Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holiday Greetings Sent to Earth From Space

by Stephen Messenger, Porto Alegre, Brazil

As anyone who's seen It's a Wonderful Life or read A Christmas Carol knows, sometimes a new perspective on things is all it takes to truly appreciate what we have -- and there's no better time for this than around the holidays. For the six person crew aboard the International Space Station, circling some 225 miles overhead, their unique vantage seems to have instilled in them a new found appreciation for the world outside their window. In their holiday message to the rest of us, the crew speaks of Earth as "a beautiful planet that we should all be thankful to have as our home."

Featured in the holiday greeting sent back down to Earth in the last few days are, from left to right, NASA's Cady Coleman and Scott Kelly, along with Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency. Also on board but not on camera are Dmitry Kondratyev, Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka from Russia.

Along with the simple holiday decorations and hairstyles which can only be described as 'out of this world', the astronauts' count our planetary home among friends and family when it comes to what they are most thankful for -- something we back on Earth, perhaps, do not do enough.

"This is a time when we can all think about being together in treasuring our planet, and we've got a pretty nice view of it from up here," says Coleman.

... read more story at

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Up to 8.6 Million Gifts Could go Unwanted this Holiday Season, According to New Research

Two-in-10 Canadians admit they hold on to some of these unwanted gifts for more than five years

TORONTO, December 23, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - New research reveals that 40 per cent of Canadians will likely receive at least one gift they can't use or don't like this holiday season and many will become victims to holiday holding. In fact, nearly 50 per cent of Canadians admit that they are holiday holders who store unwanted holiday gifts and almost one-in-10 Canadians are holders for life, keeping the unwanted items forever.

According to the research commissioned by Canada's largest online classifieds site,, the majority of those who hold on to unwanted holiday gifts do so out of guilt and shame. In fact, one-third of holiday holders admit that they feel guilty not keeping the item and two-in-10 would be ashamed to admit to the person that they didn't hold on to the unwanted item.

"Our emotions are getting the best of us," said Allyson Smith, a well-known comedian and Kijiji Canada's gift-giving therapist. "There's no reason to have an emotional attachment to a gift that you can't use or don't want and I refuse to accept the excuse that the person is holding on to the holiday gift for fear of getting caught. Our research clearly shows this is not the case - only a very small percentage of survey respondents have ever been caught by the gift giver getting rid of the item."

With no chance of getting caught, many Canadians would let go of their holiday holding habits. In fact, only 8 per cent of Canadians would still store the item. The others would put the item to good use, exchanging it for something they wanted or needed (31 per cent), re-gifting the item to someone who would appreciate it (26 per cent), or giving the item to charity (23 per cent).

Less than one-in-10 Canadians would consider turning the unwanted item into cold hard cash, yet the research reveals that 62 per cent of Canadians could use some extra cash to pay for their holiday shopping. Furthermore, approximately the same percentage of Canadians agree that selling an unwanted gift means the gift giver's money doesn't go to waste and ultimately it's okay to sell the item, according to half the survey respondents.

"This isn't about having to choose between naughty and nice," adds Smith. "Half of Canadians agree that not using a holiday gift is worse than selling it or giving it away."

The survey also revealed some other interesting information about Canadians' and their unwanted holiday gifts:

...Some of the worst holiday gifts ever received include: an already opened fruit basket, a broom and dustpan, soap on a rope, and a used diary.

...Some gift givers are being left in the dark. An astonishing 47 per cent of Canadians pretend to be overjoyed to receive the unwanted gift. Others display it every time the gift giver is present or brag about the gift to others hoping the gift giver will hear about it.

...When it comes to others' perception of holiday holders, two-in-10 feel that they're likely also holding on to other unwanted items, not just gifts.
The majority of Canadians (60 per cent) agree that unwanted gifts become a burden after the holidays.

When it comes time to let go of unwanted holiday gifts, Canadians should visit to get started.


These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between December 20 to 21, 2010, on behalf of Kijiji. For this survey, a sample of 1,008 adults from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled.

About Kijiji

Kijiji, which means "village" in Swahili, is the number one classifieds site in Canada, connecting nine-million buyers and sellers each month. offers Canadians a free, easy, and local way to buy, sell, and trade goods and services in their community. With local sites for more than 99 cities and towns across the country, Kijiji makes it easy for Canadians to find exactly what they're looking for in their own community. Kijiji Canada is part of the eBay Classifieds Group, the global leader in online classifieds with a global presence in more than 20 countries and 1,000 cities.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Let me Hear Your Heart Beat

NOORDWIJK, The Netherlands, December 22, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - What if monitoring your heart rate were as easy as listening to music while you jog? Thanks to advances in space technology, an iPhone will soon be able to do double duty: keep you in tune with your favourite artists and your vital signs.

With the support of ESA's Technology Transfer Programme (ESA TTP), Swiss company CSEM created the final prototype for their Pulsear device this year. A tiny unit embedded in a regular earphone uses infrared signals to see how fast your heart is beating. It sends infrared signals through the tissues in your ear. A tiny photo diode records the results and sends the information via the earphone wires to a device that plugs into your phone.

The result is an accurate reading of your heart rate, without the irritation of wearing a chest belt.

"Lots of people listen to music while they exercise and lots of people find the belts uncomfortable," said CSEM's Dr Andrea Ridolfi, "so we thought it made sense to measure heart rate through the ear."

Solution thanks to space-tech

Earlier attempts by CSEM to monitor heart rate using earphones were not satisfactory, said Dr Ridolfi, because the available technology was not sophisticated enough. But that was before CSEM developed a complex chest sensor for measuring astronauts' blood oxygen levels for ESA's Long Term Medical Survey system. "Once we were done," said Dr Ridolfi, "we said, 'let's recycle this'."

With a grant from the ESA TTP's 'Technology Transfer Demonstrator' initiative, CSEM created the prototype. The initiative supports development of new hardware and software to bridge the gap between the space technology and its terrestrial use.

An iPhone application shows your heart rate over time onscreen and compares, say, today's jog with last week's. Subjects who tested the app during their fitness training rated the device highly. While the current prototype measures only heart rate, future versions could easily be adapted to measure additional vital signs such as blood oxygen levels. This would open up a number of medical applications.

"Technology transfer from space has a huge potential to spur innovation in areas you wouldn't expect to find space-tech", explains Frank M. Salzgeber, Head of ESA TTP. "ESA TTP wants to help European industry to apply sophisticated space solutions to their markets."

More information:

Monday, December 20, 2010

100,000th Patient Transported by ORNGE Air Ambulance Service

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario December 20, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Ornge, a world leader in transport medicine, reached a major milestone in its five year history today, as the organization transported its 100,000th patient.

All aspects of air ambulance services were divested by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in January 2006 and since became Ornge. Ornge, a not-for-profit organization, was created with the mission of developing a fully integrated, world-class transport medicine system for Ontario.

Since that time, Ornge has transported 100,000 patients more than 33.5 million statute miles (54 million kilometers) — over 1,350 times around the earth or 6,898 times the length of the Trans-Canada highway — in its rotor and fixed wing aircraft, along with critical care land units.

