Saturday, 24 December 2011

Builders shortlisted for Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games' project



TORONTO, December 23, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Infrastructure Ontario and TO2015 announced today the companies short-listed to build and finance three venues for the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games.

The development of three venues in time for the Games will immediately provide an economic boost in the Greater Toronto Area region by creating and supporting direct and indirect jobs. These facilities will also address the long-term needs of growing communities across the Greater Toronto Area and encourage the development and promotion of amateur competitive sports locally.

"The 2015 Games will create thousands of jobs and will be an important economic driver in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region. They will bring new sporting and recreation facilities to local communities and help promote Ontario as a great place to live, do business, invest and visit." -Honourable Charles Sousa, Minister responsible for the Pan/Parapan American Games



The project includes:

...construction of a new Markham Pool and Field House facility that will host the water polo and badminton competitions for the Games;

...renovations and improvements to the existing Etobicoke Olympium facility, which will be the training site for aquatic disciplines including swimming, water polo, diving and synchronized swimming during the Games; and

...construction of a new two-field Pan American Field Hockey Centre; plans include the two fields to be located on University of Toronto lands.

Over the past few months, companies participated in a fair and competitive request for qualifications (RFQ) process that reviewed their construction and financing abilities to deliver the project.

Following Infrastructure Ontario's evaluations of the RFQ submissions, the following companies were short-listed and will be invited to respond to the request for proposals (RFP) for the project:

...PCL Constructors Canada Inc.

...EllisDon Corporation

...Bondfield Construction Company Limited

The RFP will be issued in February 2012.

The construction of these facilities and their operation during the Pan/Parapan American Games is a joint initiative of the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada, in partnership with the Town of Markham, City of Toronto and the University of Toronto.

"This investment will provide Ontarians with access to modern, safe and efficient infrastructure. This project is part of our government's long-term infrastructure plan Building Together, which demonstrates the McGuinty government's commitment to stimulate the economy, create jobs and build strong communities." - Honourable Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure


Infrastructure Ontario is a Crown corporation dedicated to delivering some of the province's larger and more complex infrastructure renewal projects using public-private partnerships and other delivery methods, on time and on budget; managing one of the largest real estate portfolios in Canada; asset planning; and providing long-term financing to public sector and not-for-profit organizations for public infrastructure renewal.


About the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games

The Pan and Parapan American Games are one of the world's largest international multi-sport events, held every four years for athletes of the 41 member nations of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO). The Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games will draw 10,000 athletes and officials to municipalities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe area. The Toronto 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10-26 and the Parapan American Games August 7-14.

Visit www.infrastructureontario.ca or www.toronto2015.org for more information.


Monday, 12 December 2011

Halifax to Host Telus World Skins Game for First Time



Prestigious Golf Event Celebrates its 20th Anniversary in Canada in July 2012

HALIFAX, December 12, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Halifax, Nova Scotia will host the TELUS World Skins Game for the first time in July 2012 as the popular golf event celebrates its 20th anniversary in Canada next summer. The world-class Glen Arbour Golf Course was announced today as the host site for the historic event that will see five top PGA TOUR professionals compete in the Canadian summer golf tradition July 29-31, 2012.

"The TELUS World Skins Game has a long history of visiting Canada's top tourist and golf destinations and Halifax is the ideal city to host the 20th anniversary celebration of this important Canadian event," said Gen. (Ret.) Rick Hillier, Chair of the TELUS Atlantic Canada Community Board. "This marquee event not only provides a memorable opportunity for local golf fans to see some of the best players in the world compete in their own backyard, but it also allows TELUS to leave a significant charitable legacy in the Atlantic Canada community."


The TELUS World Skins Game is always a highlight of the Canadian summer sporting schedule for the country's most passionate golf fans, as well as the community that hosts it. Fulfilling its promise to "give where we live," the TELUS World Skins Game has raised more than $10 million since 2001 for a wide variety of important causes across Canada.

The first Skins Game was held in 1993 at Devil's Pulpit Golf Club in Caledon, Ontario, and during its 19-year history has seen some of the biggest names in professional golf compete at Canada's top golf destinations, including Jack Nicklaus, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples, Mike Weir and Greg Norman.

"The 20th anniversary of the TELUS World Skins Game is an excellent opportunity to showcase Nova Scotia on the world stage," said Percy Paris, Minister, Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. "Major events such as these help to attract visitors to our province, build Nova Scotia's tourism industry and grow our economy."


Glen Arbour Golf Course is one of Atlantic Canada's premiere golf destinations. Glen Arbour Golf Course is owned and operated by Annapolis Group Inc. a land development company whose roots dates back to the 1930's, currently owned by the Hennigar Family, descendants of the late Roy Jodrey, the company's founder. Since opening in 1999, Glen Arbour has played host to a number of prestigious golf events including the inaugural Wayne Gretzky and Friends Invitational in 2000 and the BMO Canadian Ladies Open in 2005.

"We have wanted to bring the event to Halifax for many years and we're thrilled that the stars have aligned to allow us to come to Glen Arbour for this important anniversary event," said Danny Fritz, vice president and co-managing director at IMG Canada. "We're looking forward to celebrating this anniversary event with the golf fans of Nova Scotia and will be working over the next few months to make next summer's TELUS World Skins Game a very memorable event."


About IMG

IMG Worldwide is a global sports, entertainment and media business, with nearly 3,000 employees operating in 30 countries around the globe. IMG's areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging: IMG College; IMG's Joint Ventures in China, Brazil and India; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art + Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academies; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing. More information is available at www.imgworld.com.

About TELUS

In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees will, by year-end 2011, have contributed $245 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 4.1 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Eleven TELUS Community Boards across Canada lead TELUS' local philanthropic initiatives. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.

For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.


Saturday, 3 December 2011

CMA releases guidance for doctors to "friend" social media


OTTAWA, December 2, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Canadian Medical Association Board of Directors today approved Canada's first-ever national social media guidelines to help doctors safely, effectively and responsibly use tools such as Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media as they care for patients.

The CMA's document Social media and Canadian physicians Issues and rules of engagement (http://www.cma.ca/socialmedia) provides practical considerations and outlines the potential benefits and drawbacks of social media for physicians.

"People everywhere are using social media," CMA President Dr. John Haggie said. "We know our patients are searching for health-related information and discussing health issues in blogs and other online forums.

"We also know physicians are using social media in their personal lives and exploring how they can use these communications tools to inform the public or connect with their peers."


The CMA joins other national medical associations, such as the American Medical Association, the British Medical Association, the New Zealand Medical Association and the Australian Medical Association, in providing guidance on this topic for their members.

"The reality is that individual doctors and medical organizations have to consciously decide if, why and how to use the various social media platforms," the document states.


"While use of social media could potentially increase the exposure of physicians to disciplinary and medico-legal issues, those physicians who choose to use social media can help shape how these tools can improve health care in the future."


The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, CMA's mission is to serve and unite the physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health care. The CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing over 76,000 of Canada's physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 51 national medical organizations.


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The Weather Network's Winter Outlook: Meteorologists share what to expect this winter



The Weather Network's Health and Fitness Contributor keeps you in tip top shape this season

OAKVILLE, Ontario, November 28, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Weather Network has just released its outlook for the months of December, January and February, and Canadians can expect a roller coaster winter from coast to coast, thanks to La Niña.

A phenomenon characterized by colder than normal waters in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of South America, La Niña impacts weather patterns around the world. In Canada, weather patterns can be stormier than normal during a La Niña year. Extreme temperature swings are not uncommon and, Canadians can expect windier conditions at times as a result of an active jet stream.

