Archive | November, 2013

Canadian teen’s smartwatch idea earns $200,000 on Kickstarter

Posted on 28 November 2013 by admin

A 19-year-old entrepreneur from Montreal is taking on tech juggernauts Samsung and Sony by trying to launch his own smart watch.

Like many startup companies, Neptune Computer Inc., has turned to an online crowdfunding platform to raise funding for a full launch of its product.

Simon Tian’s vision for a better smart watch quickly won over the community at Kickstarter. Tian hit his target of $100,000 in just over 24 hours and was nearing $200,000 Thursday afternoon with 30 more days to raise additional funds.

He had the idea for his smart watch, called the Neptune Pine, last year and visited factories in China to investigate what he could have built.

“What I learned is that in 2013 it’s actually possible for small startup companies like us to develop products as competitive as what the big guys are coming up with, because material costs have been going down for years and they’ve been made accessible – all the different chips and components – not to only large orders but to small orders as well,” said Tian.

“So that’s what’s really permitting us to develop this product.”

The first thing that stands out about the Neptune Pine is its 2.4-inch screen, which he admits looks large on a wrist.

“Obviously the initial reaction will be, ‘Oh, it’s big for a watch!’ but we think a paradigm shift is going to be required in the future.”

He decided a big screen was crucial to make a truly useful smart watch that could browse the web, launch Google Android apps and make calls. The watch also takes its own SIM card so it’s not dependent on a smartphone for a wireless connection. It can also connect to Wi-Fi networks.

“Right now the biggest issue with smart watches is screen size, the form factor is limiting it from replacing a fully functional smartphone,” Tian said.

“(Current smart watches) are all very good at specific things, like peering with your phone for notifications or tracking fitness data, but there’s no one single smart watch that can sort of do it all.” (Click here for the video describing the product.)

He believes the future of smart watches lies in using flexible-screen technology, which many companies are working to commercialize.

“It would basically circle around the wrist and when you remove it you would have a three- or four-inch screen that would be entirely large enough for smartphone functionability,” said Tian.

He plans to produce at least 2,500 units of his Neptune Pine smart watch by January. A model with 16 gigabytes of storage will sell for $335, while it will be an extra $60 for double the storage.

Tian is following the lead of another young Canadian entrepreneur who found success in wearable technology. Last year, 26-year-old Eric Migicovsky raised more than $10-million on Kickstarter for his Pebble watch, which connects wirelessly to a smartphone to display message notifications and launch apps.

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Amrita Rao’s mum narrowly escapes fatal accident

Posted on 28 November 2013 by admin

It started off as a normal day in the Rao household. Amrita Rao left for a film shoot, while her mum got busy with household chores. Little did both know how the day would turn out. the actress recounts, “Around 8pm, mom, who was sitting in her bedroom for three hours at a stretch finishing some work, got up to leave for the kitchen to give instructions to the maid. When she was precisely four feet away from entering her bedroom again, she heard a crackling sound. the entire slab of the false ceiling came down crashing on her bed all at once. As luck would have it, mom got saved by the skin of her teeth.”

The family decided not to inform Amrita as they didn’t want to disturb her shoot. “I was aghast when my mom showed me her room. It looked nothing less than the aftermath of a terrible earthquake. At first, we all laughed because what we saw was incomprehensibly funny to the eye. Later, I was in a state of shock just imagining how tragic this could have been. We thanked God that nobody got hurt,” she says.

Incidentally, the contractor who was called in later to inspect the flat reported that the false ceiling in Amrita’s room too was giving way from three sides. Apparently, the nails used by the architect were too small and inappropriate. “It is a matter of great fortune that both the false ceilings survived for six years. We were sitting on a fatal time bomb and we had no clue,” says Amrita.

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Gori Tere Pyaar Mein!

