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Newsletter. Issue 2004-05. March. 06, 2004
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Health & Wellness
 
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Health & Wellness

Prayer for a New Society
All-nourishing God, your children cry for help
Against the violence of our world;
Where children starve for bread and feed on weapons;
Starve for vision and feed on drugs;
Starve for love and feed on videos;
Starve for peace and die murdered in our streets.

Creator God, timeless preserver of resources,
Forgive us for the gifts that we have wasted.
Renew for us what seems beyond redemption;
Call order and beauty to emerge again from chaos.
Convert our destructive power into creative service;
Help us to heal the woundedness of our world.

Liberating God, release us from the demons of violence.
Free us today from the disguised demon of deterrence

That puts guns by our pillows and missiles in our skies.

Free us from all demons that blend and blunt our spirits;
Cleanse us from all justifications for violence and war;
Open our narrowed hearts to the suffering and the poor.

Abiding God, loving renewer of human spirit,
Unfold our violent fists into peaceful hands:
Stretch our sense of family to include our neighbors;
Stretch our sense of neighbor to include our enemies
Until our response to you finally respects and embraces
All creation as precious sacraments of your presence.

Hear the prayer of all your starving children.
Amen.

When your baby cries...you'll know why!
Finally, bridge the communication gap between parents and newborns!

TORONTO, Feb. 19 /CNW/ - V&V Trading Corp., based in Ontario are delighted to announce that they will be launching the WhyCry(R) monitor in Canada - the world's first patented baby crying analyzer.
The award-winning WhyCry(R) Baby Cry Analyzer is an electronic monitor capable of dentifying the reasons why a baby is crying. This sound sensitive device is programmed to recognize different pitches and then digitally analyze and transmit the baby's cry into one of five simple expressions - hungry, bored, annoyed, sleepy or stressed.
The WhyCry(R) has been clinically tested obtaining a success rate over 90%. It is an essential tool to ensure a calm, happy baby and confident, relaxed parents!
The WhyCry(R) applies to a multitude of situations and lifestyles from first time parents to babysitters, the hearing impaired, daycare workers and other caregivers; promoting improved quality of care and peace of mind.
The analyzer is not a medical instrument, and if a parent is in any doubt about their baby's health, they should contact their doctor.
WhyCry(R) can be purchased on-line at www.whycrycanada.com and at the specialty stores.

Home Buying in Canada
Finding Down Payments Just Got a Lot Easier
From: http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/News/nere/2004/2004-02-23-0000.cfm
OTTAWA, February 23, 2004 - Home buyers, will have greater choice in what they can use for a down payment, thanks to new options announced today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
Borrowers are normally required to have a minimum five per cent down payment from their own resources to purchase a home. However, CMHC has expanded eligible down payment sources to enable many Canadians to realize their homeownership dream sooner than what would otherwise be possible.
Under this new product, effective March 1, the down payment can come from any source such as, lender incentives and borrowed funds. However, borrowers will still have to prove their ability to meet their debt requirements in order to qualify for mortgage insurance.
Under the new product, lenders will be able to offer Canadians a variety of mortgage product offerings including mortgages with terms as low as six months and fixed, adjustable and capped interest rate loans.
CMHC, Canada's leading innovator in providing housing finance solutions, continues to provide Canadians with greater access to affordable housing finance.
For further information please call: 1-800-668-2642

Reprinted with permission from Pax Christi USA, www.paxchristiusa.org .

