Archive | January, 2011

HOLLYWOOD GOSSIP

Posted on 29 January 2011 by admin

Elton John Opens Up About His New Baby

Elton John has a whole new generation to share his animated films with — namely, his newborn son Zachary!

The new dad is overjoyed, saying, “Fatherhood is so far one of the most incredible things I’ve ever experienced. I’m very lucky.”

Elton says he’s excited for the day his son is old enough to watch his new film ‘Gnomeo & Juliet.’ “When he’s like four or five I can show it to him and say ‘Your daddies did this,’” He says, adding, “Maybe he’ll inspire me to do other animation movies too.”

Elton serves as Executive Producer of Disney’s new animated feature, and supplied the music as well. Aside from the soundtrack, which features Lady Gaga, Nelly Furtado and more, there’s another big difference from the original Romeo & Juliet. “It has a slightly different ending,” he explains. “We took a liberty with William Shakespeare … we wanted to have a positive message at the end. We didn’t want people to go out of the theater crying, little kids crying.

Who Is Natalie Portman’s Fiance Benjamin Millepied?

Natalie Portman is having quite the year between winning a Golden Globe, having a No. 1 movie, ‘No Strings Attached’, and being engaged to her ‘Black Swan’ co-star Benjamin Millepied and pregnant with his child. So who is the man behind the woman? ET gives you an in-depth look into the life of Portman’s new love interest and her future husband.

Millepied (pronounced MEEL-pee-yeh), 33, was born in Bordeaux France and started ballet training at the age of eight with his mother Catherine, according to the New York City Ballet website. “In France, ballet is on TV,” he told Details magazine in their June 2010 issue. “It’s on the eight-o’clock news. It’s a cool thing to be a dancer.”

After going to the renowned Conservatoire National dance school in Lyon, France when he was a teen, Millepied ventured to New York City in 1992 for a summer program at the School of American Ballet, the official school of the New York City Ballet. From there, Millepied worked his way up from a member of New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet in 1995, to a soloist in 1998, to a principal dancer in 2002. He later went on to directing and doing choreography as well.

John Travolta’s Birthday Shopping Trip for Kirstie Alley

ET’s Mark Steines sits down with John Travolta for a candid interview during which the actor talks about his passion for flying, his New Jersey roots and his shopping trip last week for longtime pal Kirstie Alley’s birthday.

When Mark mentions he’s known John for a long time but never had the chance to fly with him, the star said he would welcome the chance. John said generally people seem to be very comfortable with him in the pilot’s seat and that he’s known for his smooth landings, which he calls “artistic.” He says the way he lands and “greases” the ground is unique. He also shares some tips on how he avoids jet lag.

The actor says he always wanted to become a pilot, but by age 12 was already on track as a professional actor and knew that if he stayed on this path, he had a job set for him. He also said that by sticking with dancing, acting and singing, he could pay for aviation school and planes in the future. “I’m very proud of my achievement as an aviator.”

‘Glee’ Gal Dianna Agron Talks Rumored Romance with ‘I Am Number Four’ Co-star

“Glee” star Dianna Agron addresses the rumors that she’s dating her sexy ‘I Am Number Four’ co-star Alex Pettyfer.

When asked if there’s an off-screen romance between her and Alex, she giggles, telling ET, “I never talk about those things.” As for her onscreen chemistry with Alex, she credits that with taking the film seriously. “From the moment I met him, he was really excited about the film and wanted to put the work in. It wasn’t something where we both thought, ‘Ah, this movie, we’ll just sleep our way through it.’ … When you have two people that are eager to get in and see what it brings, it was great.”

However, producer Michael Bay seems to think that their chemistry transcends off-screen as well. He told ET with a smile, “Aren’t they going out now? … I think they are.” Michael added, “I always tell my actors never pick up on the leading lady.

Comments (0)

Minister Goodyear Celebrates Opening of Research and Academic Centre at Wilfird Laurier

Posted on 29 January 2011 by admin

“Laurier Brantford is at the heart of the city’s cultural, social and economic revitalization,” said Wilfrid Laurier University President and Vice-Chancellor Max Blouw. “This major expansion of Laurier Brantford reflects an important investment in the future growth and prosperity of this community.”