"We are expecting a 'melting pot' of weather this winter. From wild and wide swings in temperatures to sloppy winter storms in Southern Canada bringing snow, freezing rain and rain all within the same system," says Chris Scott, Forecast Operations Manager with The Weather Network. "While Western Canada has already experienced its first taste of winter, the heart of the winter season might be slightly delayed in Eastern Canada."


The Western Canada Winter

Good news for winter sports enthusiasts on the west coast; above average precipitation has been forecasted for Southern British Columbia. Canadians living in many areas of western Canada will experience cooler than normal temperatures throughout the winter.

The Eastern Canada Winter

Above normal temperatures will dominate most of The Great Lakes region through to southern areas of the Maritimes. Near normal precipitation is in the outlook for Canadians living east of the Manitoba/Ontario border.

Get Active and Warm Up Your Winter

The weather outside is frightful? Don't hibernate - keep fit and have outdoor fun with the following tips from The Weather Network's Health and Fitness contributor Brendan Fox:

...Get Outside: No need for cabin fever this winter! It's time to get just as active as the weather. From snowshoes, to cross-country skiing, to skating, to pulling the kids in a sled, there are tons of ways to get the family involved and burn those extra calories from all the holiday snacks.

...Shield Your Skin: Feel like frolicking in the snow? Make sure you protect your skin! Getting sunburned in the winter is just as easy as in the summer - even more so if you're exercising outside in the snow or at high altitudes! Before you leave the house, check The Weather Network's UV Report and protect yourself with sunscreen that has a minimum SPF of 30 and blocks both UVA, as well as UVB rays.

...Hydrate!: Believe it or not, people are less mindful about hydration during the winter months and tend to dehydrate more often. With the dry air and extra layers, keeping your hydration level up in the winter is key.

...Get Your Daily Dose of Vitamin D: Vitamin D levels dip during the winter months. Vitamin D is extremely important for calcium absorption and overall health. It is recommended that individuals up to 70 years of age have 600 international units (IU) of Vitamin D per day. While the winter sun can give us a natural dose, incorporating fish into your diet will help you weather stormy stay-indoors days. Sardines, Catfish, Salmon and Tuna all pack over 200 IU for a 3oz portion. For vegetarians, shitake mushrooms pack roughly 29 IU per 5 oz serving.

...Get Creative With Indoor Workouts: Turning your home into a gym is as easy as turning on your vacuum. For those days when the weather gets you down, transform some of your household chores into gym-worthy moves. Increase your heart rate by vacuuming faster or walking/running up and down your stairs. Work those glutes by doing some squats when washing your windows or dusting. Also, commercials are a great time to fit in a quick workout while watching TV.


The Weather Network's winter outlook is now available online and to learn even more about the expected conditions this winter, tune into The Weather Network's broadcast on November 28th for reports with Meteorologist Martin Belanger following the Local Forecast at 10 and 40 minutes past the hour.

The Weather Network and its French counterpart, MétéoMédia, are among the most popular media brands in Canada. They are the undisputed leader of weather information services in Canada across all mediums including cable, satellite, online, mobile and newspapers. The specialty television networks are among the most widely distributed and frequently consulted television networks in Canada. The websites, theweathernetwork.com and meteomedia.com, are among Canada's leading web services. All mobile carriers now distribute The Weather Network and MétéoMédia on their services. As the leading source of weather services in the commercial market, energy companies, municipalities, road services and numerous other commercial clients have their weather information needs met by The Weather Network and MétéoMédia. The growth of The Weather Network and MétéoMédia can be attributed to the continued focus and commitment put into providing the very best weather information to Canadians whose activities are dependent on weather.


Friday, 11 November 2011

Interesting Websites to Visit: British Waterscape



The Waterscape website is the official British waterways leisure destination. It is "for people who care about Britain's canals and rivers" and it offers up information on canalside attractions, suggestions for walking around the canal towpaths, and materials on volunteering opportunities.

First-time visitors can get started by clicking on the "Canals & Rivers" section. Here they will find a clickable map of Scotland and Britain where they can learn more about the waterways in each region.

Moving along, the "Things to Do" area includes detailed leisure guides for boaters, fishers, cyclists, and avid walkers. For those who are interested in these waterways, but live across the big pond, the site also contains a "Features & Articles" area that includes longer pieces on the history of the different canals and rivers throughout the country.

Finally, visitors may wish to follow the Waterscape folks via their Twitter feed.

[KMG]
>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2011.
http://scout.wisc.edu/


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Red Cross develops first set of international first aid and resuscitation guidelines



OTTAWA, November 7, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - After three years of research with the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation, the Red Cross has developed the first set of international First Aid & Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) guidelines for all Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to apply to their first aid programs.

"These guidelines are a testament to our expanding role in the research and development process," says Rick Caissie, national directory of Injury Prevention Programs for the Canadian Red Cross. "We take pride in the fact that our program incorporates the latest research on how to further reduce injury and improve treatment for those in need."


Beginning November 1, the Canadian Red Cross will instruct it's more than 4,700 First Aid & CPR instructors on how to teach these new guidelines over a three-month period and the revised program will be offered early next year.

"We are dedicated to spending the necessary time to ensure our instructors understand the scope of the changes before delivering these guidelines during sessions with the public," adds Caissie.

The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and over 185 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Our mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Wendy's to test new restaurant concept in Canada



"Wendy's first Canadian concept store features new menu items in an ultra modern setting. The concept store marks a complete redesign of the Wendy's customer experience, indoors and out. (CNW Group/Wendy's International, Inc.)".

ETOBICOKE, Ontario, October 26, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Beginning today, Wendy's customers in Etobicoke, ON will have the opportunity to try new menu items in an ultra modern setting as the company opens one of four new concept stores to be tested in North America. It is the first Canadian concept store for the company. Redhead Roasters proprietary blend coffee and fresh baked goods including oatmeal bars, cookies, muffins and brownies will be tested alongside a new customer ordering process, digital menu boards, new service staff uniforms and redesigned product packaging.

"This is a very different experience from what Wendy's customers are used to," said Ron Baugh, Senior Vice President of Wendy's Restaurants of Canada. "Three years of research and feedback from thousands of people are reflected in this exciting new concept store. The changes are more than cosmetic. We've updated our customer experience indoors and out as well."


The new restaurant concept has been designed to deliver more open space, brighter dining rooms with bigger windows and a variety of seating options from booths to high tops to cozy chairs around a fireplace. The new concept is also equipped with free WiFi. Customers will be able to view baking and prep areas, keeping Wendy's fresh food story front and centre.

Natural colours, brick and wood materials and bold use of the colour red are features of the completely remodeled interior and exterior design. A bright red centre wall celebrates Wendy's heritage with the well-known quote from founder Dave Thomas, "Quality is our recipe". Signage in the new entry way reads, "Welcome to real. Welcome to fresh. Welcome to Wendy's Etobicoke".

Each sign in the new stores will be tailored to their home cities.

The company will evaluate the four concepts based on customer feedback and consumer research. A second Canadian ultra modern location is slated to open in Kingston this December.

All four new Wendy's concepts were designed by Tesser, an award-winning brand strategy and retail design firm based in San Francisco. Other test markets include Virginia Beach, Pittsburgh, Phoenix and Wendy's home town of Dublin, OH.

The first Canadian concept store is located at 1569 The Queensway in Etobicoke, Ontario. The Kingston concept store is scheduled to open in December 2011, and is located at 17 Warne Crescent.

About the Wendy's Company

Wendy's is one of the world's most successful restaurant companies with more than 6,600 restaurants worldwide. More information about The Wendy's Company is available at www.wendys.ca.


Thursday, 20 October 2011

Physiotherapists give thumbs up to Nordic pole walking and prescribe it for patients with a variety of conditions



OTTAWA, October 19, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - An increasing number of Canadian physiotherapists are realizing the benefits of Nordic pole walking for their patients, adding a rehabilitation dimension to the already-popular fitness trend.