"This milestone is a testament to how far we've come thanks to the hard work and dedication of every member of the Ornge team," said Dr. Christopher Mazza, President and CEO of Ornge. "We are proud to have provided so many Ontarians with excellence in patient care, and we remain committed to continually seeking ways to enhance our service."

"In a province the size of Ontario, a quality service like Ornge is absolutely vital," said Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario. "Thanks to the hard work and dedication of everyone at Ornge -- from pilots, to paramedics, to communications officers -- 100,000 Ontarians so far have received the emergency help they needed. I want to congratulate Ornge on this milestone, and thank the whole team for taking such good care of Ontario families."

"In just five years, Ornge has transformed patient transport into a system that is truly world class, and an integral part of providing quality and timely patient care when it's needed." said Deb Matthews, Ontario Minister of Health and Long Term Care.

"Ornge helped save my life," said Anthony Lue, who was airlifted by an Ornge crew after being critically injured in an industrial accident in 2009. "Without the care I received in the air and the quick transport to the hospital, things could have been a lot worse. I now know that thousands of others have stories just like mine."

The demand for transport medicine continues to grow across Ontario. In the last fiscal year alone, the number of patient transports climbed by 5 per cent, including a 2.3 per cent increase in air transports and a 31 per cent increase in land transports.

To address this challenge, Ornge has taken steps to ensure a sustainable provincial transport medicine system for years to come. In September, Ornge introduced its first AgustaWestland AW139 medically-equipped helicopter, which will be added to the fleet of aircraft. Several more AW139's are scheduled to be introduced in 2011. Ornge has also opened Canada's first Centre for Excellence in Transport Medicine in Thunder Bay, a facility capable of housing all three forms of transport medicine: fixed wing, rotor wing and critical care land units. A similar facility will open in Hamilton in 2011.

In addition, Ornge will be expanding its paediatric transport team with the generous assistance of the Rogers Foundation. The newly-renamed Ted Rogers Paediatric Transport Program will operate from both Ottawa and Markham for the benefit of sick and injured children across the province.


Ornge is the world's leading innovator in the emerging field of transport medicine, and operates from a number of bases across the province of Ontario and performs more than 20,000 admissions annually. It coordinates all aspects of Ontario's aero medical transport system, the new critical care land transport program, paediatric transport program and the authorization of air and land ambulance transfers between hospitals. Ornge is dedicated to the provision of high quality patient care through innovative transport medicine.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nearly 5,000 Ontarians die from infectious diseases every year

The Ontario Burden of Infectious Disease Study (ONBOIDS) finds many of top 10 are often overlooked

TORONTO, December 14, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Nearly 5,000 Ontarians die from infectious diseases every year. Many of these infectious diseases get little recognition in terms of public awareness, media attention and resource allocation, says a new study released by the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (OAHPP) and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).

Led by Dr. Jeff Kwong, scientist at ICES, and Dr. Natasha Crowcroft, director of surveillance and epidemiology at OAHPP, ONBOIDS is the most comprehensive review of the burden of infectious disease in Ontario to date. The study reviewed data on 51 different infectious diseases to determine their impact on the life and health of Ontarians.

The ten most burdensome infectious diseases in Ontario are:

...Hepatitis C virus

...Streptococcus pneumoniae

...Human papillomavirus (HPV)

...Hepatitis B virus

...Escherichia coli (E. coli)

...Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV/AIDS)

...Staphylococcus aureus


...Clostridium difficile

...Rhinoviruses (common cold)

"Each year, Ontarians seek medical attention for more than seven million episodes of infectious diseases. Infectious diseases are not going away, and we as a society need to realize the impact of a number of these diseases," says Dr. Kwong.

A large proportion of the burden of illness could be attributed to a small number of pathogens and syndromes for which highly effective targeted interventions (e.g., pneumococcal, HBV and HPV vaccines) and non-specific interventions (e.g., hand washing, male and female condoms) already exist. The future burden of some of these infectious agents and syndromes may be dramatically reduced with greater uptake of available interventions.

"It is important to remember that infectious diseases are preventable in many different ways. These findings show where and how we should be concentrating our efforts to get the greatest impact in improving the health of Ontarians. Improvements range from concentrating on immunization programs where vaccinations exist, such as for human papillomavirus, through increasing screening and access to treatment for hepatitis B and C, to developing new ways to fight infectious diseases," says Dr. Crowcroft.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Retirement at 75? The Rat Race May Be a Marathon for Younger Canadians

New poll findings show having to work longer number one retirement concern amongst Canadians 25-34

TORONTO, December 13, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Canadians aged 25 to 34 fear that they will have to work longer into their golden years, according to a new poll commissioned by Edward Jones. This is a concern that has increased over the past four years - in 2006, 28 per cent of Canadians aged 25 to 34 listed this as their top fear about retirement, while today 40 per cent say this is their top fear.

A similar trend can be seen in the U.S. In 2006, only 15 per cent of Americans aged 25 to 34 listed having to work longer as their number one retirement fear, while now nearly one-fourth (23%) list this as their top fear.

"The recession has been a wake-up call for many investors - especially those that are still early in their careers," says Sucharita Maitra, principal, Retirement Planning, Edward Jones. "Many fear that they will have to work longer to supplement their savings making retiring at 65 a pipe dream, a worry that has become even more pronounced since the recession. I can't stress enough the importance of starting to save early to avoid having to work longer."

Maitra points out some key reasons for why Canadians should start saving early:

More time to take advantage of compound interest. Compound interest grows investments more quickly because interest is calculated on the original investment amount plus the interest that has already accrued on initial investment. For example, an investor who starts investing $1,000 a year at a 5 per cent interest rate starting at age 24 will retire at age 65 with $141,623. The original investment was only $41,000 but compound interest added $100,623. On the other hand, if that same investor waited 10 years until age 34 to start investing, they would only save $78,836 by age 65. That is $62,787 less than if they had started 10 years earlier.

Registered accounts let you keep more of your hard-earned dollars. Saving vehicles such as Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) provide a tax break, which can really add up over the years. The money saved on taxes can also be invested back into retirement savings, allowing money to grow faster.

Small sacrifices now may mean big enjoyment later. Saving a small amount now and continuing to save will build a retirement fund for the long-term. Even putting away an extra $50 a month by forgoing a dinner out once a month can really add up, thanks to compound interest.

"Quelling fears about retirement comes back to planning and preparation," says Maitra. "Developing a financial strategy early and sticking to it will assist in calming those worries and allow young Canadians to finish the rat race in record time."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Governor General of Canada Becomes Patron of Volunteer Canada

OTTAWA, December 8, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Volunteer Canada, the national voice for volunteerism in Canada, is proud to announce that His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, has agreed to be the Patron of the organization.

The board and staff of Volunteer Canada are very honoured by this timely announcement, as December 5th is International Volunteer Day and 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of International Year of Volunteers in 2001.

"We are particularly pleased that the Governor General has agreed to be patron of Volunteer Canada because of his vocal recognition of the value of volunteers to the quality of Canadian communities and active support of volunteering as a key contribution to our nation's social, cultural, and economic prosperity," said Ruth MacKenzie, President & CEO, Volunteer Canada.