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), was joined by Phil McColeman, Member of Parliament for Brant, and Dave Levac, Member of Provincial Parliament for Brant, at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford campus to officially open the school’s Research and Academic Centre. The centre will provide new library, research and advanced teaching space for the campus’s growing student population. The project received a Government of Canada investment of $13 million through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program and $13 million from the Ontario government through the 2009 Budget. “Investing in science is vital to Canada’s future economic growth,” said Minister Goodyear. In Ontario, the Knowledge Infrastructure Program represents a total investment of more than $2.2 billion to improve infrastructure at post-secondary institutions. The federal government is investing $798.9 million in 56 local projects, the Province of Ontario is investing $981 million in 49 of them, and other partners are contributing a total of more than $400 million in the program. The Province is providing $75 million for another eight projects. “Wilfrid Laurier University is establishing a strong presence in Brantford that will improve access to post-secondary education for Brantford and area students, bring important research opportunities and provide an economic boost to this region,” said Mr. Levac. “This is a tremendous step forward for the future of our community and helps Wilfrid Laurier University mark an important milestone during its centennial year.”
“Laurier Brantford is at the heart of the city’s cultural, social and economic revitalization,” said Wilfrid Laurier University President and Vice-Chancellor Max Blouw. “This major expansion of Laurier Brantford reflects an important investment in the future growth and prosperity of this community.”
The construction of the Research and Academic Centre has resulted in an additional 90,000 square feet of library, research and advanced teaching space for Laurier Brantford, which will allow the campus to expand its student base from 2,600 to 4,000. The building will further cement the university’s presence in Brantford’s redeveloping downtown core and allow for sustainable prosperity in a community that has faced major challenges in the midst of the recession.

Comments (0)

“Hello, I am a Missionary. I am here to convert You.”

Posted on 29 January 2011 by admin

By Sanchari Sur, Hamilton

It’s a quiet lazy Sunday morning. You are sleeping in on that one day of the week you can call your own. You are wearing your teddy bear t-shirt that you won’t be caught dead in when you are outside but you keep it anyway because it’s comfortable and you can wear it on Sundays. Then the bell rings and shatters your temporary calm existence.
You wait for a bit. You hope someone else will get it. But since they are also hoping the same, there is no movement within the house. The bell rings again and you stumble groggily to open the door. It’s cold and you are blind without your glasses. So, when you see two well dressed strangers smiling widely at you, you smile uncertainly back, wishing you had grabbed your glasses when you had woken up.
“Hello! How are you this morning?”
“Good, thanks.”
You are secretly wishing they would just come to the point instead of starting with pleasantries so that you can go back to your warm bed and maybe go back to that incredible dream you were having.
“Can we have a moment of your time?”
Umm, no. Because you clearly woke me up and all I want to do is sleep!
“Yeah, sure” you say, because you have been brought up to be polite to perfect strangers.
“We would like to invite you to our meeting this afternoon” and they hand you a pamphlet with the word “God” on it.
Suddenly, you snap awake. You are faintly annoyed at being woken up to be invited to a religious meeting.
“I am not really interested. I have my own faith,” you try to wriggle out of the situation without being rude.
“We understand, but why don’t you keep this and take a look?”
And, you take the pamphlet and throw it in the garbage right after you close the door.
Sounds like a familiar Sunday morning scenario? See, I am not the one to write about religion. To me, religion is too private to have any kind of conversation on. In fact, when there was a huge global debate going on about whether there should be an Islamic cultural centre near the Ground Zero site, I kept my nose completely clean of the issue. If any one asked me what my opinion was, I just smiled weakly and changed the topic.
So, when you come to my house and wake me up in the hopes of having me come to your meetings and in the faint anticipation that maybe you will be able to convert me to your religion, well, I don’t appreciate it. I am happy with my faith and if I needed to change my religion, I would come find you.
I understand that you get some kind of brownie points from God or something if you can convert one person in your lifetime, but I am sure God would not want people to go around disturbing the peace and quiet of people’s off days sending out invitations like pushy salesmen. To me, God is like a Tantra t-shirt I once saw that read: God is too big to fit into one religion. In fact, I am sure God is too busy with important matters to bother about keeping track of your supposed brownie points. But then again, this is one conversation I will not be having with you.
I would not even have written this if it wasn’t for the incident that happened yesterday. There I was. Walking down the snow covered pavement, ignoring the world in order to catch a Go Bus to come home for the weekend, when I was accosted by a smiling undergrad with a holy book.
“Hello!” he said, grinning at me.
I racked my brain hard wondering if he was one of my students and I was somehow forgetting a face. And, if I was, how awful! Then, I noticed a name tag and a bunch of “God” pamphlets.
“Uh…I am not interested,” I said and kept on walking.
“Do you know anyone who is?” he wondered aloud after me.
“No, I am sorry,” was my response. But perhaps what I should have said was, don’t you think if I knew someone I would have directed you to them to deflect attention from myself? Also, don’t you think it’s rude to accost people on a cold winter Friday afternoon in the hopes of garnering attention for whatever religious group you seem to be representing? And, don’t you think if grown up people that litter this university campus were interested in looking for God, they would come find you?
Hello Missionary, I am not interested. And, please leave me alone.
By: Sanchari Sur (http://sursanchari.wordpress.com)