Nordic pole walking boasts an easy-to-learn technique, with little risk to the body. It helps strengthen core muscles, contributes to weight loss and decreases stress on hips and knees. The versatility of the activity makes it appealing to physiotherapists, who see it as ideal for people with mobility issues, or those living with chronic conditions such as arthritis.

While Nordic walking can be practised almost anywhere, it's important to have the right equipment and instruction. "Don't be tempted to use skiing, hiking or trekking poles, which are designed for totally different purposes," says Cathy McNorgan, a physiotherapist and certified Nordic walking instructor. All Nordic poles have a spike tip at the bottom for walking on variable outdoor terrain, covered by a rubber tip that grips sidewalks and other surfaces, to ensure safe use.

Physiotherapists prescribe this exercise to patients who would most benefit from the unique workout. The fluid and rhythmical pattern of walking can help to improve coordination and movement in people in the early stages of Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis, for example.

Researchers have discovered another hidden benefit to Nordic walking, which is that it gives patients a good total body and cardiovascular workout without being exhausting — it's effective and efficient. As a result, Nordic walking has proven to be successful with people who need to lose weight and just be more active generally.

"Many health benefits are directly related to how hard you work," says Gail Dechman, an assistant professor in the school of physiotherapy at Dalhousie University. "If people can elevate their heart rates using the Nordic walking technique without feeling like they're working harder, that's fantastic."


To learn more about incorporating Nordic walking into your rehabilitation, therapy or exercise routine, consult a physiotherapist. Find a physiotherapist near you at www.physiotherapy.ca


Sunday, 16 October 2011

Minding Your Manners May Protect Your Health - Study



Largest global behaviour study to date finds certain personality traits affect health outcomes

TORONTO, October 12, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Good manners will likely lead to better health, according to findings from the largest global study of hygiene behaviour to date.

In an effort to better understand health outcomes, such as colds and the flu, the Hygiene Council today announced results from its Lysol HABIT Study (Hygiene: Attitudes, Behaviour, Insight, and Traits), which explored how certain demographics and personality traits influence hygiene practices. Based on 12,000 survey respondents in 12 countries, the study found that the biggest determinant of reported good health with low levels of colds and diarrhea was good manners. The odds of being healthy were almost two-and-a-half times higher among those who reported embarrassment at sneezing or coughing on others.

"Understanding what drives hygiene behaviour is very valuable," says Professor John Oxford, chairman of the Hygiene Council and professor of virology at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. "We want people to recognize that a change in behaviour may lead to overall better hygiene practices, such as regular hand washing and surface disinfection. These hygiene habits are the first defence against spreading germs and infectious diseases. Furthermore, the study findings can be used to help health organizations and healthcare professionals target hygiene education to certain individuals."


Canadian women clean up versus men

Among Canadians, the Lysol HABIT Study found that women were more hygienic than men. Women were found to be two times more likely than men to wash their hands regularly, and two-and-a-half times more likely to practice good household hygiene.

Additionally, Canadians with neurotic behaviours were more likely to practice better hygiene habits, and reported fewer incidences of contagious diseases and better overall health.

"The new findings from the study further emphasise how improved hygiene behaviour can effectively stop the spread of germs and protect health," says Dr. Donald Low, microbiologist-in-chief at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. "Although some Canadians tend to the correct practices more easily, practicing good personal and household hygiene is everyone's responsibility and vital in breaking the chain of infection."


Cleanliness helps healthiness

With cold and flu season around the corner, the findings from the Lysol HABIT Study indicate the importance of promoting certain hygiene behaviours to break the chain of infection. Results from the Hygiene Council's 2011 Lysol Bacterial Survival Study show that bacteria can survive on a variety of household surfaces for an extended period of time - for up to two days - if not properly disinfected.

"Regular disinfection of hygiene hotspots is crucial for reducing the spread of bacteria in the home," says Dr. Low.


Food preparation surfaces, such as countertops, and high-traffic zones including door handles, light switches and inside refrigerators, are some germ hotspots in the home. Regular disinfecting of germ hotspots, regardless of visible dirt, will greatly reduce the risk of catching a cold or the flu inside the home. Disinfectants are specifically registered with Health Canada and carry a Drug Identification Number (DIN) on the label.

"We applaud the Hygiene Council in its continued efforts to inform and educate Canadians on how to best protect themselves and their families from the threat of infection," says Erica Di Ruggiero, Chair of the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA). "Practicing good hygiene habits is something we can all do to protect ourselves against cold and flu."


Some more findings from the Lysol HABIT Study

...Among the 12 countries surveyed, Canada had the fourth highest rate of good personal hygiene. Brazil and Germany ranked the highest, and China, Malaysia and South Africa the lowest

...Among the 12 countries surveyed, Canada reported the second highest household hygiene levels. U.K. and Australia tied for the highest rank, and China, Malaysia and Middle East ranked the lowest

...The odds of having good personal and household hygiene increased with age and income

...Hygiene habits vary by profession with homemakers (64.5 per cent) reporting the highest level of personal hygiene and students (44.5 per cent) reporting the worst

...Regular use of antibacterial cleaning products is associated with tidiness, having children, strong household hygiene routines, higher income, education and automatic cleaning

About the Hygiene Council

The Hygiene Council, which was formed in 2006, is an initiative bringing together leading global experts in the field of microbiology, virology, infectious diseases, immunology and public health to formulate realistic and practical recommendations on simple hygiene measures to help the public improve levels of hygiene in the home and community and, in turn, help to prevent the spread of all kinds of infections. In 2011, the Hygiene Council held its annual meeting at the Centers for Disease Control headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The work of the Hygiene Council is funded through an educational grant from Reckitt Benckiser, the makers of Lysol. For further information, please visit the Hygiene Council website at www.hygienecouncil.com.

About Reckitt Benckiser

Reckitt Benckiser is a leading international consumer products company in the health and personal care, condiment and household categories. The company manufactures and markets world-class products, including: LYSOL®, CLEARASIL®, STREPSILS®, VEET®, FRENCH'S® Mustard and many other consumer-preferred brands. Reckitt Benckiser (Canada) Inc. is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario.


Saturday, 8 October 2011

Fire Prevention Week is here


Protect Your Family from Fire is the theme for 2011

TORONTO, October 7, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Fire Prevention Week is October 9 to 15 and this year's theme is Protect Your Family from Fire. Designed to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities from fires, the theme emphasizes the importance of Ontarians taking responsibility for fire safety in their own homes.

Fire departments across the province will host events throughout the week that focus on a variety of fire safety measures to help Ontario families protect themselves from fire, including:

...Preventing cooking fires: The leading cause of residential fires in Ontario is unattended cooking. Prevent these fires by staying in the kitchen when cooking.

...Installing smoke alarms: It's the law in Ontario to have working smoke alarms on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas. Fire departments also recommend installing a smoke alarm in every bedroom. Test smoke alarms every month and change the batteries at least once a year or whenever the low-battery warning chirps.

...Developing a home fire escape plan: Occupants can have as little as 60 seconds to escape a fire in their home. Develop and practice a home fire escape plan so that everyone knows what do if a fire occurs.

"Fires can be prevented. Given the limited amount of time you have to escape a fire, Ontarians need to take responsibility for fire safety in their homes. I strongly urge Ontarians to stay in the kitchen while they are cooking, install smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas and practise their home fire escape plans. Fire safety is everyone's responsibility." - Ted Wieclawek, Ontario Fire Marshal


LEARN MORE

Each October, Fire Prevention Week enables fire departments across the province to organize a variety of educational fire safety activities within their communities. It also commemorates the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 in which an estimated 300 people tragically perished and some 18,000 buildings were destroyed. For more information about activities in your area, contact your local fire department.