With more than 30 years of passionate commitment to the cause of volunteering and civic participation, Volunteer Canada ( inspires Canadians to be engaged from coast to coast to coast. From its office in downtown Ottawa, Volunteer Canada creates and develops programs, national initiatives, vital research, and tools for the non-profit sector.

Focused on influencing social policy and developing valuable resources around volunteerism, the organization is driven to help non-profits and businesses alike to build capacity for the changing culture of volunteerism. It recognizes the impact of Canada's 12.5 million volunteers through a variety of national campaigns and it works with its Corporate Council on Volunteering to catalyze conversations about corporate community involvement.

Founded in 1977, Volunteer Canada works collaboratively with volunteer centres, business, and non-profit organizations to support volunteerism and the ultimate agents of social change, Canada's volunteers.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Volunteers Crucial in the Fight Against Diabetes

Canadian Diabetes Association thanks its world-class volunteers in recognition of International Volunteer Day

TORONTO, December 1, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - International Volunteer Day takes place on December 5 each year and is recognized by the United Nations as an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of volunteers in communities around the world. The Canadian Diabetes Association would like to send a sincere message of gratitude to our community and professional volunteers who generously provide their time to help advance the fight against diabetes.

"The Canadian Diabetes Association would not be able to accomplish its mission without the support of its many community and professional volunteers across Canada," said Michael Cloutier, president and CEO of the Canadian Diabetes Association. "Our volunteers are vital in supporting people living with diabetes and we are grateful for the time and expertise they share with us and in the communities they serve."

Through the dedication and commitment of Association volunteers, Canadians affected by diabetes can attend an educational presentation delivered by one of our volunteers, can obtain funding for their test strips based on the advocacy efforts of our volunteer advocacy committees; can receive information on the symptoms to watch for in a child who may develop type 1 diabetes from a healthcare professional who has reviewed our latest Clinical Practice Guidelines theme 'Protecting Mothers and Children' and can benefit from the work of Canadian diabetes researchers who are a step closer to finding a cure thanks to Association volunteers fundraising for research grants.

As a Goodwill Ambassador for the Canadian Diabetes Association, Dan Hill, Toronto-based Grammy and Juno Award-winning musician, knows first-hand why volunteering and holding fundraising events are important in the fight against diabetes. This past October in Edmonton, Hill headlined a concert where proceeds benefited the Canadian Diabetes Association.

"More than 9 million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes," said Hill. "As a Goodwill Ambassador for the Canadian Diabetes Association, it is my hope to bring further attention to the disease by sharing my own experiences of living well with type 2 diabetes."

The Canadian Diabetes Association has a range of volunteer opportunities available in your community. Visit to learn more about how you can become a volunteer and to complete an online volunteer application form.

About the Canadian Diabetes Association

Today, more than nine million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes. Across the country, the Canadian Diabetes Association is leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. Our community-based network of supporters help us provide education and services to people living with diabetes, advocate for our cause, break ground towards a cure and translate research into practical applications. For more information, please visit or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

CNIB Applauds Court Decision Calling for Better Accessibility for Government Websites

Full web accessibility ensures equal access to information for blind and partially sighted Canadians

TORONTO, November 29, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - CNIB, Canada's primary source of information and support for people with vision loss, applauds the decision made today by the Federal Court of Canada that calls on the government to make its websites fully accessible for blind and partially sighted Canadians.

"We applaud the court's decision today as it makes it clear that equal access to information and services on government websites is a fundamental right, not a privilege, for all Canadians, including people living with vision loss," said Bill McKeown, Vice President, Government Relations, CNIB. "While it's unfortunate that it took a court case to achieve this fundamental right, we believe today's decision will ensure blind and partially sighted Canadians have better access to information including government subsidies and employment opportunities."

The case was first brought to the courts in 2007 by Donna Jodhan, a blind Toronto-based accessibility consultant who encountered significant difficulties in accessing sections of federal government websites to apply for jobs and complete online Census forms. Ms. Jodhan launched a Charter Challenge on the basis that government's websites violated the rights of Canadians with vision loss to equal benefit of the law guaranteed under Section 15, the equality provision, of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

More than three million Canadians are unable to read print because of a disability such as blindness or partial sight and every 12 minutes, someone in Canada begins to lose their vision.** Due to inaccessible government websites, these individuals lack access to vital information and services relating to everything from health and social welfare to public security.

"Equal access to information enables blind and partially sighted Canadians to remain independent, productive members of society," said John Rafferty, president and CEO, CNIB. "And as we live in an age where online access to information is often taken for granted, we encourage all levels of government and private organizations to embrace the latest standards in web accessibility - with the right guidance, it's not as onerous as some might think."

About CNIB

CNIB passionately provides community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life. To find out more, visit or call 1-800-563-2642.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

When I'm 65 …

Quebec boomers set to prove Paul McCartney wrong
and give new meaning to old lyrics

WINNIPEG, November 23, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - An Investors Group poll reveals that 51 per cent of Quebec boomers disagree with the picture of quiet retirement living painted by legendary Beatle Paul McCartney in the song, "When I'm 64."

In January 2011, the first of Quebec's boomers - an estimated 90,500* - will start to turn 65 years of age. Instead of worrying about becoming older as McCartney's lyrics suggest, Investors Group research shows that 66 per cent of Quebec residents between the ages of 45 and 64 are looking forward to retirement as an exciting new stage in life.

"Boomers won't be knitting by the fire and taking quiet Sunday drives," said Claude Paquin, Senior Vice President of Investors Group in Quebec, in reference to McCartney's lyrics. "They are gearing up, not shifting down, for what is around the corner. This generation is defined by their youthfulness - they are upbeat and energetic in their approach to getting older."

Who could ask for more?

Quebec boomers expect to enjoy more than 20 years of retirement living and a majority (65 per cent) have a clear vision of their retirement lifestyle. They believe that it will be comfortable (51 per cent) but fulfilling (39 per cent), busy (43 per cent) and exciting (27 per cent). Only 11 per cent of boomers think retirement will be lonely and boring.

Lack of work pressures (57 per cent), opportunity to travel (60 per cent), more time for hobbies, recreation and fitness activities (70 per cent) and more time with family (46 per cent) will bring them the greatest enjoyment.

Nearly half (47 per cent) will take McCartney's cue to be doing the garden, digging the weeds. More will be enjoying other quiet activities including reading (75 per cent) and watching TV (67 per cent).

Will you still need me, will you still feed me?

While McCartney's song seems to indicate his hopes for his future well-being are pinned on his partner, fewer than four-in-ten boomers in Quebec (38 per cent) say they will rely on their spouse for financial and emotional support for day-to-day assistance. Thirty-four per cent aren't sure who will give them support.

Despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of boomers (73 per cent) believe it has been easier for them to be financially successful than it will be for the current generation, half of them don't think they can afford their dream retirement lifestyle (51 per cent). In fact, one-in-three (31 per cent) think they won't even have enough money to pay their basic retirement living expenses.

But the future looks brighter to boomers who currently work with a financial advisor. Thirty-two per cent believe they will have enough money to afford their dream retirement -compared to only 23 per cent of those without an advisor who believe the same.

"As boomers become seniors, they will have to address the gap between their dreams and the practicalities of getting older," said Paquin. "This doesn't necessarily require adjusting lifestyles and attitudes, but rather asking themselves some honest questions about their financial means."