Comments (0)

Cooperation and Problem-solving in Pakistan

Posted on 29 January 2011 by admin

By Dr. Hasan Askari, Lahore

The track record of cooperation among the political parties is not impressive. Most agenda items need an effort spread over several years but the PMLN wants everything to be done in 45 days. The differences on the ways and means to implement the agenda may cause a rift between the PPP and the PMLN.

The month of January experienced hectic politics in Pakistan ranging from the threats to the future of the federal government to reconciliation between the PPP and the MQM. Later, the PMLN and the PPP also agreed to work together for the implementation of the PMLN’s 10-point agenda. Though Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani could have ignored the PMLN agenda after securing the support of the MQM, he decided to bring the PMLN on board for consultations on the current economic and political problems.
The MQM has adopted a two step strategy to join hands with the PPP. In the first stage the MQM is returning to official benches and would wait and see if the PM is fulfilling the commitments made to the MQM regarding its political interests in urban Sindh, especially Karachi. If the MQM is satisfied with the progress and the revived PPP-MQM relationship works smoothly, it can return to the federal cabinet in the second stage.
The PPP and the MQM pursue a love-hate relationship. They often dislike each other’s politics but as the two major political forces of Sindh, they cannot afford to fight with each other all the time. They build pressure on each other to improve their bargaining power but tend to settle down after some noisy discourse and troubled interaction. The MQM has one advantage. Its political domain is limited to urban Sindh, enabling it to stay focused on limited issues and function more coherently. The PPP, on the other hand, is not merely entrenched in rural Sindh but it has support in other provinces. It has to accommodate the concerns of a wider and diversified political spectrum, making political management a cumbersome exercise.
The latest crisis developed when the JUI-F and the MQM separately decided to quit the coalition and move to the opposition side. Both had their own grievances and decided to walk away at a time when the federal government was under internal and external pressure. However, no single opposition party could move a vote-of-no-confidence against the federal government. Only the PML-N could initiate a vote-of-no-confidence but it could not succeed without getting the support of at least three parties and independent members. Such support was not readily available.
The PML-N decided to build pressure on the PPP by giving two deadlines of three days and forty-five days for taking steps to implement its 10 point agenda which is a big wish list. Nawaz Sharif threatened to remove the PPP ministers from the Punjab cabinet if the PPP did not respond positively to its 10 point agenda within three days. The PMLN wants the federal government to implement this agenda in 45 days.
This ultimatum lost its relevance after the MQM decided to return to the government side. This revived the federal government’s majority in the National Assembly. However, Gilani decided to accept the 10-poin agenda for further improving the political environment. This gave Nawaz Sharif a face saving from implementing the threat to expel the PPP ministers from the Punjab cabinet for non-acceptance of his demands by the PPP. Had Nawaz Sharif removed the PPP ministers, it would have brought the PPP and the PMLQ closer to each other in opposition to the PMLN.
Now the MQM is sitting on the official benches and the PPP has opened negotiations with the PMLN to devise strategies to implement its 10 point agenda. These are good signs in Pakistan’s troubled politics.
If the major political parties cooperate with each other, it will be easy for the government to take tough decisions to put its economic house in order. Such cooperation is needed because Pakistan faces several difficult challenges that cannot be addressed by the PPP alone.
Pakistan faces a host of economic problems ranging from inflation and price hike, periodic shortages of food items, sharp decrease in foreign investment, electric power and gas shortages and slow economic growth that cannot sustain the economy in the long run.
Pakistan also faces an additional challenge of religious extremism and militancy. The assassination of Governor Slamaan Taseer by an Islamic zealot showed that hard line groups are becoming more violent and want to challenge the state in the name of Islam. Their intolerance threatens the fabric of Pakistani society.
The current spirit of cooperation among the political parties has engendered the hope that the federal and provincial governments would be able to keep these problems within manageable limits and devote serious attention to addressing the multifaceted economic problems.
However, the track record of cooperation among the political parties is not impressive. Most agenda items need an effort spread over several years but the PMLN wants everything to be done in 45 days. The differences on the ways and means to implement the agenda may cause a rift between the PPP and the PMLN. They may again start trading charges and counter charges on why their cooperation could not survive. This fear will haunt everybody who wants these political parties and leaders to cooperate for solving the problems of the common people.