Monday, 3 October 2011

Begging Bear Comes Back to Celebrate Arts and Culture


photo credit: fadedgenes via Flickr

GUELPH, Ontario October 1, 2011 University of Guelph Media Release - Among several activities led by the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre (MSAC) to celebrate local arts and culture on Oct. 1, the refurbished Canadiana/Begging Bear sculpture will be unveiled near the bus stop on Gordon Street.

Created by Carl Skelton and originally installed in 1999, the 7½-foot-tall bronze icon underwent repairs at a Georgetown, Ont., foundry after having been toppled over this past spring. The bear will stand on a new, sturdier base.

Begging Bear
“The return of the bear to MSAC is an emotional thing for me personally,” said Aidan Ware, the art centre’s co-ordinator of education and development.


“Like many in Guelph, I’m very attached to the sculpture. The bear has marked many important occasions in people’s lives in the community, and it’s very moving to see how people interact with this artwork. The bear’s hand is outstretched in the same way I hope our community will continue to reach out in a creative and caring capacity.”


Canada’s second annual three-day celebration of arts and culture runs from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 and will include a variety of activities in and around Guelph. MSAC will host a number of special events Saturday, Oct. 1.

10 a.m. The public is invited to contribute to a tapestry reflecting the spirit of Guelph and its residents. Donate fabric, postcards, letters, posters and other flat personal items to be sewn into the tapestry throughout the day.

2-3 p.m. Guelph residents can join in the “Human Quilt” project to create Guelph’s first community portrait. Bring an item representing your role in the community for a group photograph to be taken by Dean Palmer, one of Guelph’s best-known portrait photographers. All participants will receive a digital copy of the portrait.

7 p.m. Reinstallation of the Begging Bear followed by the opening reception for MSAC’s fall exhibitions.

“This year’s events at MSAC are special because they have a great community focus and interactive component,” Ware said. “It’s exciting to be part of the creative process. Rather than just viewing art, people can get involved in making art and tangibly interact with culture, while building relationships with artists, organizations, family and community.”


Other MSAC events will include a lantern tour of the Sculpture Park and grounds from 10 p.m.

Last year, Guelph joined about 700 communities across the country in the inaugural Culture Days event.

“It’s important to appreciate arts and culture in our everyday lives,” Ware said. “The annual Culture Days celebration helps us to value creativity and to foster a caring environment for our city. I love to organize events for the public that I think people will really enjoy and which will make a difference, creating great memories.”


Thursday, 22 September 2011

Golf Digest and Norlinks Annnounce Golf Digest Canada


Partnership to Provide Online Content for new Website, Mobile and Tablet Devices

NEW YORK, September 21, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Golf Digest has entered into a license agreement with Norlinks Digital Media for the online launch of Golf Digest Canada. As purely an online venture, Golf Digest Canada will be available on the web and on digital platforms including tablets in Canada and will offer content provided exclusively by the editors of Golf Digest and Golf World. Canada has the highest number of golfers per capita in the world and Golf Digest Canada aims to become the Number one online golf destination for Canadian golfers.

"We at Golf Digest are pleased to partner with Norlinks to provide online articles and photography from our talented staff," said Golf Digest Chairman and Editor-in-chief Jerry Tarde. "There is a strong appetite for golf content in Canada. And we're happy to share our news reports, equipment ratings, instruction tips and travel reporting."


Golf Digest Canada will feature content from Golf Digest and Golf World. It will also have ecommerce functionality and virtual gaming provided by the World Golf Tour.

"To be able to partner with the world's greatest golf publication is an honour for us here at Norlinks. Our goal over the year's will be to grow the viewer base with unique technology in our products and supplement the Golf Digest content with Canadian generated content. Our journalists will also add Canadian content to the iconic ratings from Golf Digest such as Top 100 Golf Courses and The Hot List. With digital technology gaining ground in ease of use and access I believe we have a fantastic opportunity to grow the game of golf in Canada" Stu MacDonald Chairman, Norlinks.


Launched at the RBC Canadian Open Men's Championship on July 21st Canadian golfers can look forward to the strongest editorial line-up in golf content on the web. Golf Digest's offerings range from equipment news to course rankings and travel advice to tips and insight from Golf Digest's great playing and teaching editors including: Phil Mickelson; Jack Nicklaus; Arnold Palmer; Rickie Fowler; Butch Harmon and Hank Haney.


Saturday, 17 September 2011

Smartphones As "Digital Keys" Coming To Doors Near You



Photo by Keith Williamson via Flickr CC

from TreeHugger.com
by Jaymi Heimbuch, San Francisco, California

The dematerialization continues, right down to our keys. The plastic ID badges that people hold up to readers at doorways to get into secure areas could soon be replaced by simply holding up your cell phone. Plastic keys could become so last decade.

Forbes reports, " HID Global, a California-based division of Sweden's Assa Abloy, is testing software that acts as a digital key when loaded onto a smartphone. The software, which interacts with physical ID card readers via an application or by swiping it near a reader, could eventually replace the plastic badges that millions of people worldwide use to securely enter their offices and other facilities."

Starting out at college campuses, the company tested the technology at Arizona State University. Instead of using campus ID cards, students can use cell phones. After a month-long test run, feedback from students is apparently "pretty positive."

It could signal yet another way smart phones are helping us dematerialize. From allowing us to replace a pile of various gadgets from radios to calculators to cameras, replacing paper copies of receipts and documents with digital versions, even allowing us to pay for items via cell phone instead of with paper money or credit cards, smart phones are helping us minimize materials we cart around with us. Replacing yet more plastic could be the next wave.

However, it could be a little while. Forbes reports, "The pace of adoption depends, in part, on the maturation of Near Field Communication (NFC). HID's digital key software uses this short-range wireless technology to talk to hardware readers. Though NFC is attracting attention from handset makers, wireless operators and payment processors, it is still hard to find in most U.S. buildings and cellphones. Before rolling out digital keys, ASU needs to wait until clear NFC standards are set."

Even so, the company feels that this technology is perfect for hotels, offices, even homes, with access allowed or revoked with a quick signal sent to the particular cell phone.

Check out TreeHugger for 30+ fresh, green stories every day!


Thursday, 15 September 2011

Headwaters Golf Trail



September 15, 2011 - from the Hills of Headwaters newsletter

The Headwaters Golf Trail, one of Ontario’s first premier golf trails, offers golfers the chance to play 5 very unique golf properties, all nestled within the rolling hills and valleys of the Hills of Headwaters Tourism region, and just steps outside Toronto’s back door.

The five stellar properties that make up the Headwaters Golf Trail are:

Caledon Country Club
Glen Eagle Golf Club
Hockley Valley Resort
Shelburne Golf & Country Club
Woodington Lake Golf Club

FREE GOLF -- BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!
Passport to Great Golf: The Headwaters Golf Trail

While many golfers drive to the region to play one course at a time, the Headwaters Golf Trail gives golfers a compelling reason to come back again and again during the course of the season: play each course once during the 2011 golf season, and once you've played them all, we'll invite you to come back to play each course again - FOR FREE!

Simply pick up your Passport at any participating Golf Trail course, have your Passport validated after paying for your green fee, and once you've had your Passport validated at all five courses, you'll receive your next five rounds (one at each Trail course) for free!

Golf in the Hills of Headwaters - it doesn't get much better than this - unless you get to play again for FREE - and you can with the Headwaters Golf Trail!