Posted on 28 November 2013 by admin

Meet the gorgeous gora-gori jodi of this village-side story. Dia (Kareena), a social worker living in Bengaluru. there she meets the phoren-educated architect Sriram (Imran) – who she calls ‘Sridevi’; a misfit and ‘black’ sheep in a traditional, lungi-clad tam-Brahm family. He’s carefree, casual about love, lazy and shows little humanitarian inkling.

She’s a fiery, righteous rebel, a mini ‘Mother India’ who fights for everything ‘unfair’. they fall in love, but their ideologies are unaligned, so over some ‘tooh tooh main main’, they split up and move on. He moves on to Vasudha (Shraddha), the pretty matrimonial pick, while Dia heads to a remote village in Gujarat.

Soon he realizes his dil beats for Dia, and he follows her all the way to Jhumli gaon. the only way to win her over is to embrace the gobar, gareebi, gais (cows) murghis (though he’d rather see the ‘chick(en)s’ in a tandoor), and whole bunch of dhoticlad villagers (straight out of ‘Lagaan’, even with ‘Oh Mitwa’ playing in the background for impact). Yes, he even sacrifices his strictly ‘chicketarian’ diet for dhoklas instead (becharo chhokro!). Lastly, he helps Dia with her mammoth dream of replacing the gaon’s shaky rope-bridge with a real one.

Now, will ‘Sridevi’ be able to use his chaalbaazi to crossover to his chhori – that’s the idea. Imran, is most at ease playing Romedy roles, it shows. He’s endearing and likeable as a loverboy. Kareena looks stunning in her desi avatar and pulls off the chhori-chichhori with spontaneity and spunk. Shraddha makes a ‘pretty’ pleasant cameo; and Anupam Kher entertains with his madcap act.

Punit’s ‘GtPM’, is a sweet, breezy romcom with likeable characters presented in glossy, lavish, true Karan Johar (producer) style. In the second half, the ‘the bridge over troubled waters’ project is a bit stretched, and you wish the gaonwallahs would leave the pair to romance instead. Music (Vishal-Shekhar) is peppy and pleasing.

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Anuj Rastogi: Staying True

Posted on 20 November 2013 by admin

The biggest barrier to the success of minorities in Canada, like our community, is not color, but our own self-imposed barriers and hesitation to expect more, or different from ourselves.

This is a big world, and there will always be artists who make music for different purposes. For me, it’s about informing, entertaining, engaging and elevating all at once. Even without heavy spoken word lyrics, or haunting messages, if a piece of music engages you, AND challenges you to think a little differently, that’s a great place to be.

Anuj Rastogi holds a BComm in Marketing, and an MBA, yet he is an accomplished musician with some powerful and honest words of critique for today’s music world. He has been drawn to music and always fascinated with the idea of creating original music and trying different sounds. While he did learn and play various instruments throughout junior high school and high school (keyboards, piano, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, tuba, etc), Anuj has no formal music training.

Among his many accomplishments as an artist, he has scored original background music and title tracks for feature films (“Surkhaab”, and “Under The Same Sun”), as well as a number of short films, media/interactive projects, television and radio ads. Most recently, he wrote pieces about the 26/11 Mumbai victims and the terrible Delhi gang-rape situation. Describing himself as ‘a spoken word artist’, Anuj has also released studio albums, several tracks on compilations, performed extensively. He was featured as a judge in a vocalists competition, alongside Hindi-film Composer Anu Malik here in Toronto. His solo studio album project, and a Ghazal-Electronica EP is in the works, along with other short, and feature film projects on the horizon.

Generation Next asked him some hard questions and Anuj responded graciously and honestly:

Many of today’s songs seem like a meaningless noise with no real sense of lyrics. How do you distinguish yourself?

Sadly, most of our society places more value on an easily earned dollar (“quick buck”) than on intelligence. We may well romanticize the past, but I think most would agree that mainstream music has been getting dumber, *more meaningless and more socially destructive for decades. Most mainstream hip hop is just about violence, glamour, empty sex and illusion, while even Pop, Rock and other forms of music have become musically simplified.

Incredible vocalists dumb-down their recorded performances just so others can sing-along, and even established artists fear experimenting in the way that made them successful.