Mandatory retirement opposition growing 1 in 3 Canadians favour banning forced retirement
WINNIPEG, March 1 /CNW/ - The number of Canadians opposed to mandatory retirement has increased significantly over the past 7 years according to public opinion poll results released by Investors Group. A poll commissioned by Investors Group in September 2003 and conducted by Decima Research revealed that 33 per cent of respondents agreed that mandatory retirement should be banned. That represents a marked increase from an Investors Group poll in May 1996 conducted by Gallup Canada showing 20 per cent of respondents opposed to a mandatory retirement age.
Opposition to forced retirement appears to grow as Canadians get closer to age 65. The 1996 survey results indicated 19 per cent of those aged 18 to 29 opposed mandatory retirement and the opposition grew to 28 per cent among the 50 to 64 age group. The 2003 survey offered similar results with 24 per cent of young Canadians supporting a ban on mandatory retirement compared to 39 per cent of those over 50 years of age.
"An increasing number of Canadians are choosing a retirement lifestyle that includes some form of employment or work," said Debbie Ammeter, Vice President of Advanced Financial Planning for Investors Group. "More and more Canadians are looking to their retirement years to provide them the opportunity to embark on a new life-adventure doing things they have wanted to do for many years."
A significant number of Canadians see retirement giving them the chance to achieve new goals in their lives. New goals and achievements were identified as important factors in a successful retirement by 37 per cent of respondents while only 16 per cent thought retirement success was a full time vacation.
The number of Canadians who say they want to work past 65 or as long as they are able has also increased according to the Investors Group survey results. In 1996, 15 per cent of the respondents to the Gallup Canada survey indicated they expected to retire sometime after age 65. That number increased to 26 per cent in the 2003 Decima Research polling.
Interestingly the number of Canadians anticipating an early retirement hasn't changed much in recent years. Survey results from 1996 indicate 34 per cent said they expected to retire before age 60 compared to 36 per cent in the 2003 survey.
Early retirement is a traditional goal and dream," Ammeter said. "But the emphasis is beginning to shift away from when you retire towards planning how you retire and what you are going to do with your life from that point forward." .

Doctors to Ontario Patients: We Share Your Concerns - and we're fighting on your behalf!
TORONTO, March 2 /CNW/ - Today the doctors of Ontario will launch a province-wide public awareness campaign. The campaign aims to draw awareness to the concerns and issues facing physicians in the province of Ontario today,
and to assure Ontarians that physicians are working to resolve them.
A recent survey of 2000 doctors conducted by the Strategic Counsel, found that physicians share the concerns of patients in the province. The decision to launch the public awareness campaign was made after the results of the January 2004 Membership Survey were released. When asked about the state of the health care system, the survey found that:

  • 97% of physicians are concerned about the impact that physician shortages are having on their patients
  • 95% of physicians are concerned about the impacts that general under-funding of health care is having on their patients
  • 90% of physicians feel that delays in treatment caused by long waiting lists are having a negative impact on patient care

"Doctors in Ontario are becoming increasingly frustrated with their inability to provide the care that they have been taught and want to provide their patients." Said Dr. Larry Erlick, President of the Ontario Medical Association. "Through this public awareness campaign, we are advocating on their behalf for reduced waiting lists; improved, timely access to tests and treatment; and real solutions to resolve the physician shortage crisis."
The public awareness campaign is one of many methods the Ontario Medical Association has been using over the last few months to raise awareness to physicians' concerns about decreasing quality of care in the province.
Earlier this year the President of the OMA launched a province-wide tour to dialogue with local community and business leaders, doctors and the public about their health care concerns to help find solutions to improve access to health care services for Ontarians. The OMA has provided the government with numerous solutions to help resolve the physicians shortage crisis including:

  • Repatriating Ontario-trained doctors practicing medicine in other jurisdictions by removing existing disincentives.
  • Eliminating mandatory retirement of physicians at age 65.
  • Fast-tracking the approval process for International Medical Graduates.
  • Reducing paperwork that takes physicians away from patients.

"We must take steps immediately to make Ontario an attractive place to practice medicine again so that new doctors can be recruited and to ensure existing ones don't leave," said Erlick. "We cannot sit back and watch while other jurisdictions entice our doctors away from the province."