Pick up your free Headwaters Golf Trail Passport now at any participating course and hit the links!
( Headwaters Golf Trail Passport Rules and Regulations)


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Canadian Government and Nature Conservancy of Canada conserve valuable habitat in Northern Bruce Peninsula, Ontario



photo credit: Yi Lou via Flickr

OWEN SOUND, Ontario, September 13, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Larry Miller, Member of Parliament for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, on behalf of Canada's Minister of the Environment, the Honourable Peter Kent, announced yesterday the Nature Conservancy of Canada's successful acquisition of the McClennan property - 220 hectares of land in the Township of Northern Bruce Peninsula, Ontario. This project was secured in part with funding from Environment Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program.

"This acquisition marks another achievement under our government's Natural Areas Conservation Program. With this investment, we are taking real action to protect and conserve our ecosystems and sensitive species for present and future generations," said Minister Kent. "Your actions today will help to protect the abundance and variety of life that will constitute an integral part of our natural heritage tomorrow."


The Northern Bruce Peninsula Natural Area is the second highest ranking area in the Great Lakes Eco-region of Ontario for global biodiversity values. It is home to many rare vegetation communities and several significant ecological systems such as alvars, wetlands, and limestone plain forests.

"This piece of property will be a great compliment to the Bruce Peninsula's national park," commented MP Miller. "This will help to preserve the area for all of us to enjoy for years to come."


The McClennan property contains wetland, forest and shoreline habitats, and supports at-risk and globally rare species such as Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake and Hill's Thistle. The property is adjacent to Gauley Bay where large aggregations of waterfowl, such as Common Goldeneye, Lesser Scaup, and Ring-necked Duck, are common during migration.

"This project on the Northern Bruce Peninsula is the result of incredible partnerships with public and private partners, as well as passionate individuals," said Chris Maher, Ontario Regional Vice President for the Nature Conservancy of Canada. "Together we are building an incredible conservation legacy that our grandchildren will surely thank us for."


The Government of Canada's $225-million Natural Areas Conservation Program is an important on-the-ground initiative that takes real action to preserve Canada's environment and conserve its precious natural heritage for present and future generations. It is through the ongoing contribution from all donors that we can ensure the protection of natural areas in Canada. As of March 2011, the Natural Areas Conservation Program has protected 160,796 hectares, almost three times the size of Quebec City, which includes habitat for 101 species at risk.

For more information on this announcement, please visit the Web site of Environment Canada at http://www.ec.gc.ca/.


Saturday, 10 September 2011

A less invasive hip replacement surgery available in Canada



MONTREAL, September 8, 2011 /Canada NewsWire Telbec/ - A new cutting edge hip-surgery technique is being offered in Montreal by Dr. Benoit Benoit, orthopaedic surgeon. The new procedure, Anterior Minimally Invasive Surgery (AMIS), is a progressive and major breakthrough, as it doesn't cut through any muscles - an essential factor for fast recovery.

Patients undergoing the surgery can possibly benefit from significantly reduced time spent in hospital, decreased post-operative pain, less blood loss, reduced risk of dislocation, a faster return to daily activities and a vast overall improvement to their quality of life.

The procedure uses the same hip replacement components as conventional procedures, but with an anterior approach that allows the hip replacement components to be placed safely through a single incision without disconnecting any muscle from bone or interfering with any nerve connections. While the anterior approach is not new, developments in the instrumentation used in the procedure means the operation is less demanding than previously, which is why it is gaining in popularity.

Although the technic is new in Canada, there have been more than 50,000 AMIS cases done worldwide.

Dr. Benoit has learned the AMIS technic in Switzerland, France and Ottawa, during fellowships programs.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Organic Hockey Diet Scores Big Goals



Photo: creativecommon/flickr/dustin hall

from TreeHugger.com
by Bonnie Alter, London

He shoots, he scores! Eat like an organic hockey player and you too may hit the major leagues.

NHL hockey players are going on serious organic-only diets which include quinoa, goji berries, organic steak and wild salmon. What, no beer? The results: look better, feel better and most importantly: score better.

You may not have heard of him but Gary Roberts is hockey's diet guru. According to Canada's national newspaper, fifteen years ago his career as a player was kaput. Then he re-invented himself through super healthy eating and now he is advising 42 pro-level players on what can and cannot go into their mouth. He is a firm believer in eating organic and whole foods and won't touch anything with a "non-fat" label or any product with more than a half-dozen ingredients

His secret to a super star career: nutrition first, then body maintenance (that includes yoga) and finally, training.

Gone are the Harvey's hamburgers, all sugar, wheat, soya and all processed foods. Instead players are eating full-fat yogurt, pressed cottage cheese, goat's milk (3.5% MF), organic cream cheese, raw or cured parmigiano, organic steak, natural sausage, organic chicken, wild-caught canned tuna, wild salmon, kale, baby greens (Asian mix, root mix, mache), sprouts (sunflower, pea, arugula), avocado, chickpeas, mung beans, lentils, quinoa, brown rice, brown-rice pasta, salba, chia, hemp, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds, coconut and extra-virgin olive oil (and coconut oil. )

Not every one is a believer. Another trainer says that "he's on another planet with this stuff." But the players, both major league and junior league, are hooked: they are adding muscle and nutrition to their game.

If you want to try some of his recipes, they are simple to make and healthy sounding.

Check out TreeHugger for 30+ fresh, green stories every day!


Thursday, 25 August 2011

Neon Bicycles Pop Up in Toronto and Defy the Mayor



Photo: good

from TreeHugger.com
by Bonnie Alter, London

You can fight City Hall, sometimes. In this lovely little story, a Toronto woman decided to paint and spruce up an old bicycle that had been locked to a pole and abandoned for ages.

In an act of civic disobedience, she painted it neon red and planted the basket. Result: a parking ticket saying it had to be removed or destroyed. But brave citizens revolted and campaigned and protested...and out of that grew The Good Bike Project.

Now, not only has the ticket been withdrawn, but the artists and a local councillor have started "The Good Bike Project" that will take the idea across the city.

Instead of a parking ticket, it has become a ticket to see dozens of locations decorated with dozens of variations of the bike.

It has become a community project and a discussion about street art, bicycles and public art in Toronto. The City has hundreds of abandoned bikes and these are being made available for painting and decorating. The Mayor has begrudgingly said "it certainly will be exciting when these bikes appear around Toronto this summer." However the artists want to make it clear that he did not commission or donate City funds to the project.

Soon the bikes will be popping up all over, with the help of young artists that are transforming them. In order to make it more local and relevant, each bike will mark a site that promotes "the ethos of regeneration and community that sparked our creativity in the first place."

So there is a pink and blue one in front of a community centre, a green one where there used to be bicycle lanes, a blue one at the subway and on it goes.

The two artists are delighted and see it as an outcry by the public against the forces of conservatism in the city: "The positive reaction that the bike has received is certainly evidence of the thirst for public art in Toronto."

... read more story at TreeHugger.com



Sunday, 14 August 2011

Three Rescued from Small Vessel


CCG Vessel Isle Rouge

TOBERMORY, Ontario, August 13, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - On Thursday August 11, 2011, The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Marine Security Enforcement Team (MSET) and the Sarnia Integrated Border Enforcement Team (IBET) rescued three occupants from a capsized boat near Flowerpot Island, Tobermory, Ontario.

At approximately 2:45pm the Sarnia RCMP vessel and police officers participating in a Joint Marine Enforcement campaign in the area were alerted by the operator of a local tour boat, about a dangerously overloaded boat. The RCMP encountered the small boat shortly after the boat set out on the waters. The RCMP vessel approached the boat and the officers observed that the three occupants were not wearing life jackets and the boat was overloaded with personal items. Waves at the time ranged from two to four feet in height. The small boat began to take on water from the stern. Direction was given to the boat operator to return to calmer waters.