Even a lot of Hindi film / Bollywood music has become so cheap and watered down, with little regard for lyrics or real musicality. Though India has among the world’s richest musical traditions to draw from, many songs sound like they were written with no regard for nothing but cheap thrills.

Producers, labels and publishers the world over have come to underestimate the intelligence of audiences, and find it easier to sell mediocre music than to push quality. However, every so often, and incredible and intelligent artist like ­­­­Adele comes along and reminds us that good music can also sell.

However, beyond the mainstream nonsense, there is more incredible music than ever before, spanning all sorts of styles. Some may call it independent or underground music, but it’s out there and more accessible than ever before.

You hear the cliché “stay true to yourself” a lot; for me, this is all it’s about. I find intelligent, and evolving music styles interesting and engaging, and am constantly seeking to tell a story that is human and honest in my work. Some music may be hard dubstep or electronica, while others can have very organic classical or jazz elements, but it’s all about being honest. I don’t think like anyone else, and if I stay true to that, I don’t make music like anyone else. I hope that my music resonates with people from all walks of life.

Do you believe music is for entertainment or for social awareness? One can argue that with so much disturbance in life, people would like to listen to music for relaxation purpose only.

I think music and art in general play many different roles. Not every song or piece of music needs to have a heavy sociopolitical message and deliver people out of ignorance.

Yet if the only thing we ever did was move mindlessly to a beat, without regard for how destructive or pointless the message was, we would do ourselves a disservice.

This is a big world, and there will always be artists who make music for different purposes. For me, it’s about informing, entertaining, engaging and elevating all at once. Even without heavy spoken word lyrics, or haunting messages, if a piece of music engages you, AND challenges you to think a little differently, that’s a great place to be.

Have you gone through the periods like we hear in interviews of celebrities like Amitabh that in the beginning no one was willing to give them work but they persisted and are legends now?

I would not feel comfortable ever sharing a sentence with a legend like Amitabh-ji, but yes there are always struggles. In music, film and other such fields, it does take a while to establish your name and reputation. Some people think that a few people are just “lucky” and break in, but for most people, it’s taken years’ of hard work and sleepless nights to create that one lucky moment. I’ve been fortunate to have been able to land feature film scores and many other opportunities and feel very fortunate for it. As for someone being a legend, for most, only time and a body of exceptional work will tell.

What’s your family’s reaction to your profession choice?

Music and the arts are a tough thing for most South Asian and immigrant families to understand. My family has come around as I’ve grown and accomplished more, and are very proud and supportive. In fact, I just received a sweet email from an uncle the other day, saying that no one in our family has ever pursued music or film, and that he was very proud.

Is it a profession where you can make money? 

I dislike this question, but understand you’re asking because it’s a safe question for parents. One can make money doing pretty much anything in today’s world. But if the only thing you’re chasing is money, happiness, fulfillment and a passion for life will likely never join you on the way. Do what you’re passionate about, work hard at it and be the best you can be. As Amir Khan’s character says in ‘3 Idiots’, success (and money) follows excellence.

Is there a fair representation of visible minorities in today’s Canada?

Canada is an incredible place. In some cities like Toronto, you’d be hard-pressed to turn on the TV or Radio without seeing visible minorities all over the media, the news, in the press, and of course in all other fields. The biggest barrier to the success of minorities in Canada, like our community, is not color, but our own self-imposed barriers and hesitation to expect more, or different from ourselves.

What in your opinions are issues of young South Asian professionals?

Many of our issues are the same as anyone else: self esteem, acceptance, belonging, career, what we want to do in life, challenges with sexual orientation, and the generally terrible example of our world’s leaders.

Beyond that, South Asians do have some amplified issues with identity, gender roles and expectations, family expectations around career, sex, and success. This may be a sweeping statement, but having grown up in Canada, I believe that few South Asians in my generation are in a profession or field they chose based on interest or passion. My parents’ generation and many new immigrants may not have the luxury of options I’ve had because they’re just trying to survive and give their kids a better life. But when those kids have the better life and options, few feel (or think about) what they really want to do with their lives, and bend to convention, family pressure and typical notions of career success.