Comments (0)

India’s uneven progress

Posted on 29 January 2011 by admin

I think the West still does not understand, much less appreciate, the idea of India. It cannot stay united if it is not democratic, secular and open. There is a sense of unity in the country that is not based on any dogma. Its diversity is its strength and its spirit of accommodation, reflected in secularism, keeps people from different regions and religions together.

I LOOK back with nostalgia on the days leading to the foundation of the Indian Republic. Although the constitution was adopted at the end of November 1949, its operation came into being on Jan 26, 1950, consecrating India`s declaration some 20 years earlier that its goal was full freedom, not dominion status.
The constitution, as the preamble says, gives people a sovereign democratic republic. The word `secular` was added during the infamous days of the emergency.
We held our first elections in 1951. There was adult franchise, with no educational bar. The then prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, probably had disadvantaged people in mind, hoping that some day they may join hands and rule India. They are in the majority in the country.
I never imagined this could be possible. But when Mayawati, a dalit, won a majority in Uttar Pradesh and became the chief minister, I began to believe that Nehru`s hope might come true one day.
However, after the first elections, western correspondents predicted doom for India and wrote that the first election was India`s last. They mistook the assertion of caste, if not creed, at the polls as a sign of country`s disintegration. Naville Maxwell, representative of The Times , London, wrote that the turmoil seen at the time of election would tear the country apart. I, a stringer of The Times for 25 years, strongly differed. Today, I stand vindicated.
A correspondent of The Washington Post , Selig Harrison, wrote a book, The Dangerous Decade, predicting that India would disintegrate by the end of the 1950s. I joined issue with him as well. He admitted his mistake but not Maxwell. I think the West still does not understand, much less appreciate, the idea of India. It cannot stay united if it is not democratic, secular and open. There is a sense of unity in the country that is not based on any dogma. Its diversity is its strength and its spirit of accommodation, reflected in secularism, keeps people from different regions and religions together.
The point to worry about, however, is that economic growth is not uniform and the dispensation of justice promised by the constitution is lacking in the social and economic fields. Political freedom without social and economic freedom has disillusioned the nation. Maoists have become relevant with the gun, although they are a problem, not the solution.
No doubt, people can exercise their option to elect their rulers freely and regularly. But there is only one opportunity in five years. For the rest of the period it is the say of the classes: the elite. How do we make legislators answerable for the period between one election and another? Some countries have given their citizens the right to recall if one third of the voters ask for it.
But India is too large a country, where one parliamentary constituency commands more than a million voters. One third is too large a number.
So, how do we ensure that power stays with the people? Decentralisation is the only way out, the transfer of power from Delhi to state capitals and from state capitals to villages. The panchayati raj , one of the few good things that Rajiv Gandhi did, has become hostage to money. The government has not been able to keep out either political parties or the rich. And as you go to higher tiers — for example, the zilla parishad at the district level — you find that money and politics have reduced elections to a mockery. When election to parliament costs more than Rs10 crore and to the panchayat some Rs50,000, the democratic polity is of the rich, for the rich and by the rich.
I never dreamed that India would become one of the world`s most corrupt countries. Mr. Nehru made his colleague, petroleum minister K. D. Malviya, resign for accepting money from a businessman in the name of the Congress and not rendering any account. At that time, the corrupt could be counted on the fingers. Today, it is the other way round. And, the scale of corruption is mind-boggling.
In our time the corrupt and black marketeers were kept at a distance because nobody wanted to spoil their reputation by rubbing shoulders with them. Mr. Nehru issued instructions to senior officials to not attend any party thrown by a diplomat who was unequal in rank or status. Today, secretaries to the government are seen at receptions hosted by a third secretary in the embassy because booze is available.
What I miss the most is austerity. Now a car has to be big, the house palatial and the dress of foreign brands. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto at least introduced in Pakistan the awami dress of shalwar and kamiz. Not many bureaucrats wear that. Western suits are preferred by South Asia`s officialdom. In Mumbai, an industrialist has built a multi-storey house costing some Rs2,000 crore. Compare this to the small cottage in which Mahatma Gandhi lived all his life and won us independence.
Violence has become an order of the day in India. Hardly any state has escaped it. People are today as much victims of state terrorism as they are of militants. The Maoist gun is reprehensible but so is the gun of the state which suppresses peaceful protest.
In our part of the world, exploitation by centrifugal forces has always been a dangerous probability. They can rip the nation apart. And who knows where and when the violence will end? It is not a debate between means and ends, it is a question of gun versus gun. Any leeway given to the terrorists — for example, liberals` timidity — can be suicidal for the country.
There is still a long journey to cover. I feel lonely in the wilderness of broken promises and scotched hopes.
The writer is a senior journalist based in Delhi.