Once in calmer waters the RCMP vessel approached the boat. The small boat continued to take on water and quickly capsized. One occupant was able to board the RCMP vessel before the boat capsized. The other two occupants were quickly recovered from the water. No injuries were sustained and the occupants were transferred to the Canadian Coast Guard Vessel, the Isle Rouge, to dry off and warm up. The victims and their belongings were transported safely back to Tobermory. The boat was later salvaged by the owners.

The RCMP would like to remind boaters to wear life jackets aboard a boat at all times, to remain within the watercraft's carry capacity and to be aware of the lake conditions before setting out on the water.

The Marine Security Enforcement Team's (MSETs) are operating on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway to further enhance National Security. MSET teams are also working side-by-side with the RCMP's Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETs).


Saturday, 13 August 2011

KFC Colonel Chimes in on Sign-Stealing Baseball Controversy



"KFC Colonel - chimed in on the recent "sign stealing" baseball controversy at an August 12th game in Toronto. As rumours circulated about an alleged "man in a white suit" stealing signs in Toronto, KFC Colonel surprised fans with a tongue-in-cheek sign of his own: "I'm too chicken to steal signs." (CNW Group/KFC Canada)"


TORONTO, August 12, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The original and world's most famous man in a white suit - KFC Colonel - chimed in on the recent "sign stealing" baseball controversy at an August 12th game in Toronto.

As rumours circulated about an alleged "man in a white suit" stealing signs in Toronto, KFC Colonel surprised baseball fans with a tongue-in-cheek sign of his own reading: "I'm too chicken to steal signs." [see photo]

About KFC Canada

KFC is Canada's largest quick service restaurant brand with more than 700 KFC restaurants across Canada. Since it was founded in Canada in the early 50s, KFC cooks have been freshly preparing and hand-breading our famed, irresistible Original Recipe chicken every day. KFC uses only trans fat free cooking oils - and offers a delicious range of family meals and premium sandwiches.

To learn more about KFC Canada, visit their website KFC.ca - or join their community on facebook at www.facebook.com/KFCCanada.


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Lee Valley Tools Ltd. To Open 15th Store in Waterloo, Ontario



OTTAWA, Aug. 9, 2011 /Canada NewsWire Telbec/ - Lee Valley Tools Ltd., a Canadian retailer of high-quality woodworking and gardening hand tools and cabinet hardware, is pleased to announce that its newest retail store is set to open in Waterloo, Ontario, on Tuesday, August 16, 2011.

Located at 620 Davenport Road, Waterloo, the store's showroom will display all of the current woodworking and gardening hand tools, as well as the extensive selection of cabinet hardware available in the Lee Valley catalogs and on its website.

Lee Valley Tools Ltd. is a family-owned business, founded by Leonard Lee in Ottawa, Ontario, in 1978. Customers can shop at any of the 15 retail stores across Canada (Halifax, Ottawa, three in Toronto, Burlington, London, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Coquitlam, Vancouver, Victoria, and Waterloo), as well as online at www.leevalley.com.



Friday, 5 August 2011

Mountain Equipment Co-op turns 40



photo credit: Wikipedia.org

MEC grows from 6 to 3.5 million members; embodies 'active outdoor lifestyles'

VANCOUVER, August 2, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Forty years ago today Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) officially opened for business, when it incorporated in British Columbia as a retail co-operative. Membership in MEC was open to anyone and you could join by buying a $5 share in the enterprise. Mountains, climbing and gear for it were at the heart of the deal.

The business began with six founding members who were active in BC's early outdoor scene, a tiny store in downtown Vancouver and gear focused on climbing. Since then, MEC has grown to more than 3.5 million members, fourteen destination stores in six provinces, www.mec.ca, some 1,500 employees and a product offering that continues to grow and evolve in step with active outdoor lifestyles in Canada.

"MEC was founded by a small group of climbers who possessed an entrepreneurial spirit, a keen sense of adventure and a deep love for the outdoors," said CEO David Labistour. "These qualities live on at MEC today, helping guide our service to members, the quality and value-laden products we aim to provide and our desire to serve today and tomorrow's generation of active Canadians."


Providing members clothing and gear for backcountry excursions to wilderness destinations shaped MEC's early product offering. Demographic changes within Canada and the trend toward 'front-country' recreation (close to home for short time periods) has led to the evolution of what is now MEC's expansive outdoor product offering.

Like mountain biking and white-water kayaking before them, trail running and stand-up paddle boarding are two relatively new activities rising in popularity that MEC supports as outdoor recreation evolves.

Stores in Vancouver and Calgary and a relatively small membership mainly within Canada's two western-most provinces largely defined MEC's growth in its 15 years in business. That changed in 1986, when the outdoor retailer opened a store in Toronto. Now Ontario has four MEC stores and over half of the co-op's total membership resides east of the Manitoba-Ontario border.

Supporting Canada's outdoor community and well established sustainability programs are integral to MEC organizational culture. Since 1987, MEC has contributed over $19 million in community grants toward outdoor recreation and environmental conservation projects across the country. MEC's sustainability efforts include formal programs in the areas of product sustainability, green building and ethical sourcing.

The cost to join MEC remains unchanged - a $5 share provides an individual lifetime membership. Membership is open to anyone.


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Government of Canada invests in airport safety at the Region of Waterloo International Airport


photo credit: FlyYKF - via Flickr

WATERLOO, Ontario, August 3, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, announced today that the Government of Canada is investing more than $3.2 million in improvements to the Region of Waterloo International Airport. Under the Airports Capital Assistance Program (ACAP), the money will be used to partially rehabilitate the pavement on Runway 08-26.

"The Government of Canada is committed to the safety and security of all Canadians," said Minister Lebel. "We recognize that efficient and safe airports are vital to the local economies of smaller communities, which is why we are investing in safety improvement projects at regional and local airports across the country."


This year, the Government of Canada is investing more than $20.9 million for 27 projects at 23 airports. Improvements include replacing snowblowers and runway sweepers; purchasing runway de-icing and fire-fighting equipment; and rehabilitating runway pavements.

"The Region of Waterloo is committed to high standards for the Region of Waterloo International Airport," said Ken Seiling, regional chair. "The ACAP funding from the Government of Canada for the partial rehabilitation of Runway 08-26 is greatly appreciated and supports our culture of safety at the airport."


"Waterloo International Airport, or YKF as my luggage is tagged, plays a vital role in our local economy," said Harold Albrecht, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga. "These runway improvements are vital to continuing safe, predictable flights at the Region of Waterloo International Airport. Our government is committed to supporting smaller regional airports across Canada and the businesses that have come to rely heavily on them."


To date, through ACAP, the Government of Canada has invested a total of $556 million for 678 projects at 171 airports, including today's announcement. Over 99 per cent of these projects were airside safety-related projects such as runways, taxiways and visual aids, as well as heavy airside mobile equipment such as fire trucks and snowplows.


Friday, 29 July 2011

Red Cross accepting donations through text messages


OTTAWA, July 28, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Red Cross is pleased to announce that Canadians are now able to support emergency relief operations in the Horn of Africa via text messaging. Donors interested in this option must simply text AFRICA to 30333 and a one-time donation of $5 for the Horn of Africa Drought fund will be added to their mobile phone bill.

The charge will be posted once the donor responds to a confirmation text. Text messaging donations are available in $5 increments*.

"We are pleased to announce this new donation option," says Conrad Sauvé, secretary general and CEO of the Canadian Red Cross. "It is a quick and easy way to make an impact on the lives of communities across the Horn of Africa."


The Government of Canada will match the donations of individual Canadians between July 6 and September 16, 2011. Those funds will go into a relief fund that is separate from the Canadian Red Cross and will be administered by the Government of Canada. Funds from the matching program will support on-going humanitarian assistance in drought-affected parts of East Africa.