For further information: For copies of the OMA's radio and print ads or the 18-point plan to resolve the physician shortage crisis visit www.oma.org/solutions.htm

McGuinty government moves forward on elder abuse strategy First Of Its Kind In Canada
TORONTO, March 1 /CNW/ - The Ontario government is moving forward with its provincial strategy to combat elder abuse and improve the quality of life for seniors by hosting the annual Ontario Elder Abuse Conference, said Ted McMeekin, Parliamentary Assistant for Seniors.
"Our people's health is our most precious resource, and we share a responsibility to protect our eldest citizens from harm," McMeekin said.
"Elder abuse of any kind is unacceptable and prevention is everyone's responsibility. Through the collective efforts of thousands of seniors and service providers across the province, we are signalling loud and clear that elder abuse will not be tolerated in Ontario."
The annual conference is part of Ontario's Strategy to Combat Elder Abuse, the first strategy of its kind in Canada. The Ontario Seniors' Secretariat, the Ministry of the Attorney General, and the Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (ONPEA), are partners in implementing the strategy, and are jointly sponsoring this conference.
"We are pleased to continue to work with the Ontario government to organize this annual conference and implement this important strategy for Ontario seniors," said Dr. Elizabeth Podnieks, Chair of the Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.
"The McGuinty government has no tolerance for elder abuse,"said Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman. "That's why I've appointed my Parliamentary Assistant Monique Smith to do a top to bottom review of our long- term care facilities. Seniors deserve dignity and the highest possible quality of life."
The theme of this year's conference is Building on Experience: Innovation and Change. Highlights include in-depth, interactive workshops that showcase Ontario projects. Fifty-five presentations will be made by Ontario experts, out-of-province presenters and International speakers. Conference sessions will examine issues and opportunities to deliver positive changes that will improve the quality of life of Ontario's eldest citizens.
A provincial stakeholder networking day, themed "Focus on Diversity", will follow on March 3. It will feature a multicultural showcase, keynote speakers, interactive sessions, and a panel of experts. Stakeholder networking days involve local elder abuse committees, organizations and/or individuals working to combat elder abuse, in a discussion of best practices in the implementation of the strategy.
Additional information regarding the conference and registration information is available at www.gov.on.ca/citizenship/seniors/english/elderabuse_registration.pdf and www.onpea.org

Backgrounder

ONTARIO'S STRATEGY TO COMBAT ELDER ABUSE
Ontario's Strategy to Combat Elder Abuse Ontario's Strategy to Combat Elder Abuse was launched in March 2002 to create awareness and protect vulnerable seniors from harm.
The $4.3 million strategy was developed with advice from the private and public sectors through the Round Table on Elder Abuse The Ontario Seniors' Secretariat, the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (ONPEA) are partners in the implementation of the strategy. Key elements of the five-year strategy include co-ordinated community services, training for front-line staff and public education to raise awareness of elder abuse.

Regional Elder Abuse Consultants
Regional elder abuse consultants are key resources for communities across the province, supporting efforts to combat elder abuse. The consultants also support local elder abuse committees/networks, strengthen partnerships between these committees, facilitate and undertake education and training initiatives for professionals, volunteers and seniors, and promote information sharing among professionals and volunteers working with abused seniors. Consultants are also responsible for developing model protocols on issues such as information sharing among service providers working with abused seniors.

The Regional Elder Abuse Consultants and their areas of responsibility are:
North West Lee Stones
North East Josée Miljours
West Cheryl Taggart
Central West Maureen Etkin
Toronto Shaaron Galway, Eileen McKee
Central East Reann Rideout
East Anne Lafortune

For more information or to contact the Regional Elder Abuse Consultant in your area, please call ONPEA at (416) 978-1716.

What is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is most often defined as any act that harms a senior or jeopardizes his or her health or welfare. Elder abuse can take the form of financial, emotional or physical abuse and neglect.
Elder abuse can take place in the home, in a residential setting or in the community. Financial abuse is by far the most common form of elder abuse, followed by emotional and physical abuse and neglect.