Comments (0)

Indecisive Students

Posted on 29 January 2011 by admin

By Priyanka Jain, Toronto

“Some know exactly what major they want to take in university, but not necessarily what career they want to go into, and others have absolutely no clue. And a lot of them are right in the middle,” said Toon.

Amongst post-secondary students today, the idea of switching programs and changing career paths has become much too common. Because the option is readily available to students, they do not feel pressured to make one final decision. Universities know that and by offering easy access to dropping courses and switching programs, students feel less restricted. It is a safety net for indecisive youth, and a money-making business for the university.
This poses the question whether or not high schools are an adequate support system for students, especially those in grade twelve. A solid foundation from the principles, teachers, and fellow students is key to whether or not students have the determination to be successful in the future.
Grade twelve student Avinita Bains says that although she has an idea of what career path she would like to take, she wants to leave her options open for university. “I’m leaning towards public relations, but you never know what will happen. I don’t want to go into anything too specialized.”
Bains, 18, finds a lack of motivation and support in high school. “I feel there are so many students who aren’t at the grade twelve university level, and all the attention is focused on them instead of on those who are preparing for post-secondary. It sucks for us.”
Bains also said she was hoping for more guidance in terms of career choices, advice etc. “For the most part I just googled all my programs and universities.”
Canada Revenue Agency’s accountant Rajiv Paliwal says that students today should be gaining experience in a particular field of interest, so they have a more solid idea of what they want to go into. “Whether it’s volunteering or job-shadowing, students should take advantage of these opportunities; we never had any of this when we were in high school. Why not take the opportunity to do something you love, there’s so much out there,” he said.
Up until 2003, Ontario high schools went up to grade thirteen, giving students an extra year to prepare for post-secondary education. Joanne Toon, a guidance councillor at Brampton Centennial Secondary School, says “In the long run, it’s probably best for students to be here another year.” Toon also mentioned that whether or not students are prepared for high school all depends on the individual. “Some know exactly what major they want to take in university, but not necessarily what career they want to go into, and others have absolutely no clue. And a lot of them are right in the middle,” said Toon.
High schools also offer semester-long co-op placements to give students the opportunity to gain work experience in their field of interest. Although co-op is an excellent way for students to have the practical experience, not all students are able to take co-op.
“For those that are going into the maths, sciences, engineering-they are limited in optional courses and things like co-op, so they really don’t get the opportunity to try something they enjoy,” said Toon. She also mentioned that grade thirteen should be brought back, so these students can take more subjects of interest as opposed to just their required academic subjects.
Overall, students will be better equipped for post-secondary education if they utilize opportunities in high school, and gain as much volunteer and work experience possible. That is the only way students will discover what they enjoy.

Comments (0)

Women’s College Hospital: Keeping Women Out of the Hospital

Posted on 29 January 2011 by admin

An interview with – Marilyn Emery, President and CEO at Women’s College Hospital

“As the cultural make up of Toronto continues to diversify, it provides for Women’s College Hospital the opportunity to become competent at serving a diverse group of women and their families.”

“LHINs provide us with an opportunity to look at health system data and identify areas where together we can partner to fill gaps in the system.”

“Young women today are much more conscious of health-related issues, eating healthy, ensuring they live an active lifestyle, staying away from drugs and alcohol and other things.”