*Standard messaging rates and additional fees may apply to donation texts. All charges are billed by and payable to the mobile service provider. The service is available on most carriers. Donations are collected for the benefit of the Canadian Red Cross by the Mobile Giving Foundation and subject to the terms found at www.mobilegiving.ca/. Donors can unsubscribe at any time by texting STOP to 30333.

The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and over 185 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The Canadian Red Cross mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

New website aids 1.2 million Canadians living with fibromyalgia



"Kathy Zador, lives with fibromyalgia (CNW Group/Fibrocentre.ca)".

Fibrocentre.ca first resource of its kind

TORONTO, July 25, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - A new website that brings together information about fibromyalgia, a community of experts and people living with fibromyalgia is the first comprehensive resource of reliable, up-to-date knowledge, research and data about the condition developed specifically for Canadians.

Fibrocentre.ca will give Canadians living with, or who suspect they have fibromyalgia, as well as their families and friends, a central place where they can gather information on the condition and treatment options, seek advice from experts on managing their pain, interact with others living with fibromyalgia or find ways to better describe their symptoms to their doctor.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic widespread pain condition affecting an estimated 1.2 million Canadians of all ages, cultures and both sexes. Most commonly described as widespread muscle pain that lasts longer than three months and makes everyday activities difficult, the condition actually has a broad range of complex and diverse symptoms. These include persistent soreness and flu-like aches, tender points, stiffness, sleep difficulties, tiredness and general fatigue.

"It can sometimes take a long time for a person to get a diagnosis of fibromyalgia because the symptoms often mimic other conditions," said Steven McNair, president and CEO of The Arthritis Society. "Canadians living with fibromyalgia need access to a variety of tools and resources, tips and advice that will make researching and finding treatment options much easier."

"I'd say the most important first step in obtaining a diagnosis is that people living with fibromyalgia need to take the time to prepare before their doctors appointment so that they can talk to their doctor knowledgeably about their symptoms," added McNair.


Fibrocentre.ca features information on what is and who suffers from fibromyalgia, the symptoms and causes, and treatment options including complementary therapies. Resources include informative videos from patients and health care professionals, a list of doctors that accept new fibromyalgia patients, contact information for Canadian associations and the latest research on the causes and treatments for chronic pain and fibromyalgia.

There is also a way to raise funds in support of fibromyalgia patients. Visitors whose lives have been affected by fibromyalgia in some way, shape or form simply add themselves to a support map of Canada and Fibrocentre.ca will donate $5 to The Arthritis Society to help support awareness programs useful for those living with fibromyalgia. Then they can also let others know about the importance of supporting this cause using Twitter, Facebook or email.

It can take time and persistence to identify and diagnose fibromyalgia. Many doctors have little experience with fibromyalgia and so a patient may have to see GPs and many specialists before they are diagnosed.
"Reaching a diagnosis is more likely to be successful if you educate yourself about fibromyalgia and what you can do to help to manage your symptoms," said Dr. Roger Shick, Physician Operations Leader of the St. Paul's Hospital Pain Centre in Vancouver. "The more you know, the more involved you'll be in your treatment and the easier it will be to develop a treatment plan that works best for you."


Fibrocentre.ca has been developed by one of Canada's leading research-based pharmaceutical companies and was founded on the belief that it is essential to break the stigma attached to fibromyalgia and help increase awareness of the very real symptoms and impact of this condition on someone's life.


Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Suppression of Ambrosia (ragweed) on a large scale - The fight continues


MONTREAL, July 19, 2011 /Canada NewsWire Telbec/ - Anxious to put a term to the respiratory allergies which affect more than 10% of the population, many municipalities and the Quebec ministry of transportation succeeded. Thanks to a devised intervention set up by the company Herbanatur Inc., to help suppress this highly toxic plant on their whole territory. Indeed, using a product 100% natural (Adios Ambros) which kills the plant without affecting the other plants. The municipalities and the Quebec ministry of transportation significantly reduced the level of pollen produced by Ambrosia. The strategy of the units of intervention deployed by HerbaNatur from mid-July to mid-September was to cover the sectors at risk like the roads and cycle tracks, the parks and play-grounds and the vacant lots potentially infested. The results of the Aérobiology reports show without a doubt, a reduction of the level of pollen, under the threshold of allergy in all the cities which were treated and sampled.

Supported by the Lung Association of Quebec www.pq.lung.ca, HerbaNatur Inc. was given the mission of eliminating this undesirable plant on a provincial scale in order to improve the quality of life of the people who suffer from respiratory problems.

Visit the Herbanatur web site: www.herbanatur.ca

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Travel tips on crossing the Canadian border upon returning from vacation this summer



MONTREAL, July 19, 2011 /Canada NewsWire Telbec/ - The summer holiday season is upon us, and many Canadians will likely be travelling abroad over the coming weeks. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is making every effort to minimize border wait times during this peak period; travellers can facilitate their re-entry into Canada by keeping the following five tips in mind.

1. Plan ahead to avoid delays at the Canada-U.S. land border. The CBSA suggests that you avoid travelling during peak periods such as afternoons and weekends, and use the Internet to keep track of wait times. You can consult border wait times on the CBSA Web site at www.cbsa.gc.ca, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CBSA_BWT, or on your cell phone at wap.gc.ca or www.gc.ca.

2. Bring appropriate identification for yourself and for all children travelling with you, regardless of their age. CBSA officers watch closely for missing children and may ask you detailed questions about the children you are travelling with. If you have or share legal custody of the children, have copies of the relevant legal documents, such as custody rights, on hand.

3. Declare all merchandise you have bought and have all your receipts on hand. Officers may ask you to show receipts for the goods you have purchased and your hotel receipts to verify the length of your stay outside Canada. Keep all of your receipts together and on hand to avoid unnecessary delays.

4. Be aware of your personal exemptions. Depending on the length of your stay abroad, you may be entitled to certain personal exemptions.

AFTER BEING AWAY FOR...YOU CAN BRING BACK GOODS, TAX- AND DUTY-FREE, WORTH UP TO...

24 hours or more CAN$50

48 hours or more CAN$400

7 days or more CAN$750

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products may be included in your 48-hour or seven-day exemption, provided you are of legal age. Certain restrictions apply.

5. Know before you go. Certain goods are prohibited or restricted from entering Canada (weapons, certain plant and animal products, etc.). You can find out more about this by consulting the I Declare brochure, available at www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/pub/bsf5056-eng.html.


Finally, use your NEXUS card and save time at marine, land and air ports of entry when entering Canada or the United States. Visit www.nexus.gc.ca for more information or to apply for a membership.

For more information, visit the CBSA Web site at www.cbsa.gc.ca or contact the Border Information Service at 1-800-959-2036.


Friday, 15 July 2011

Microsoft chooses Toronto for 2012 Worldwide Partner Conference

photo credit: Ken Russell
15,000 people from 130 countries expected for prestigious conference in Toronto

TORONTO, July 13, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - One of the world's most prestigious and advanced conferences will come to Toronto next July as Microsoft Corporation announced today that its Worldwide Partner Conference will meet in Toronto in 2012.

More than 15,000 people are expected to attend the Toronto conference, representing technology companies in 130 countries. While the main hubs of the action will be the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and the Air Canada Centre, many other venues will be involved as 500+ events take place during the conference and at least 32 hotels across the Toronto region will host delegates.

"Winning a prestigious meeting, for such a widely admired company, is not only a boost to the local economy but a testament to Toronto's ability to host major events," said David Whitaker, President and CEO of Tourism Toronto, which submitted the winning bid along with provincial and local partners.

"Microsoft Corporation's annual Worldwide Partner Conference attracts more than 15,000 delegates," said Eric Gales, General Manager, Microsoft Canada. "The four-day event celebrates the accomplishments of the company's 640,000 global technology partners. Microsoft Canada is thrilled that next year's event will be hosted in the city of Toronto and excited by the opportunity for the city to showcase its diverse culture, entertainment, and world-renowned hospitality."