Facts About Elder Abuse
A recent Statistics Canada study (Family Violence: A Statistical Profile 2000) reports that:

  • 68 per cent of seniors who reported they were physically abused said that they were assaulted by a family member;
  • When family members were reported as the abuser, it was most often adult children (42 per cent) or spouses (31 per cent).
  • 38 per cent of female seniors reported they had been abused versus 18 per cent of male seniors.
  • Nine per cent of male seniors reported financial or emotional abuse compared to five per cent of female seniors

Get up and Goa
Jugular Vein/Jug Suraiya
Times of India Sunday , Feb 29, 2004 12:00:17 AM

Bunny and I were in Goa last week for the Carnival. Which was just an excuse to revisit Goa , which both of us have long loved. Why do we love Goa so much?
Perhaps it's because of its lush landscape, green and languorous as a lover's sigh. Or its icing sugar churches, strewn like candy out of a burst bag and nestling in eclectic propinquity to Hindu temples.
Or its rambling roads that seem to lead from one taverna to another even more welcoming. But I think Goa 's greatest gift is that of time. Elsewhere, time is measured in the thudding heartbeat of frantic seconds, or the sandpaper rasp of anxious hours. In Goa , time seems magically to expand to accommodate all that needs to be done in it, a brimming cornucopia of endless moments.
So you can go to a beachside shack and ask for a meal which takes a couple of hours in coming, and spend an equal number of hours leisurely savouring it, and still find you have time and enough to take in a splendiferous sunset which does its number in extrovert slow motion to the rippling applause of coconut palm fronds swaying in the unhurried breeze.
That's the secret of Goa 's sosegade, its famed laid-backness. It's not that Goans are particularly laid-back.
They just seem to be that way because they've mastered the art of making time serve their purposes, and not the other way round. Estelle, being Goan, knows all about this.
We were staying with Estelle and her husband, Rajiv, in the 300-year-old Portuguese villa in Uccasaim which they bought a while ago.
With its deep shaded verandah, its spacious, perfectly proportioned rooms and ogive windows, the house exudes an aura of serenity, an air of cloistered retreat. An inviting hammock strung between two trees in the sprawling compound seemed to read my mind.
Fugitive thoughts of siesta, however, were promptly banished by Estelle's exhortation: Come on, guys! Why do you think it's called Goa ? We've got to be on the go!
And we were. We'd barely taken in the Carnival parade when we found ourselves at Ingo's Saturday Nite Market in Arpora, a weekly goblins' bazaar of assorted foreigners selling a bewildering array of wares to the amplified tune of a band calling themselves the Dutch Cheese and belting out bhajans.
It was Woodstock rehashed - and I use the term advisedly - in 17 languages.
We visited Gita and Asif in their lovely home in south Goa (another 300-year-old villa), more or less barged into the Figueiredo family's magnificent house, the oldest part of which dates back to 1604, and which boasts an 80-foot-long ballroom with a sprung wood floor, and were taken on a walking tour of Panaji's historic Fontainhas area by Ana Maria who is helping with the restoration project.
In between, we fitted in a series of sumptuous meals in recherche eateries, including Nostalgia (the best prawn curry and rice), Mum's Kitchen (super kalamari), Martin's Corner (excellent steaks), Congo (super Thai food), and the aptly named Stomach (great for generally pigging out).
We weren't the only ones on the get up and go. Everyone was doing it. The BJP chief minister Manohar Parrikar has plans for Goa , which has already bagged IFFI, the international film festival slated for late this year.
To make the state more IT-wise, e-services for everything from getting a driving licence renewed to filing tax returns are being introduced.
All students will be eligible for subsidised PCs for a mere Rs 1,000 each.
And a proposed 'Sky Bus' from Mapusa to Panaji could well be replicated not only elsewhere in India but also abroad, starting with the Gulf.
All this and sosegade too? How on earth do you do it?
As Estelle taught us, the trick is simple: You can have all the time in the world, if you make sure you have all the world in your time.

How to take a worry-free vacation
Top Travel Tips from RBC Insurance

MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 3 /CNW/ - Whether your next vacation is to visit relatives across the country, a weekend trip to the U.S., a cruise in the Mediterranean or anything in between, here are a few suggestions to help make sure you stay happy and healthy on your next trip.