Time waits for no one

Concerns about finances (54 per cent) and personal health issues (57 per cent) threaten the retirement enjoyment for the majority of boomers and, if they could go back in time to make their retirement plans, 35 per cent of already retired boomers would start saving earlier.

In the end, Mick Jagger may have got it right when he sang "Time waits for no one," Paquin said. "Boomers, who took those lyrics seriously when they heard them at a young age, were probably inspired to plan for their future."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stayin' Alive - How Canadian Baby Boomers Will Work, Play and Find Meaning in the Second Half of Their Adult Lives

As Canada's Baby Boomers prepare to enter the second half of their adult lives, leading pollster and analyst Michael Adams describes his generation's thoughts on topics ranging from retirement and spirituality to sexuality and funeral plans. This fun and insightful book draws on over twenty years of Environics social values data—including a special 2008 study that surveyed an extra-large sample of Boomers on issues specific to their current life stage.

“A thorough and revealing reflection on the values of the BabyBoom generation, with a surprise at its core: we're not as uniform a group as the hype contends, and our nostalgia goes back a lot farther than the 1960s." - Moses Znaimer, Founder of Zoomer Magazine + Media

The four social-values "tribes" Adams described in his bestselling book Sex in the Snow are alive and well: the Disengaged Darwinists, Connected Enthusiasts, Autonomous Rebels, and Anxious Communitarians continue to display distinct values and behaviours—and are evolving in fascinating ways as they age. Adams outlines each tribe's approach to retirement, health, technology, family, consumption, spirituality, and politics. His tribal segmentation analysis is an important corrective to analyses that treat Canada's largest generation (over 9-million men and women) as a monolith.

“Packed with laser-sharp ‘Aha!’ insights, this is required reading for everyone from marketers to NGOs and politicians. Stayin’ Alive drills deep into the mindset of Boomers and beyond – the generations that will profoundly shape our next few decades.”
– Jeannette Hanna, Trajectory’s VP, Strategy; co-author Ikonica, A Field Guide to Canada’s Brandscape

The trends and insights Adams finds in Environics' large bank of social values data will be invaluable to marketers, policy makers, human resource professionals and anyone else seeking to understand where Baby Boomers—and the rest of us—are headed in the years to come.

“As an ‘Autonomous Rebel,’ I appreciated the insight into all the Boomer tribes. This book is invaluable for anyone for whom the attitudes and behaviour of the Canadian Boomer generation is a significant factor.” - Alan C. Middleton, Schulich School of Business, York University

Visit Michael Adams website at:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Improved Patient Outcomes through Meaningful Use of EMRs by Ontario Physicians

TORONTO, November 17, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Ontario physicians using Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) are reporting that EMRs enable them to improve patient care and operate more efficient practices.

"Ontario's doctors know firsthand the important role that EMRs can play in supporting the advancement of our patients' care," said Dr. Mark MacLeod, President of the Ontario Medical Association. "Physicians using EMRs report that patient safety has improved and continuity and overall quality of care has improved. We will continue to work hard to achieve our shared goal with the provincial government of ensuring every patient has an electronic medical record."

OntarioMD has been funding and supporting over 5,0001 community physicians to adopt EMRs since April 2005 as part of eHealth Ontario's EMR Adoption Program. OntarioMD collects EMR user surveys to evaluate the success of the Program and identify areas for improvement. Since 2008, more than 2,000 surveys have been collected.

Dr. Stephen Chris, Board Chair, OntarioMD, said:

"There is a lot of discussion about meaningful use and EMRs right now. Physicians participating in Ontario's EMR Adoption Program have eagerly adopted EMRs, and shown remarkable levels of meaningful use of EMRs since we first measured use in 2008. The latest 2010 survey results show further improvements in patient outcomes and even greater EMR use."

Greg Reed, CEO of eHealth Ontario, noted that,

"Considering that the majority of your health information is collected and managed by your family doctor, it is an absolute must that physicians successfully adopt EMRs within their practice in order for ehealth to be a success. Working closely with our partner OntarioMD, Ontario now has more physicians using EMRs than any other Canadian jurisdiction combined."

The latest survey results for 2010 clearly illustrate that physicians using EMRs are producing positive results including:

...90% are using EMRs regularly to write and renew prescriptions;

...90% are regularly receiving and managing lab results electronically, up from 82% in 2008;

...92% are using their EMRs to enter their encounter notes, eliminating the need for paper records;

...73% felt they were primarily paperless, up from 60% in 2008.

OntarioMD is a subsidiary of the Ontario Medical Association. It manages the EMR Adoption Program on behalf of eHealth Ontario, which oversees and funds the Program.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Salvation Army Launches 2010 Christmas Campaign Promoting Dignity For All

New Google Technology Allows Donors to Track Giving and Fill Local Kettles at

TORONTO, November 16, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Salvation Army today announced the national launch of the 2010 Annual Christmas Campaign aimed at raising money to support dozens of social services programs that work to restore hope and dignity for vulnerable individuals during the Christmas season and throughout the year.

This year, the iconic Salvation Army Christmas kettles will appear on street corners across Canada and on Google Maps through the Army's online "Fill the Kettle" program. Visitors to will be able to track donations at nearly 2,000 kettles on-the-street nationwide. Using Google technology, donors will be able to locate and make a secure online donation directly to individual kettles in their community.

"The Fill the Kettle program will provide yet another way for the public to get behind the Christmas campaign and support our social service work in more than 400 communities across Canada," said Commissioner William Francis, Territorial Commander of The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda. "With 15 to 20 percent of our annual fundraising revenue collected during the Christmas season and demand for our service at an all time high in some areas, we are really asking the public to dig deep this year."

For too many, the basic necessities of life needed for human dignity are out of reach. Approximately 3 million Canadians, or one in 11 people, live in poverty today, making access to everyday needs like food, clothing and shelter difficult.

"The Salvation Army believes that human dignity is a fundamental right for all people," said Commissioner Francis. "When you give to the Salvation Army this Christmas season, you are investing in the future of marginalized and overlooked people across Canada."

The Salvation Army will also participate in a number of events this year to raise awareness and money for the Christmas Campaign. On Sunday, November 21st, The Salvation Army will participate in the nationally televised 2010 Santa Claus Parade in Toronto, ON. And, on Saturday, December 4th, The Salvation Army will once again team up with Running Room Ltd. to host the 20th annual Santa Shuffle presented by All Weather Windows. The 5 km Fun Run and 1 km Elf Walk will be held in 37 cities across Canada.

The 2010 Christmas Campaign helps The Salvation Army provide direct, compassionate, hands-on service to more than 1.6 million people in Canada each year, restoring hope and dignity to the most vulnerable in society. The Salvation Army's annual Christmas Campaign has grown into one of Canada's most significant and recognizable annual charitable events. Last year, more than $18 million was raised in the kettles nationwide, an all time record. The Salvation Army relies on the support of numerous corporate partners, including Wal-Mart and Loblaw Companies Limited, which allow Christmas kettles to be placed at their stores each year.