From July 9 through 13, 2012, Worldwide Partner Conference is a must-attend conference for the technology industry that attracts delegates, vendors and suppliers from around the world. It is an opportunity to showcase Toronto as a destination as well as Toronto and Ontario's innovative information technology businesses.

"Our government is thrilled that Toronto has been chosen to host next year's Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference and we're proud of our support to help bring it here," said Laura Albanese, MPP York South-Weston. "This is a major win for the GTA and Ontario - it will put us front and centre on the world map, while boosting support for jobs, the economy and increased tourism."


Tourism Toronto has committed to create a scholarship program to assist international students participating in the 2012 conference, with more details on this initiative to be shared in the coming months. Tourism Toronto will also provide opportunities for students in Ontario's tourism and hospitality programs to gain valuable experience in event management through a marquee international conference.

"We are confident this will prove to be the most inspiring and technically advanced Worldwide Partner Conference ever for Microsoft, and will highlight our ability to come together as a tourism community to host large and sophisticated global corporate events," said Mr. Whitaker.


Meetings in Toronto

The meeting and convention industry is a lucrative and competitive one that is a vital part of the tourism economy in the Toronto Region. Conventions generate spending on a range of services and businesses including meeting facilities, hotels, restaurants, retail, attractions and taxis. In 2010, meetings and conventions injected $495 million into the local economy. Overall, there are 224,000 people employed in tourism and hospitality in the Toronto region.

Toronto has been building a reputation among meeting planners as a desirable place to hold important meetings and was ranked #1 out of 46 North American cities in several key categories in the most recent survey of meeting planners by Watkins Research. This year some of the top global meetings will take place in Toronto:

American Bar Association - August 2011 (20,000 attendees)
SWIFT/SIBOS (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) - September 2011 (7,000 attendees)
U.S. Green Building Council - October 2011 (25,000 attendees)

About Tourism Toronto

Tourism Toronto, Toronto's Convention and Visitors Association, is an industry association of more than 1,200 members established to sell and market the greater Toronto region as a remarkable destination for tourists, convention delegates and business travellers around the globe. Tourism Toronto operates in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture as Regional Tourism Organization 5, representing the cities of Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton. For more information please visit www.seetorontonow.com.


Thursday, 7 July 2011

Parkbus launches bus service to Ontario Parks from Toronto


TORONTO, July 7, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Parkbus kicked off the 2011 season as the first bus bound for Algonquin Provincial Park departed from Toronto this morning. The non-profit pilot initiative, funded in part by the Government of Ontario, provides direct bus service to popular camping, canoeing and backpacking hotspots in select provincial parks. Introducing a sustainable alternative to car travel, the project is set to help Torontonians experience Ontario's most popular outdoor destinations this summer.

"With its misty-morning lakes and its vast wooded areas, Algonquin Park is one of Ontario's greatest natural treasures," said Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Natural Resources. "Whether you like the full comfort of a lodge, want to try a night in a yurt or to sleep in a tent under the stars, this new service will help get people in the GTA closer to one of this provinces greatest treasures."

Buses are operated by Muskoka-based Hammond Transportation, with service running weekly until September 5th, with Thursday or Friday departures from Toronto and Sunday arrivals from the parks. Toronto pickup locations are located near College, Dufferin and Glencairn subway stations and a one-way adult fare is $34.95+HST. For trip planning information, complete schedule and tickets visit www.parkbus.ca or call 1-800-928-7101.

Parkbus is a project of Transportation Options (T.O.), a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering sustainable tourism and transportation in Ontario. Since 1992, T.O. has worked collaboratively to research, develop and promote new initiatives that are integrated, environmentally sound, healthy, service oriented and focused on improving the experience of users. Other projects of Transportation Options include award-winning Bike Train Initiative and the Welcome Cyclists Network.


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Each year, BCAA Road Assist rescues close to 300 children and pets from locked cars



Summer heat can turn your car into a four-door furnace in a matter of minutes, warns British Columbia Automobile Association

BURNABY, British Columbia, July 4, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - An unfortunate incident over the Canada Day long weekend in which a six-month old puppy died after being left alone in a hot vehicle in Burnaby serves as an example of how quickly temperatures inside a vehicle can rise to dangerous—and sometimes fatal—levels. What parents and pet owners may not know, and what the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) would like everyone to know, is that it only takes minutes for your car to become a four-door furnace and a safety risk to vulnerable passengers such as children and pets.

"Cars sitting in the hot summer sun act like magnifying glasses, creating intense interior heat," says Ken Cousin, BCAA's Associate Vice President, Road Assist. "Interior temperatures can climb to over 60 degrees Celsius in just 10 to 20 minutes, despite windows or sunroofs being left slightly open or parking the car in the shade."


According to the Vehicle Cabin Temperatures Survey conducted by the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland in Australia, temperatures inside a car can increase by 50 percent within five minutes and 80 percent within 15 minutes. The Canada Safety Council also reports high temperatures in a confined space of a car can cause a child or pet to go into shock quickly, and circulation to vital organs can fail.

Each year, BCAA Road Assist rescues close to 300 children and pets from locked cars.

Many of the 'accidental lock-in' calls attended by BCAA technicians occur while children playing with keys lock themselves inside the vehicle, or when drivers and their passengers become distracted while getting in and out of their vehicle. Car doors can close unexpectedly, locking young children or a pet in the car along with the car keys. BCAA receives about 100,000 requests from Members each year to retrieve keys from inside locked cars.

To avoid any chance of a child or family pet being harmed by the heat of a car this summer, BCAA encourages parents, caregivers and pet owners to play it safe and take the following precautions:

...Never leave a child or pet alone in a car, even with the windows down or air conditioner on.

...Leave your pets at home during hot summer days unless you need to take them to the veterinarian office, doggie day camp, or grooming salon.

...When running errands, leave children with a responsible adult at home, or travel with a responsible passenger who can stay with children or pets while you complete your tasks.

...If you drive a pickup truck, don't leave dogs in the truck bed. The heat can burn their feet.

...Before buckling children into their seats, check to make sure surfaces such as seat belt buckles aren't overly hot as they could burn a child's sensitive skin.

...Teach children not to play in cars and keep car keys out of reach and sight.

...Keep your vehicle locked at all times—even at home in the garage or driveway. This will help prevent toddlers from crawling into a car and accidentally locking themselves inside.

...If a child or pet is locked inside a vehicle, don't hesitate to call 9-1-1.

Develop a routine so you're always aware that your child or pet is with you

...Look before you leave. Always turn around to check your backseat before you leave the car,
It is surprisingly common to forget you have kids or pets with you if they are quiet or sleeping.

...If you need to retrieve items placed in the backseat, make it a habit to open the rear doors rather than reaching from the front seat. This will ensure you don't forget anyone.

...Put your child's bags and other items in the front seat. With their belongings in plain sight, you're less likely to forget you're travelling with them.

...If you have several kids and/or pets in the car, do a head count before you close the door to make sure everyone is out when you reach your destination.

Facts about heat stress from enclosed cars:

...On a mild summer day, the temperature inside a parked car can rise to more than 60 degrees C. in just 15 minutes.

...50 percent of the temperature rise occurs within five minutes of closing the doors and temperatures can rise as high as 73 degrees C.

...Even if parked in the shade, opening the window slightly or keeping the air conditioner on does not keep the temperature inside the car at a safe level.

...Because of their small size, the core temperature of a baby or small pet can increase three to five times more rapidly and dramatically than an adult. Heatstroke, or hyperthermia, occurs when the body's core temperature reaches 40.5 degrees C. and can result in delirium, convulsions, coma or death.