 
  1. Don't leave your province or territory of residence without medical insurance, as you may not have as much coverage as you think. Medical treatment can be very expensive - even if you are travelling
    within Canada - and your government health insurance plan usually
    only covers a limited part of these costs.
  2. Make sure to carry proof of travel insurance with you, along with the company's name and phone number. Leave a copy of this information at home with family or friends, as well.
  3. Travel arrangements are often non-refundable so don't risk losing your entire travel investment should something unexpected happen. Purchasing cancellation and interruption insurance can help protect your investment in case you have to cancel your trip, come home early, or stay later at your destination.
  4. Make sure your passport is current. Some countries require that passports be valid six months beyond expected departure dates. Make sure you're aware of these requirements, as well as any visa requirements.
  5. If you're a permanent resident of Canada, don't forget that as of December 2003, you require a Permanent Resident Card to return to Canada. This can be obtained from Citizenship and Immigration Canada by visiting their web site at www.cic.gc.ca. Permanent residents must also obtain a non-immigrant visa to enter the U.S., in addition
    to having a valid passport from their country of citizenship. For more information on the U.S. non-immigrant visa, visit
    http://www.usembassycanada.gov/content/content.asp?section(equal
    sign)travel&document=landed_newrequirements_021803.
  6. Make sure you're up to date on all your immunizations. Contact your doctor or a travel medicine clinic well in advance of your trip to see if you need any specific medication or immunizations. Health Canada provides a list of travel clinics across Canada at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/pphb-dgspsp/tmp-pmv/travel/clinic_e.html.
  7. Check to see if any travel advisories or warnings have been issued for your destination. This information can be obtained from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade at 1-800-267-6788 or www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca.
  8. Gastrointestinal illness is one of the most common illnesses affecting tourists. When it comes to food, eat fruits and vegetables that have been freshly peeled or cooked and other foods that have been well cooked. Drink bottled beverages, or hot beverages such as coffee or tea, and avoid ice that isn't made with purified water. Don't underestimate the importance of good personal hygiene - wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  9. Keep credit cards, travellers' cheques, passports and other identification in different places and make two photocopies of the main information page of your passport - one for someone staying at home and the other for you to keep separately from your passport.
    Use pockets or purses only for items you will need frequently. Otherwise, use a money belt or take advantage of hotel safety deposit boxes, so if your wallet is lost or stolen, you won't be left without identification or money. If you lose your passport, immediately call the nearest embassy or consulate and call the local authorities.
  10. Increased security at airports has led to longer waiting times for travellers. Go early to give yourself plenty of time to make your flight.
  11. Provide your family and friends with a copy of your itinerary and keep them informed of any changes. Supply them with your contact information, copies of the identification page of your passport and travel insurance information.
  12. Tell your neighbours you're going on vacation. It helps if they can pick up your mail, park a car in your driveway and even shovel snow. Just don't forget to return the favour when it's time for their vacation!
  13. If you're travelling in warmer or tropical climates, don't forget to wear sunscreen that blocks out both UVA and UVB rays - SPF 15 or higher is recommended.
  14. Most importantly - relax, recharge and have a great time! These tips are presented courtesy of RBC Insurance.

About RBC Insurance
RBC Insurance, through its operating entities, including RBC Travel Insurance Company, Assured Assistance Inc. and The Liberty Marketing Corporation, provides a wide range of creditor, life, health, travel, home, auto and reinsurance products to more than five million North American customers. RBC Insurance is the leading provider of travel insurance and emergency assistance services in Canada and has recently expanded into the U.S. travel insurance market. Its travel insurance operations draw on more than 35 years of professional experience and provide a wide range of products and services through a network of over 4,000 travel agencies, as well as over the Internet and through bank channels, to more than three million individual and corporate customers annually. For more information, please visit
www.rbcinsurance.com


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