Donations to the 2010 Christmas Campaign can be made at, by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769), at your local kettle, or via mail to The Salvation Army, 2 Overlea Blvd, Toronto, ON M4H 1P4. Donors can also give by texting "HOPE" to 45678 from most mobile carriers in Canada.

About The Salvation Army:

The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people today and everyday in 400 communities across Canada and more than 120 countries around the world. The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life, providing shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives to an addiction. When you give to The Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of marginalized and overlooked people in your community.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The "New Retirement" Will See More than Half of Canadians Working into their Golden Years

Latest Consumerology Report finds that three quarters of Canadians are financially unprepared for retirement and examines how Boomers will revolutionize this lifestage

TORONTO, November 5, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - The baby boomer generation has revolutionized every lifestage to date and will also revolutionize retirement, according to Bensimon Byrne's latest Consumerology Report.

"While most Canadians view retirement as a 'second life' - an opportunity to do the things they really want - we found three quarters of Canadians are financially unprepared to afford the lifestyle they imagine," said Jack Bensimon, president of Bensimon Byrne. "The 'new retirement' will look a lot more like a 'working retirement,' as retirees try to afford the quality of life they want to maintain."

Each quarter, the Consumerology Report, commissioned by the Toronto-based advertising agency Bensimon Byrne and conducted by The Gandalf Group, tracks consumer opinions about the economy, personal financial expectations, consumer buying intention, and attitudes toward key national issues. The purpose of this study was to explore perceptions and expectations about all facets of retirement. Among the findings, most people would like to retire earlier than they expect to be able to, but only a third of Canadians expect to be retired before 65 and almost one in five expect to be working after age 70.

"Due to the images marketers portray, we have a clichéd and dated view of retirement, centered around passive leisure," said Bensimon. "The reality is that many Boomers intend to have active retirement lifestyles. Over 50 per cent of Canadians expect to work in some capacity well into their so-called golden years, whereas more than three quarters of current retirees haven't worked in any capacity. And while future retirees expect family to be a big part of their retirement, they are also looking forward to going back to university, learning a new language, picking up a new skill, starting a business, and getting involved in the community."

The findings have implications for public policy makers and marketers, as a growing number of Canadians expect to work beyond the established retirement age of 65. For marketers, it means traditional messages about retirement will appear less relevant, and those who target only a younger workforce will be missing the opportunity to include older workers in their messages. Further, with an aging workforce, employers will be forced to consider the needs of older employees and ensure the work environment is designed with their needs in mind. On the upside, an aging workforce will create entirely new marketing opportunities by expanding the demographic for many categories like apparel, transportation, hospitality, and communications services.

"Boomers are going to revolutionize retirement," said Bensimon. "Their cognitive age is younger than previous generations at the same age. So we expect to see a combination of part-time work, part-time travel, reverse mortgages, exploring brand new interests, and caring for family as the most likely combination of activities in their retirement years."

The study found that despite their lifestyle goals, pre-retirement individuals do not have the financial resources in place to sustain those goals, partially explaining why they anticipate continuing to work for income.

Strikingly, people make almost no link between their aspirations for lifestyle in retirement and their savings plan. Almost three quarters of Canadians have not calculated what income their current retirement investments will provide during retirement.

"Working people are turning a blind eye to the realities of financing their ideal retirement," notes Bensimon. "They acknowledge they are not confident they have enough savings to pay for their retirement, but don't consider that fact when planning their future."

Today's workers also face different challenges in saving for retirement than their predecessors. The majority of people preparing for retirement admit to worrying they will outlive their savings and less than half have any employer sponsored pension plan. As a result, almost all Canadians expect government pensions, OAS and CPP/QPP, to be very important elements of their retirement income. Most homeowners will also be relying heavily on the equity in their home.

Additional Survey Highlights

...The average expected age of retirement for those who are still in the workforce is 62. However, for those already retired the average age they retired was 57.

...Majority of current retirees report being happier in retirement than when they were working.
85 per cent of retirees believe retirement is the best part of their life.

...Although, 40 per cent of current retirees say that their standard of living dropped when they retired.

...Working people also have positive expectations for retirement. They expect to be happier and less stressed.

...Compared with when they were working, current retirees spend less money on travel, entertain at home less, eat out less and spend less on clothing.

...Staying in the family home is a priority for most Canadians when they retire. 70 per cent of existing retirees did and 60 per cent of current workers expect to, yet two-thirds of homeowners are relying on their home for income in retirement.

...In retirement, people value the quality of their life over the length of their life.

...The main hopes for retirement are health, financial security, increased social activity and that their life will be long. The biggest fears are deteriorating physically or mentally, being poor and being a burden on one's family.

...The average life expectancy in retirement among Canadians is 25 years.

...More than half of working Canadians think about death frequently - less so in retirement.

...More than half of Canadians believe in assisted suicide.

...Most Canadians over the age of 50 say that current low interest rates are hurting them financially.

About the Survey

The Consumerology Report is a quarterly survey commissioned by Toronto-based advertising agency Bensimon Byrne. This quarter's survey was conducted by The Gandalf Group amongst 1,500 Canadians. The questionnaire was conducted in French and English over the period of September 20-30, 2010. Previous editions of the Consumerology Report have covered a variety of topics including: The Impact of Macro-economic Trends; The Impact of Environmental Issues; New Canadians, New Consumers; Corporate Social Responsibility; and Economic Trends and Consumer Behaviour. All reports can be found at

About Bensimon Byrne

Bensimon Byrne is a privately owned, full-service, Canadian advertising agency. Established in 1993, the agency has worked with a host of blue-chip companies and brands, producing some of Canada's most effective and memorable advertising.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Public Service Health Care Plan - Launch of the Electronic Benefit Card

OTTAWA, November 1, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Honourable Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today announced the arrival of the Public Service Health Care Plan benefit card for employees and pensioners.

"Pharmacists across the country will now accept the benefit card for prescription claims under the Public Service Health Care Plan," said Minister Day. "To date, over 800,000 cards have been provided to almost 500,000 plan members and their eligible dependents."

Members and their dependants will no longer have to pay for the full cost of their prescription up front then complete paper claims to be reimbursed for eligible prescription drugs and medical supplies. The new benefit cards reduce paperwork and processing; members will only have to pay their share of the cost of each prescription up front.

"By allowing the processing of claims electronically, this new card will streamline the process and improve services for members," added Minister Day. "The government will also stand to benefit from saving millions of dollars per year over the long term."

Over the past four months, plan members have been enrolling with the plan administrator, Sun Life Financial, to obtain their new benefit card. Claims will no longer be processed until the plan member completes enrolment. Plan members not yet enrolled can do so by calling 1-877-283-1411 or by visiting

Further information on the Public Service Health Care Plan can be found at the Treasury Board Secretariat website at

Friday, October 29, 2010

On October 29, 2010 World Stroke Day the Opportunity for Treating Stroke Widens

Extending the time for administering life-saving clot busting therapy from 3 to 4 and a half hours means that more people will be treated

TORONTO, October 29, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Paramedics working in the province of Ontario will soon be able to transport more people who suffer a sudden onset of stroke symptoms to the designated stroke centre so that they can receive thrombolytic therapy, according to a new protocol to be released this fall in the Revised Paramedic Prompt Card for Acute Stroke Protocol Training Bulletin for Paramedics by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Emergency Health Services Branch in collaboration with the Ontario Stroke Network.