Women’s College Hospital has been serving the community for a hundred years. On these years of dedicated service for community, Marilyn Emery, President and CEO at Women’s College Hospital said “we’re thrilled and actually so inspired by the history of Women’s College Hospital.”
Historically Women’s College Hospital was the first hospital in Canada to allow women to practice medicine. It was also the first hospital in Ontario to use mammography. “There is a long list of firsts and we intend to continue that,” says Ms. Emery in an interview with Generation Next.
Providing healthcare services to women of diverse cultures and needs can be difficult but the leadership of Women’s College Hospital sees these challenges as “opportunities..as the cultural make up of Toronto continues to diversify, it provides for Women’s College Hospital the opportunity to become competent at serving a diverse group of women and their families.”
To understand the needs of women of diverse backgrounds, Women’s College Hospital’s team “took on the enormous challenge of speaking to over a thousand women from very, very diverse backgrounds. We went out to where they worked and where they lived and really asked them to tell us about the experiences they have interacting with the health care system and also to tell us what they are looking for. So we now know in 2011, what a very very diverse group of women are looking for when it comes to their health,” says Ms. Emery who has been the CEO of the Hospital since July 2007.
Some of the problems women face in accessing healthcare are related to language and economics. As an example Ms. Emery tells us about Women’s College Hospital’s research that identified the significant implications of managing diabetes among poor. As an institution, Women’s College Hospital follows the mantra of “identify[ing] the barriers, and then overcome them.”
“Another barrier is gender equity; we have learned that while women are in greater need of hip replacement surgery, they are far less likely to be offered hip surgery by the providers that they are dealing with. It’s been identified as a gender inequity. Certainly it’s not that the providers are conscious to it but it exists in subconscious. Identifying it is the most meaningful way of minimizing it,” she notes.
In South Asia the dominant practice still is that men of the home will eat first and will get priority in receiving adequate healthcare. Women’s health is often neglected. With this mindset and cultural background, do immigrant women put their health as priority?
In Ms. Emery’s opinion “We do know that the tendency is to look after the men first, look after the children, and look after themselves last.”
The way to go then is to devise programs that will help women to manage their illnesses. These women also want to stay out of hospitals, so at Women’ College Hospital, “everything that we do is designed to keep women out of hospitals,” says Ms. Emery. Women’s College’s Hospital strives to incorporate “the issues and challenges related to the diversity and equitable access related to care..[be] embedded in every program and every service.”
With experience in healthcare that spans over three decades, Ms. Emery believes that “the government of Ontario has taken a very bold stance in decreasing wait times and I think we’ve seen very, very good progress.”
When Ontario’s healthcare system is compared with the world, in areas such as cancer treatment, “Ontario is one of the best jurisdictions in the world to live in if you focus on the outcome,” Ms. Emery tells us.
CEO of the Central East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), Ms. Emery believes “LHIN provides us with a very needed opportunity to plan regionally and to ensure that hospitals and agencies still plan and talk to one another when we’re planning out programs and services, looking at budgets. They provide us with an opportunity to look at health system data and identify areas where together we can partner to fill gaps in the system.”
“The biggest health issue of the 21st century is chronic illness, preventing and managing them..We’re focused on new knowledge and providing education to women and their families to successfully manage or prevent their diabetes, or blood pressure,” notes Ms. Emery.
As far as the health of young women is concerned, “young women today are much more conscious of health-related issues, eating healthy, ensuring they live an active lifestyle, staying away from drugs and alcohol and other things..We know a lot more about the impact that healthy eating has on preventing chronic diseases,” observes one of the Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women.
Innovation and cutting edge research remains one of the top priorities of Women’s College Hospital. “Our role and mandate is to keep women out of hospitals. This is the healthcare’s future. We’re trying to curb the cost of the healthcare system. It’s been recognized that the prevention and management of chronic diseases is key to our success in bending the cost curve. Women’s college is at the forefront of that.”
She reminded Generation Next’s readers to interact with the hospital at www.100yearsofwomenshealth.com.

Comments (0)

“Commit to Kids”

