getting work and securing stable, wellpaying positions than previous generations of immigrants and unemployment rates among ethno-racial groups vary dramatically, from as high as 35% to as low as 2.5% (Demographic and SocioEconomic Profile, Institute for Social Research. York University, Downsview). Underemployed and Unprotected: Immigrant women identify access to suitable employment as a key issue in their lives. (InterQuest Consulting, 2006. Consultations on the Settlement and Language Training Needs of Newcomers: In Support of the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement, Executive Summary. Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Ottawa). ❖ to be continued



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gives way to a savanna in Chad’s Sudanese zone to the south. Yearly rainfall in this belt is over 900 mm (35 in). The region’s tall grasses and extensive marshes make it favourable for birds, reptiles, and large mammals. Chad’s major rivers—the Chari, Logone and their tributaries— flow through the southern savannas from the southeast into Lake Chad. Economy of Chad

In 2000 major direct foreign investment in the oil sector began, boosting the country’s economic prospects. Over 80% of Chad’s population relies on subsistence farming and livestock raising for its livelihood. The crops grown and the locations of herds are determined by the local climate. In the southernmost 10 percent of the territory lies the nation’s most fertile cropland, with rich yields of sorghum and millet. In the Sahel only the hardier varieties of millet grow, and these with much lower yields than in the south. On the other hand, the Sahel is ideal pastureland for large herds of commercial cattle and for goats, sheep, donkeys and horses. The Sahara’s scattered oases support only some dates and legumes. Before the development of oil industry, cotton dominated industry and the labour market and accounted for approximately 80% of export earnings. Cotton remains a

primary export, although exact figures are not available. Demographics of Chad

2005 estimates place Chad’s population at 10,146,000; 25.8% live in urban areas and 74.8% in rural ones. The country’s population is young: an estimated 47.3% is under 15. The birth rate is estimated at 42.35 births per 1,000 people, the mortality rate at 16.69. The life expectancy is 47.2 years. The 1993 census found that 54% of Chadians were Muslim, 20% Roman Catholic, 14% Protestant, 10% animist, and 3% atheist. The constitution provides for a secular state and guarantees religious freedom; different religious communities generally co-exist without problems. Six national holidays are observed throughout the year, and movable holidays include the Christian holiday of Easter Monday and the Muslim holidays of Eid ul-Fitr, Eid

ul-Adha, and Eid Milad Nnabi. Food

Millet is the staple food throughout Chad. It is used to make balls of paste that are dipped in sauces. In the north this dish is known as alysh; in the south, as biya. Fish is popular, which is generally prepared and sold either as salanga (sun-dried and lightly smoked Alestes and Hydrocynus) or as banda (smoked larger fish). Carcaje is a popular sweet drink extracted from hibiscus leaves. Alcoholic beverages, though absent in the north, are popular in the south, where people drink millet beer, known as billi-billi when brewed from red millet and as coshate when from white millet. Sports

Football is Chad’s most popular sport. The country’s national team is much followed during international competitions, and Chadian footballers have played for French teams. Basketball and freestyle wrestling are widely practiced, the latter in a form in which the wrestlers don traditional animal hides and cover themselves with dust.

■ Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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