Now, new stroke patients have up to 4.5 hours from the sudden onset of their symptoms to possibly be treated with clot busting drugs. Before the protocol was revised, they had 3 hours. However, people who suffer from a sudden onset of stroke symptoms shouldn't wait; they should call 9-1-1 immediately or their local emergency number in order to get to a stroke centre to optimize treatment benefit.

Remember Time is Brain.

"The window for treatment has expanded from 3 to 4.5 hours, so the paramedics have to get the patient there an hour before so the tests can be done to make sure the patient qualifies for treatment," said Jason Prpic, MD, Emergency Physician representative for the Ontario Stroke Network and President of Sudbury Emergency Services in Sudbury. "Currently, paramedics in Ontario bypass certain hospitals and go straight to a stroke center. This way they will not delay the treatment by going to a hospital that cannot offer thrombolysis (clot busting drug)."
However, he cautioned, "Just because you have more time doesn't mean you should take more time. You still want to get to care as fast as you can."

"The extra 90 minutes means that many more patients will be able to be treated," said Cheryl Moher, Regional Program Manager for the Central East Stroke Network in Barrie. "In the past we have had a 3 hour time window from the onset of stroke symptoms until the drug could be delivered. But you really need a very tight system for that to work," Ms Moher said. "Through research, we now know that we can extend that time safely to a 4.5 hour window. This doesn't mean that people with stroke should take more time to call 9-1-1, but it means that more people may benefit because of the extension of this window." First and foremost, everyone must know the warning signs of stroke and act immediately if they or someone else has any symptoms, said Ms Moher. "Stroke can be treated".

The new protocol is based on the findings from a large European study that included almost 24,000 patients with acute stroke. Of these patients, some 2400 were treated with the thrombolytic drug alteplase in the extended time window, three to four and a half hours after their stroke symptoms began.

The investigators believed that extending the treatment window would be safe, and they were right. The patients who were treated up to 4.5 hours after the onset of their stroke symptoms also had positive results from the treatment.

Tom Bedford, Manager of Ambulance Services and Emergency Programs Lennox-Addington County added: "Paramedic services have been closely involved in the development of the out-of-hospital portion of the Ontario stroke protocol. Stroke is now treatable due to the input and assistance of the paramedics. It's a testimony to the cooperation between the pre-hospital and the medical communities."

Today, October 29, 2010 is World Stroke Day, and the World Stroke Organization is launching a campaign titled "One in Six". The purpose of the campaign is to bring awareness that "One in Six" people world wide will have a stroke in their lifetime and that everyone is at risk for having a stroke and the situation could worsen. The "One in Six" campaign communicates that stroke is preventable and people who have a stroke can recover and regain quality of life. The "One in Six" two year campaign focuses on six challenges to reduce the risk of stroke and its effects:

...Know your risk factors (high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol)

...Be physically active and exercise regularly

...Avoid obesity by eating a healthy diet

...Limit alcohol consumption

...Avoid cigarette smoke. If you smoke, seek help to learn how to quit.

...Learning and recognize the warning signs of stroke and call 911 or your local emergency number

According to information from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the warning signs of stroke are the following:

...Weakness - Sudden loss of strength or sudden numbness in the face, arm or leg, even if temporary.

...Trouble speaking-Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding or sudden confusion, even if temporary

...Vision problems - Sudden trouble with vision, even if temporary

...Headache - Sudden severe and unusual headache

...Dizziness - Sudden loss of balance, especially with any of the above signs

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Doro® Makes Life A Little Easier For Canada's Active Seniors

Swedish firm launches Doro PhoneEasy® 410gsm, first mobile phone in Canada for seniors, exclusively with Rogers

TORONTO, October 28, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Doro®, the innovative award-winning Swedish telecom company devoted to creating smart, easy-to-use, and stylish mobile phones for active seniors, announced today the launch of the Doro PhoneEasy® 410gsm available exclusively from Rogers Communications Inc.

The new Doro PhoneEasy® 410gsm is an ergonomically designed handset optimized with a number of senior-friendly features. From its ergonomic flip phone design - making it easier to answer and hang up, as well as reducing key lock issues - to the large buttons for easier dialing and texting, the award-winning phone is exactly the simple mobile phone that many people want and need.

Other features on the Doro® 410gsm handset include: a large easy-to-read colour display; an FM radio with headphone jack; a loud and clear (+35dB) vibrating ringer; a wake-up alarm; and an emergency function that automatically calls and sends an SMS alarm to preset numbers at the push of a single button. It is also hearing aid compatible (T3/M4).

"A mobile phone can make a big change in a senior's life," says Jérôme Arnaud, President and CEO of Doro. "It creates an instant connection to everyone in your life - either through phone or SMS - and allows you to feel that much more secure about maintaining the lifestyle you want."

The Doro® 410gsm, one of Doro's most successful mobile phones, was rated the best phone for seniors by the independent German testing institute Stiftung Warentest (March 2010) as well in comparative tests by Dagens Nyheter in Sweden, and ranked best-in-test by Computer Bild. Doro has also received the coveted Red Dot Design Award, an international product design prize awarded by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany.

Doro is no stranger to meeting the needs of this niche market. The global leader in making handsets and other lifestyle items for the growing seniors market has been working in the telecom business since 1974. After dominating the Swedish market with its modern ergonomic designs, it has gone on to sell its products in 30 countries on five continents.

Adding to a long history of firsts, Rogers has created the Essential Connect™ package pairing the Doro PhoneEasy with innovative and affordable price plans to help keep mature Canadians connected to what matters most to them anywhere, anytime. The voice-only plans start at $15 per month (plus Government Regulatory Recovery Fee) for 100 voice minutes and are designed specifically for the Doro PhoneEasy, available exclusively to Rogers customers in Canada for $24.99 with a two-year term plan or $99.99 with no-term plan. Additional information can be found online at

About Doro

Doro is a Swedish company focusing on the development, marketing and sales of telecom products specially adapted to the growing worldwide population of seniors. With over 35years of experience in telecommunications, and sales in more than 30 countries on 5 continents, Doro is the world's leading brand for easy-to-use mobile phones. Doro created the Care Electronics category and in recent years our products have received several highly distinguished international design awards. The company had sales of SEK 363 million in 2008. Doro's shares are quoted on the OMX Nordic Exchange Stockholm, Nordic list, Small companies. For further information, please visit

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bata Shoe Museum Receives His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Footwear

TORONTO, October 27, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Bata Shoe Museum is very excited to announce the recent donation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's sandals to the Museum. Presented by Mr. Lobsang Nyendak, the well-worn Bata manufactured rubber sandals are currently on view in a special exhibition which also features examples of Tibetan footwear from the Museum's collection. The presentation coincided with His Holiness the Dalai Lama's three day trip to Toronto.

"His Holiness the X1V Dalai Lama of Tibet is happy to donate his long worn Bata slippers to the Bata Shoe Museum." remarked Mr. Nyendak. Museum Director Emanuele Lepri accepted the donation on behalf of Sonja Bata, Founding Chairman of the Bata Shoe Museum. Said Mr. Lepri, "In their simplicity, the slippers of His Holiness the Dalai Lama are a very inspiring gift for our Museum. This prestigious addition to our collection is a wonderful opportunity to engage our visitors, Torontonians and tourists alike, with the values and the messages promoted by one of the most prominent figures of our current global society."