How do you feel about Toronto’s night life? 

Toronto’s nightlife on a main-stream club sense is quite solid. There are a lot of clubs playing mainstream/top 40 and house music, and some really good South Asian focused club nights. However, our city is very “safe” and cookie-cutter in many respects in it’s perception of entertainment. People listen to the same Rihanna song 10 times a day, then drive Downtown on a Friday night listening to the same song, and then expect the DJ to play that song that night at the club. We haven’t really evolved to look at DJ’s as tastemakers. There are really good events off the beaten path, but they aren’t yet regular enough to build momentum or community.

In spite of growing number of South Asian artists, very very few have really made a mark. What’s the reason in your opinion? 

I suppose this depends on how you define “making a mark”. Living here, we typically only consider artists who are known in North America as the standard, and of the nearly 360 million people in North America, less than 3 million are South Asian. That said, there are artists, actors, writers in all walks of life with South Asian background who are known and successful musically and/or in the conventional material sense (i.e. fame, money, etc). Names like Ravi Shankar and Zakhir Hussain (Classical), A.R. Rahman (film), Jay Sean and Raghav (soul / R&B), MIA (Urban), M Night Shamyalan, Kal Penn, Deepa Mehta, Mindy Kalling (TV/Film) and many others are household names the world over. There are so many incredible artists out there.

What and who do you turn to when depressed?

Fortunately, I don’t believe I’ve ever felt depressed. However, when feeling down, music and family are my solace.

What would you like to change in the world. Do you associate yourself with any charity?

I’ve associated with a number of causes and organizations over the years, and have often brought an awareness and fundraising component into my live concert productions. However, my greatest charity is having a positive impact in compelling and inspiring people to think critically. You may not like my music, but if you hear it and challenge even one notion, or consider opening your mind a little, then my job is done.

The best places to keep up-to-date on Anuj’s work are www.omnesia.com, and in Social Media (www.youtube.com/omnesia, www.facebook.com/omnesia, www.twitter.com/omnesia.

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The Council is right to ground the mayor

Posted on 20 November 2013 by admin

Mayor Rob Ford has become a laughing stock for the entire world especially the late night comedy shows where John Leno has called him ‘gift of God for comedy’.

 The Mayor of one of the largest cities of North America has admitted that he is “embarrassed” of his wrong doings such as smoking crack cocaine, driving under the influence, for his drunken stupors and so on. For his public misbehaviours, he has also confessed that he would do the same thing as his colleagues are doing if anyone of them have made the same public scenes. Yet, he is on “war” with the Toronto City Council for stripping him off of his powers.

Mayor Ford and his brother Councillor Doug Ford are right that the Mayor has saved money for taxpayers. However this is also a fact that these taxpayers have kids and do not wish their Mayor, the leader of the city, to be involved with people allegedly associated with drugs and gangs even in his private life. The leader of the city or province or country or any organization for that matter is an inspiration to those who work with him and for those who are affected by decisions the make. People look up to this leader to motivate them to work hard and make difference in people’s lives. Parents admire this figure and quote him as an example to their kids.

Is the Mayor of Toronto such an example? Clearly not.

The Mayor and his brother say that every one has skeletons in their closets. The statement may be true however it cannot and should not let the Mayor off the hook. And just letting go of the entire mess the Mayor has created sets a bad precedent for everyone especially our younger generations.

Stripping the Mayor of his powers by the Toronto City Council may or may not be fruitful or effective, nonetheless doing nothing would not have been wise either.

Parents ground their children when they misbehave. Mayor Ford needed some grounding as well. He should take it graciously rather than declaring and waging a war or issuing biblical like warnings. He should have taken a few weeks’ break and came back with renewed vigor and energy to fight for those who have supported him and are now angry with him.