Posted on 29 January 2011 by admin

“Child sexual abuse happens when the opportunity exists,” said Signy Arnason of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. “If organizations aren’t equipped with the knowledge and skills to identify risk, then the kids in their care will continue to be at risk. Criminal record checks and background checks are not enough. The goal of this public-awareness campaign is to provide a wake-up call to all child-serving organizations that they need to raise the bar and do more to protect kids in their care.” The Canadian Centre for Child Protection, in partnership with the Toronto Police Service, Public Safety Canada and the Ministry of the Attorney General (Civil Remedies Grant Program), announced a new public-awareness campaign that will run in the GTA, urging child-serving organizations to adopt the “Commit to Kids” program. Designed for all organizations that work with children, this innovative child-sexual-abuse prevention program is a comprehensive risk-management approach that goes beyond criminal record checks and child abuse registry checks. “Today’s [Jan 20th] launch is another outstanding example of how our government is partnering with concerned Canadians to build stronger families and communities. We are delighted to work together with vital programs like ‘Commit to Kids’ that ensure the most vulnerable in our society are protected,” said The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety. “Child victimization of any kind is a horrifying crime. We will continue to introduce new measures to get tough on child predators, encourage organizations to plan ahead in requesting and waiting for criminal record checks before hiring individuals who work with children, and support initiatives like ‘Commit to Kids’ that, together, strengthen public safety.“ “Since the vast majority of child sexual offenders have never come in contact with a police officer, we are making it a priority to help raise awareness of what organizations should be doing to help keep kids safe,” said Toronto Police Service Chief William Blair. “We are proud to partner with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to promote such an invaluable child-sexual-abuse prevention program that will better prepare organizations to protect the children under their care.” Created by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, the program is based on the knowledge that sex offenders seek employment and volunteer opportunities within child-serving organizations as a way to get access to kids. Easy to use, and suitable for organizations of any size, the program provides organizations with policies, strategies and step-by-step plans for reducing the risk of child sexual abuse. It helps organizations identify, terminate and intervene more quickly if abuse has occurred. “Child sexual abuse happens when the opportunity exists,” said Signy Arnason of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. “If organizations aren’t equipped with the knowledge and skills to identify risk, then the kids in their care will continue to be at risk. Criminal record checks and background checks are not enough. The goal of this public-awareness campaign is to provide a wake-up call to all child-serving organizations that they need to raise the bar and do more to protect kids in their care.” Commit to Kids can help organizations: • prevent child sexual abuse through increased awareness and education • evaluate risks that exist • teach employees/volunteers (who will then teach children) the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour • provide employees/volunteers with specific strategies on how to prevent abuse • design programs that focus on child safety and supervision • establish clear boundaries between employees/volunteers and children • ensure that allegations of sexual abuse are handled in a sensitive, timely and effective manner • understand their legal obligations to report child sexual abuse to a child welfare and/or law enforcement agency • ensure the highest standard of practice when working with children The “Commit to Kids” program includes: • a training kit for organizations, including information on: child sexual abuse; risk assessment and management; creating and enforcing a code of conduct for employees/volunteers; reporting disclosures of sexual abuse and addressing inappropriate behaviour; and policies on hiring, supervising, and training • a 30-minute training video and presentations for employees, volunteers, and parents • a sample child-protection manual, complete with draft policies and procedures, that can easily be amended to suit the needs of individual organizations • a guide for parents that teaches them about the issue of child sexual abuse and helps them choose safe programs for their children • supplemental tools such as reporting cards, website information, statistics, checklists and worksheets.

Comments (0)

Youth will recognize that McGuinty government had a mission for Clean Energy – Ontario Minister Brad Duguid

Posted on 29 January 2011 by admin

“They [the Opposition] don’t have any credibility at all when it comes to these energy issues. They [the Conservatives] left our energy system in absolute shambles. We had to make up for their mistakes seven years ago” – Minister Duguid

“The government likes to say that because what they don’t want people to do is to be taking that critical look at the record that they have” – John Yakabuski, Opposition Energy Critic

“There is no question that the younger generation and the next generation understand the need to be responsible about our environment probably more than we did and more than our parents did,” says Ontario Energy Minister Brad Duguid.

“I am absolutely confident that a generation or two from now the young people will look back at what we’ve done and say that this was a government that had a mission and that really cared about their future. They’ll be thankful for that,” he continued, talking to Generation Next.

President Barrack Obama is applauded for engaging youth voter base. Are Ontario Liberals planning a strategy to mobilize the youth for October’s provincial elections?

“If young people want a clean and prosperous future with opportunity for the next generation of jobs then I expect that they will recognize that this is a government worth fighting for and a government worth fighting with and that the opposition just doesn’t see the world the way we do,” he tells us.

The Government of Ontario has announced that there will be an increase in the cost of hydro bills by 46 per cent over the next five years. The move has been subject to criticism from the opposition parties as well as many Ontarians. To offset the burden on Ontario families, the government has also decided to give 10 per cent off to families on their energy bills.

Explaining the reason for this unpopular, yet necessary decision, Ontario Minister of Energy Brad Duguid said “If we’re going to build a clean, modern and reliable energy system, it can’t be done for free. We need to modernize our energy system to make sure that we have an energy system we can be proud to pass on to our kids. However, we recognize the costs are a strain on family budgets. That’s why we’ve put in place the Clean Energy Benefit Act; we’re taking 10% off of every family’s bill for the next five years.”

Mr. John Yakabuski, the Opposition critic for Energy says that the 46 per cent increase is not legislated and is subject to increase at any time.