Born Lhamo Dhondup on 6 July 1935 to a farming family at the hamlet of Takster in northeastern Tibet, His Holiness was recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. Often describing himself as a "simple Buddhist monk", he communicates his messages of peace, non-violence, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion wherever he travels.

The Bata Shoe Museum's Tibetan collection of footwear was partly realized through field trips. Boots have been a traditional aspect of Tibetan dress for centuries and were worn to provide protection and warmth. Tibetan boots typically feature thick, strong soles covered with yak leather and high embroidered felt shafts held in place by colourful woven boot straps. Over the centuries, status often was reflected through footwear and ranged from the rhelzom worn by Lamas, Noblemen and Guru incarnates to the more popular sombha.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama's donated footwear, as well as the special Tibetan exhibition will be on view until December 31, 2010.

About the Bata Shoe Museum

The Bata Shoe Museum is dedicated to uncovering the role of footwear in the social and cultural life of humanity. The Museum's growing international collection of over 13,000 objects touches on 4,500 years of history. A varied programme of events and exhibitions lets visitors discover the stories behind footwear from many lands and cultures. Further information is available at

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cardiac wakeup call for Canadian kids

Poor sleep patterns and lack of proper sleep could be threatening thousands of Canadian adolescents with premature heart disease and stroke

MONTREAL, October 26, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Poor sleep patterns and lack of proper sleep could be threatening thousands of Canadian adolescents with premature heart disease and stroke, warns Heart and Stroke Foundation researcher Dr. Brian McCrindle, a pediatric cardiologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

"Sleep disorders in kids are on the increase. They are marching hand in hand with other increasing cardiovascular risk factors such as overweight and obesity, lack of physical activity, a poor diet, and high levels of unhealthy cholesterol," Dr. McCrindle today told the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2010, co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

"Teens who experience more disordered sleep - in terms of duration, quality, and pattern - have a higher body mass index and a correspondingly higher risk of overweight and obesity," says Dr. McCrindle. "This, in turn, can lead to higher levels of cholesterol, another risk factor."

Over 1,600 students in grade 9 (ages 14 to 16) participated in the Healthy Schools screening program run by Heart Niagara. Overall, 22 per cent of students rated their sleep as fairly or very bad. Fourteen per cent of students reported difficulty staying awake during the day one to two times a week. Five per cent reported problems staying awake during the day more than three times a week.

Significant numbers of children are already taking prescription or over-the-counter medications for sleep disorders, says Dr. McCrindle. Seventeen per cent of the students in this study reported regularly taking sleep medication.

The children who participated in the study used a questionnaire to track their overall sleep quality, frequency of sleep disturbances, and their use of sleep medication. Blood pressure, total blood cholesterol, and waist circumference measurement were also recorded.

Studies relate poor sleeping habits or not getting enough sleep with higher levels of blood pressure and other poor health conditions. And, conversely, physical inactivity and poor eating habits can affect one's sleep.

"It is a perfect example of harmful synergy at work," says Dr. McCrindle. "It's like the chicken and egg conundrum: lack of physical activity and poor food choices negatively affect quality of sleep - and on the other hand, lack of sleep can lead to being too tired to exercise and not taking the time to eat properly."

Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Beth Abramson says that more than half of kids between the ages of five and 17 aren't active enough to support optimal development.

"Just as we've made it a priority to alert adults to the perils of an unhealthy lifestyle, we must start earlier than ever to ensure that our kids become properly educated from the start."

Dr. Abramson says that a great place to start is at the school level, where our children spend many of their days.

"The healthy choice should be the easy choice in schools," she says. "One of the best ways to ensure kids get their 90 minutes of daily physical activity is a school environment which supports and promotes physical activity."

She says we need to lead by example as adults to help kids have healthy lives outside the classroom as well. "Parents can be good role models. If we work together on achieving healthier lifestyles by eating healthfully and being physically active on a regular basis, hopefully this disturbing trend in poor sleep and risk factors in teens can be reduced."

Dr. Abramson says if teens having serious difficulty with sleep should speak to their doctors to find solutions, which are available. For others she offers these sleeping tips:

...Commit to a sound sleep routine. Not getting enough sleep, or poor quality sleep, can make it very difficult to handle everyday stress.

...Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday - even on weekends.

...Sleep primarily at night. If you nap during the day, keep your naps short. Save your longest sleep for the night.

...Get at least eight hours of sleep every night.

...Avoid upsetting conversations, arguments, or anything that causes you distress before bed.

...Don't eat or drink large amounts before bedtime.

...Avoid nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol in the evening.

...Be physically active - regular activity can help with a more restful sleep, however, for some exercising right before bed may make getting to sleep more difficult.

...Go to bed when you are tired and turn out the lights.

Life changes in the teen years cause stress, speak to a parent or doctor about ways to deal with anxiety.

According to Dr. McCrindle, one of the great healthcare deficiencies in Canada is that, although there is a push to recognize guidelines for management of risk factors in adults, there is nothing for our children.

"The bottom line is that sleep disorders seem to be on the increase among children and it is affecting their heart health," he says. "That is very bad news indeed."

This is the latest data from Heart Niagara Inc., a nonprofit corporation which partnered with school boards and public health officials in a grade 9 physical education curriculum enrichment program designed to prevent chronic disease.

Statements and conclusions of study authors are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect Foundation or CCS policy or position. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society make no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation (, a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Online Party of Canada - Democracy 2.0

TORONTO, October 21, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - After a successful launch last week, the Online Party of Canada (OPC - affirmed the notion that Internet technology is ready to enter the political arena. With more Canadians embracing the idea of debating and voting online, this 'Tea Party'-like grassroots organization is gaining momentum across the country.

To date, the OPC website has posted controversial issues for debate: members have voted on ending the war in Afghanistan, legalizing prostitution and marijuana, freeing public transit and post-secondary education, eliminating unions from governmental organizations, and reforming the Constitutional Monarchy system. Unlike traditional politicians, OPC representatives are compelled to support the outcome of the vote on every issue; therefore, every vote really counts.

OPC offers the Canadian electorate precisely what many Canadians have been waiting to see in politics for a long time: a built-in accountability mechanism whereby elected officials are held to their promises and actions, ensuring competence and transparency in the political process. OPC offers a viable alternative to the two-party system, and focuses on real issues instead of empty political dialogue. By voting on issues rather than parties, OPC allows for a more refined view of the Canadian electorate. Canadians are not blue or red, as the two-party system suggests. They are liberals when it comes to human rights and conservatives in regards to government spending. Despite this, under the current system the only choice is to vote for one party or the other, and remain indifferent when the elected officials break their promises on individual issues.

Mr. Michael Nicula, the founder of OPC, opines that the political debate will soon enter a new era, focusing on individual issues instead of parties and politicians. For generations voters have chosen a color and voted for the candidate proposed, in many cases having very little information about that person. Every year, Canadians cast their votes, hoping for the best while not taking the promises of elected officials very seriously. Sadly, having a minority government is considered a good thing!