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Rift opens in Quebec Liberals over question of religious dress

Posted on 20 November 2013 by admin

A rift has opened in the Quebec Liberal party over the wearing of religious garb by their candidates, as debate in the province continues about the Parti Québécois’s proposed ban on religious symbols in the public service.

The Quebec Liberals oppose the public-sector ban because they say it goes too far. But on Friday, leader Philippe Couillard says he would never allow a candidate for his party to wear the chador, a type of cloak worn by Muslim women.

Mr. Couillard said his position was compatible with the party line that requires a women wearing a niqab to unveil her face to either work or receive services in the public sector.

In fact, he said, his position was not unlike the one taken by Liberal member Fatima Houda-Pepin, who initially broke with her party and publicly criticized a caucus colleague. Marc Tanguay said he would welcome Liberal candidates wearing the chador.

Mr. Couillard says the chador is a sign of religious fundamentalism and oppression that violates the fundamental rights of equality between men and women.

“I would never allow the wearing of the chador by a candidate. But this is a hypothetical situation. It will never happen. There is not much difference between the chador and the fully faced veil. … It is a garment that represents a total social withdrawal which is incompatible with our way of doing politics,” Mr. Couillard said in a news conference in Montreal on Friday, suggesting Mr. Tanguay made a mistake in making the remark.

Mr. Tanguay’s comments created a major rift within Liberal ranks after Ms. Houda-Pepin said she was “hurt” and “shocked” by the remarks. Ms. Houda-Pepin, the only Muslim woman sitting in the Quebec National Assembly, noted that the chador was the “ultimate expression of oppression of women” and a “radical symbol of fundamentalism.” She feared that the party was drifting away from its roots by failing to stand up for the rights of women in the face of the rise of religious fundamentalism.

“I am women of ideas,” she said in a Radio-Canada interview on Friday. Ms. Houda-Pepin said she was not breaking ranks with the Liberal party, adding she supported her party’s opposition to the contentious Parti Québécois secular charter bill which proposes to prohibit the wearing of overt religious symbols by public sector employees.

“On the question of the chador we both agree,” Mr. Couillard said in a news conference in Montreal. “I’m holding out my hand to Ms. Houda-Pepin for her to come to caucus and explain her position.”

Mr. Couillard said he had no intentions of expelling Ms. Houda-Pepin from caucus for publicly criticizing her colleague. But he added that it was up to her to take the first step towards reconciliation, otherwise she would be expelling herself from the caucus, he said.

The Liberal leader said his caucus is preparing a bill that will define the party’s views on secularism and will prohibit extremist and radical religious views from undermining fundamental rights, such as gender equality.

Ms. Houda-Pepin proposed to take the debate one step further by inviting Premier Pauline Marois to sit down with the other party leaders to draw up a compromise in order to define a non-partisan secular charter.

“I am for a dialogue on this issue that goes beyond party lines,” she said.

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Expanding Canadian Resources into New Markets

Posted on 20 November 2013 by admin

Parm Gill, M.P.

Ottawa

Canada’s natural resources are vital to our country’s current and long-term prosperity. From coast to coast to coast, Canada has been blessed with an abundance of natural resources in sectors as diverse as energy, forestry, minerals and metals. These natural resources will be the backbone of our country’s continued economic growth and prosperity and will help create thousands of high-quality jobs for hard-working Canadians.

Of particular importance are Canada’s energy sectors. Canada has the third-largest known oil reserves in the world, is the fifth-largest producer of hydroelectricity and is the fifth-largest producer of natural gas. This means that we not only have the resources to meet our needs, but we are also well positioned to supply the energy needs of growing markets.

That’s why our Conservative Government is helping unleash the potential of Canada’s energy sectors through a number of projects designed to help deliver jobs and economic growth here at home.

One such project is TransCanada’s Energy East Pipeline. This proposed pipeline would create more than 10,000 jobs during construction and over 1,000 once completed, these jobs would be spread out across the country to every province along the pipeline’s route.