“They’re [the Ontario government] only speculating what hydro bills will go up..I am convinced..that the costs will go up significantly more than 46% and if they continue to sign the kind of contracts that they have signed,” said Mr. Yakabuski in an interview with Generation Next.

Minister Duguid retorts that the increase is about 3.5 per cent each year “ which is the same we’ve seen in the last 20 years.”

Agencies like Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and Ontario Power Generation (OPG) have become target of criticism by the opposition parties because of the money being spent on them.
Minister Duguid ensures Ontarians that “I’ve asked all of our energy agencies to be as efficient at possible given the time, we’ve saved over a billion dollars in efficiencies over the last year alone. We’re going to remain vigilant in ensuring the consumers are getting value for their dollar.”
Mr. Tim Hudak, the leader of PC Party has promised to evaluate the performances of agencies like OPA and OPG and to terminate them if these agencies have underperformed.
“Ontario Power Authority for example doesn’t produce electricity..it started out as a very small agency which now employs over 400 people and costs hundreds of millions of dollars a year to operate. And it is our position that these agencies, boards, commissions whatever they are, they have to justify their existence, and if they cannot justify their existence from a practical point of view, then it’s time for them to be terminated,” stated Mr. Yakabuski.

Minister Duguid notes that the nuclear energy “is the backbone of our system and provides a base low capacity.. it is one of the cleanest sources of power because it has no emissions..nuclear waste, while it is an issue, it’s a very small issue compared to the other environmental issues caused by coal, and it’s one that can be very easily managed. The federal government is working with a tax force that they’ve set up to determine the long term way to deal with nuclear waste. But it’s safely dealt with now and will be well into the future. It’s a very manageable challenge.”

Minister Duguid charges opposition of having no plan. “They [the Opposition] don’t have any credibility at all when it comes to these energy issues. They [the Conservatives] left our energy system in absolute shambles. We had to make up for their mistakes seven years ago.”
Mr. Yakabuski says that allegations on the opposition are the government’s distractive tactic.
“The government likes to say that because what they don’t want people to do is to be taking that critical look at the record that they have.”
PC Party’s plan is “our energy policy will put consumers first, it will not put developers, it will not put profit makers first..We will not continue to sign the kind of contracts that have led to the massive price increases for something so essential as electricity,” Mr. Yakabuski says.

Many new immigrants who come from various parts of the world especially South Asia remain unaware of how energy related matters affect their day-today life. What clean energy and going green means very little to these new immigrants who are fighting the battle of survival.
To outreach to them, “We’re ensuring that our communications go out in different languages. We’re specifically targeting the ethnic media for a number of our communications, because we know that publications like yours are very much read within the South Asian community for an example. And we will continue to do our communications through publications such as yours and others to get that kind of readership,” he promised. Minister Yakabuski is an MPP from Scarborough Centre.

Comments (0)

Ridership in Brampton increased by 6 per cent

Posted on 29 January 2011 by admin

- Suzanne Connor , Director of Brampton Transit

Brampton Transit has used a grassroot strategy to increase its ridership: It asks its ridership to give feedback, holds public information sessions prior to making next year’s service changes, asks transit operators to point out if there can be additional services at any given route, gauges ridership at new routes and so on.
“We’ve made really good improvements…we listened to our customers..we spent considerable effort to really get out in the community to market our services. That really paid off..we went out and talked to people in Farmer’s market,” says Suzanne Connor , Director of Brampton Transit.
One of the marketing strategies employed by Brampton Transit was free service to all riders on New Year’s Eve. The service was free on all routes, including Züm, beginning at 7 pm to the end of service.
The result has been an increase in ridership.
“There’s a great increase in ridership. There was six per cent increase in ridership in 2010 as compared to 2009. To put that in perspective..across Canada, the average increase in ridership is about three per cent,” says Ms. Connor. Perhaps here is the lesson for Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) – listening to public and feedback from transit operators among many other things.
Brampton is the second largest growing city in Canada after Milton. Brampton’s reported growth between 2001 and 2006 represents a 33.3 per cent population increase. Is Brampton Transit keeping pace with the growth in Brampton?
Ms. Conner is confident that it is. She notes that Zum – Brampton Rapid Transit (BRT) line on Queen Street – has given Bramptonians access to York region and TTC. With the start of BRT service on Main Street and Steeles Ave, Bramptonians will be linked to Downtown Toronto Go station.
Brampton Transit has a fleet of 238 conventional buses and 25 Zum buses.

Comments (0)

Advertise Here
Advertise Here