Mr. Nicula believes the Canadians are ready for online debate and voting, and OPC is ready to provide the platform for this change. The Canadian political establishment has managed so far to fend off challenges from smaller progressive political organizations due to the high costs of publicity. Social networking via the internet abolishes these costs and therefore can radically alter the existing political system.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Heart and Stroke Foundation launches new Calendar Lottery with chances to win cash prizes all year long

TORONTO, October 14, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario announced today the launch of a new Calendar Lottery. For a one-time purchase of only $25, entrants will have the chance to win $5,000 every day of the year. A calendar purchase is more than a chance to win. Research has shown that 80 per cent of premature onset of heart disease and stroke is preventable. The calendar purchase is a chance to help millions of Canadian live longer, healthier lives. Other prizes include a weekly $10,000 cash prize, a monthly $100,000 prize, 12 additional bonus Holiday Jackpots of $30,000 and an Early Bird Cash Prize of $250,000. Each lottery number is returned to the drum after each draw so one calendar number can win numerous times throughout the year.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation strives to eliminate heart disease and stroke and reduce their impact through research, the promotion of healthy living and advocacy. One hundred per cent of net proceeds from the Heart &Stroke Calendar Lottery will support life-saving research into heart disease and stroke. Through initiatives like the Calendar Lottery money is raised to help prevent heart disease and stroke, improve existing treatments and develop new ones so that those living with the effects of heart disease and stroke can thrive.

"Through the launch of our new Calendar Lottery, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario is making it more exciting for Canadians to support this important cause and potentially change their own lives," said Marco Di Buono, Director of Research, The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. "With one in three Canadian deaths attributed to heart disease or stroke, help is needed to fund the research required to save more lives."

The Heart and Stroke Foundation officially launched its Calendar Lottery today with an announcement at Yonge Eglinton Square in midtown Toronto and spoke about the impact that the Calendar Lottery will have on life-saving Foundation research. A flash mob performance of "Calendar Girls" by Neil Sedaka surprised bystanders and created additional excitement for the Calendar Lottery launch.

About the Heart and Stroke Foundation

The Heart and Stroke Foundation, a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living and advocacy.

About the Calendar Lottery

The Heart&Stroke Calendar Lottery will officially be on sale from October 12, 2010 until December 20, 2010 at midnight (while supplies last). The Early Bird deadline is December 15th, 2010. The calendars will be available for purchase by mail, fax, and phone (1-888-514-7767). Purchasers must be at least 18 years of age and calendars cannot be purchased in the name of a minor. The Heart&Stroke Calendar Lottery is intended for Ontario residents only. Calendar buyers must be in Ontario at the time of purchase and calendars will only be mailed within Ontario. Calendars make a perfect gift for the holidays! Orders received by December 1, 2010 will be delivered to the primary purchaser by December 24th. For more information visit

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

World Sight Day 2010 reveals successes of the last 10 years and challenges for the next 10 years in tackling avoidable blindness

...10 percent decrease in worldwide avoidable blindness and visual impairment achieved in 10 years

...Chronic eye diseases soon to take over infectious eye diseases as primary cause of avoidable blindness

...Impact to be felt in developed as well as developing countries

TORONTO, October 13, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Worldwide, 285.3 million people are visually impaired. In the past 10 years, VISION 2020: The Right to Sight and World Health Organization (WHO) have contributed to a 10 percent reduction in the number of visually impaired people worldwide. This figure is all the more impressive when considered against a growing global population and an 18 percent increase in the world's population aged over 50, the population most vulnerable to visual impairment.

"The number of blind has decreased by 5.2 million (from 45 million in 2004 to 39.8 million in the present day), representing a decline of 13 percent in the last six years," says Pat Ferguson, President & CEO of Operation Eyesight Universal an international NGO based in Canada.

This year marks the midpoint of VISION 2020's commitment to eliminate the main causes of avoidable blindness by 2020. In the past 10 years, thanks to VISION 2020 efforts, all 193 WHO member states are formally committed to investing in eye care, two World Health Assembly resolutions have urged WHO member states to develop and implement VISION 2020 national plans and 91 countries have drafted national eye care plans.

Operation Eyesight Universal is an international development organization dedicated to preventing and treating avoidable blindness in low income countries for almost 50 years - primarily in India and Africa. We help local medical professionals provide comprehensive, sustainable eye care and community development for the people of the world who can least afford it. Since 1963, Operation Eyesight has prevented blindness in more than 35 million people. For more information, visit

VISION 2020: The Right to Sight is the global initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness, a joint programme of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) with an international membership of NGOs, professional associations, eye care institutions and corporations. VISION 2020's mission is to eliminate the main causes of avoidable blindness by the year 2020 by facilitating the planning, development and implementation of sustainable national eye care programmes based on the three core strategies of disease control, human resource development and infrastructure and technology, incorporating the principles of primary health care.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

MCAP and Habitat for Humanity Canada give Canadians the Key to Hope - launch innovative giving tool

TORONTO, October 8, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - MCAP, a leading Canadian mortgage company, together with Habitat for Humanity Canada, have launched the Key to Hope program where consumers can make an ongoing charitable donation to Habitat for Humanity Canada by adding any amount to a MCAP mortgage.

The first of its kind, this program allows borrowers to add a specified donation amount to each mortgage payment, which MCAP matches and donates to Habitat for Humanity Canada on behalf of its customers. The goal of Key to Hope is to raise one million dollars for Habitat over the next five years.

"MCAP is always looking for new ways to engage our employees and customers in charitable causes," said Ron Swift, President of MCAP. "By facilitating this transaction through their mortgage payments, we are providing our clients with a convenient and effective way to support an organization that helps families experience the benefits of owning a decent and affordable home and all the associated benefits."

"We are thrilled to continue our ten-year partnership with MCAP, together raising more than $1.9 million in charitable donations," said Stewart Hardacre, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada. "With 1.3 million Canadian families unable to pay for rent and life's other necessities, Key to Hope allows homeowners to share the joy of homeownership with fellow Canadians in need."

MCAP is encouraging mortgage brokers to offer customers the Key to Hope program by introducing a partnership plan where brokers can also make donations, payable through their MCAP commissions. MCAP will then match all broker and consumer contributions.

The benefits of Habitat for Humanity's work stretch beyond safe, decent homes for partner families: communities benefit from the homeowners taking pride in caring for their properties; volunteers feel connected to the projects they contribute to; children have better self-esteem, become better students and enjoy better health when they have a secure place to call home; and families are transformed from defeat to dignity, gaining the stability to dream, plan and prosper. For more information, visit

About MCAP:

MCAP is a leading independent Canadian mortgage and equipment financing company, which manages over $23 billion in assets. With more than 120,000 home mortgages under administration and offices across Canada, the company originates and services mortgage and leasing assets in four key lines of business: residential mortgages, commercial mortgages, construction loans, and equipment financing.

About Habitat for Humanity Canada:

Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national, non-profit organization working for a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live. With the help of over 50,000 volunteers and 73 organizations from coast to coast, their mission is to break the cycle of poverty through affordable housing and the promotion of homeownership.