It would also bring in roughly $10 billion in tax revenues to help fund important services that Canadians rely on, such as health care and education.

This pipeline would not only help deliver western oil to eastern provinces, but would also help Canadian companies to expand into new markets abroad and help grow our economy.

In addition to supporting job creation and economic growth, our plan for Responsible Resource Development also includes environmental protection and promotion.

Our Government has introduced a world-class oil tanker safety system that will help facilitate more trade while establishing better safety regulations to protect Canada’s seas and coastlines.

At the same time, we’ve made substantial investments in the production of cleaner energy and cleaner fuels. Since 2006, our Government has invested more than $10 billion on green infrastructure, energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.

In fact, a 2011 report by the International Energy Agency determined that Canada was second only to Germany in its rate of energy efficiency improvement among 16 industrialized countries.

Our Conservative Government is dedicated to helping ensure Canada remains a strong and prosperous country. That’s why we will remain hard at work enhancing Canada’s position as a stable, secure and environmentally responsible energy supplier to North America and the world.

Parm Gill is Conservative MP from Brampton-Springdale.

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13th National Diwali Celebrations

Posted on 20 November 2013 by admin

Prime Minister Right Hon. Stephen Harper lighted the traditional Diwali lamp Saturday November 9 at the International Centre in Mississauga while participating in the 13thAnnual National Diwali celebrations organized by Hon. Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights.

The Annual National Diwali celebrations were held in the Greater Toronto Area for the first time. Till last year, Hon. Obhrai had organized the celebrations in Ottawa. The event saw enthusiastic participation from Indo-Canadians in the GTA and other parts of Canada. Prior to the speeches by the dignitaries, the audience was entertained by traditional dances from India.

Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce was one of the sponsors of the event.

Lauding the contributions of the Indo-Canadian community to the fabric of Canadian society, Prime Minister Harper said, “Our Indo-Canadian community, men and women, who, through their ingenuity, hard work and entrepreneurship are contributing to Canada’s prosperity. Men and women, who, through their commitment to family, faith and community, are helping to build a better Canada, men and women just like you.”

He added, “This Diwali season, let us be thankful, first and foremost, for the health and safety of our families. Let us also be thankful for the opportunity to call this country, our Canada, home. A country where all citizens enjoy equality of opportunity, a country unwavering in its commitment to freedom, democracy, and justice, a country that is a model of peace, pluralism and prosperity.”

To thunderous applause, the Prime Minister, emphasized, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your country, this is my country, a country of which we can all be very proud, a country to which you are making a tremendous contribution.”

In his address, Hon. Deepak Obhrai, said, “Events like these make Canada the greatest country in the world. Diwali is truly a national Canadian celebration. We have 5,000 people here from the Greater Toronto Area, Montreal, Ottawa and Calgary and more than 40 community, religious, and media outlets, who have come together as the sponsors of the celebration. Together, they represent the best of multicultural Canada, where people from a multitude of ethnic backgrounds harmoniously co-exist in this great land, joyfully sharing their history and heritage with others.”

Echoing the sentiments expressed by the Prime Minister and Hon. Obhrai, Naval Bajaj, President, Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC), during his address said, “Today, Canadians of Indian origin are helping shape the destiny of Canada in so many different ways.

“Indo-Canadians are second to none in helping build a new Canada – a Canada that is multicultural, a Canada that has a place for everyone, a Canada that respects and nurtures all ethnic identities. I am sure everyone present here will agree with me that we are proud to be citizens of a country that respects us for who we are and encourages us to participate in every facet of Canadian life without expecting us to abandon our roots.

The ICCC President also said, “Today’s celebration in the presence of Honourable Prime Minister Harper is appropriate because he epitomizes renewal of the Canada-India relations like no other leader in Canada’s recent history. What the Prime Minister has achieved in a few years in improving Canada-India relations, hadn’t been achieved in the last few decades.”

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Ottawa to give foreign-trained nurses help getting credentials recognized

Posted on 20 November 2013 by admin

The federal government is trying to make it easier for foreign-trained nurses to have their credentials recognized by governing bodies.

Employment Minister Jason Kenney announced Thursday the government is giving $4-million to projects to speed up credential recognition in Canada.

“We have too many foreign-trained nurses coming to Canada who end up working as hotel maids and too many foreign-trained physicians who end up driving cabs,” Kenney said Thursday at a training facility at Edmonton’s NorQuest College.

In some instances, the project will allow foreign-trained nurses to start their assessment process before they even get to Canada, he said.

However everyone won’t get a free pass, but if they qualify they’ll be in, and if they don’t make the cut, they’ll be told so they can either upgrade, or move on to something else, Kenney said.

“If they run into a wall, guess what – they go and start a small business and a lot of those small businesses become big businesses.”

Kenney sees this expanding. There are 45 accrediting bodies for nurses, doctors, dentists, vets, lawyers, engineers and others in the 10 provinces, but until now they haven’t agreed on credentials.

“The New West Partnership in the three westernmost provinces is a good example of provinces working together,” Kenney said.

“The four Atlantic provinces are doing the same thing. The biggest problem we have are the two big central Canadian provinces. They tend to have policies that the least friendly to labour mobility and harmonization.”

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Diabetes prevention: 5 tips for taking control

Posted on 20 November 2013 by admin

Changing your lifestyle could be a big step toward diabetes prevention — and it’s never too late to start. Consider these tips.

When it comes to type 2 diabetes — the most common type of diabetes — prevention is a big deal. It’s especially important to make diabetes prevention a priority if you’re at increased risk of diabetes, for example, if you’re overweight or have a family history of the disease.

Diabetes prevention is as basic as eating more healthfully, becoming more physically active and losing a few extra pounds — and it’s never too late to start. Making a few simple changes in your lifestyle now may help you avoid the serious health complications of diabetes down the road, such as nerve, kidney and heart damage. Consider the latest diabetes prevention tips from the American Diabetes Association.

Tip 1: Get more physical activity

There are many benefits to regular physical activity. Exercise can help you:

  • Lose weight
  • Lower your blood sugar
  • Boost your sensitivity to insulin — which helps keep your blood sugar within a normal range

Research shows that both aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes, but the greater benefit comes from a fitness program that includes both.

Tip 2: Get plenty of fiber

It’s rough, it’s tough — and it may help you:

  • Reduce your risk of diabetes by improving your blood sugar control
  • Lower your risk of heart disease
  • Promote weight loss by helping you feel full

Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Tip 3: Go for whole grains

Although it’s not clear why, whole grains may reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. Try to make at least half your grains whole grains. Many foods made from whole grains come ready to eat, including various breads, pasta products and many cereals. Look for the word “whole” on the package and among the first few items in the ingredient list.

Tip 4: Lose extra weight

If you’re overweight, diabetes prevention may hinge on weight loss. Every pound you lose can improve your health, and you may be surprised by how much. Participants in one large study who lost a modest amount of weight — around 7 percent of initial body weight — and exercised regularly reduced the risk of developing diabetes by almost 60 percent.

Tip 5: Skip fad diets and just make healthier choices

Low-carb diets, the glycemic index diet or other fad diets may help you lose weight at first, but their effectiveness at preventing diabetes isn’t known nor are their long-term effects. And by excluding or strictly limiting a particular food group, you may be giving up essential nutrients. Instead, think variety and portion control as part of an overall healthy-eating plan.

When to see your doctor

If you’re older than age 45 and your weight is normal, ask your doctor if diabetes testing is appropriate for you. The American Diabetes Association recommends blood glucose screening if:

  • You’re age 45 or older and overweight
  • You’re younger than age 45 and overweight with one or more additional risk factors for type 2 diabetes — such as a sedentary lifestyle or a family history of diabetes

Share your concerns about diabetes prevention with your doctor. He or she will applaud your efforts to keep diabetes at bay, and perhaps offer additional suggestions based on your medical history or other factors.

Mayo Clinic 

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