Archive | June, 2014

Dr. Mitra helps build next generation of Canadian engineers

Posted on 25 June 2014 by admin

York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering has announced the appointment of Professor Sushanta Mitra to be the new Chair of Mechanical Engineering.

Alongside this Chair position, Mitra has been appointed to the newly established Kaneff Professorship in Micro and Nanotechnology for Social Innovation.

Lassonde School of Engineering is truly remarkable. The inception of Lassonde School of Engineering took place on 1.11.11 when Pierre Lassonde announced his founding $25 million donation to create a home for Renaissance Engineering. Formally launched with Janusz Kozinski as Founding Dean, students and faculty members in the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and the Department of Earth & Space Science & Engineering joined the Lassonde.

In June 2013, the groundbreaking takes place for The Cloud, the new $90M home of the Lassonde School of Engineering. The Cloud, the new home of the Lassonde School of Engineering, will open to students, faculty and staff in summer of 2015.

In his position as a Chair, Dr. Sushanta K. Mitra brings the wealth of knowledge, research and experience. He was an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay before moving to University of Alberta where he was professor and assistant VP research.

-He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

He is the Associate Scientific Director and the Director of Mobility for the Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence (NCE) IC-IMPACTS. He is the Theme Lead for the Integrated Water Management in IC-IMPACTS. He is also the Director of Micro and Nano-scale Transport Lab and the Team Leader for Global Integrated Water Management Network and Nano-Bio-Energy Network.

Dr. Mitra is an elected Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering (CSME), and the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC). He is a registered professional engineer of the provinces of Alberta and Ontario.

Generation Next had an opportunity to interview Dr. Mitra on how the Lassonde will be revolutionizing the teaching of engineering and getting students to be job ready:

What were the factors that led you to move from University of Alberta to York University?

York University already has one of the finest Business and Law schools – working at the Lassonde School will complete the much needed triangle – Engineering, Business and Law.

How is Lassonde School of Engineering different or unique from other engineering schools?

To create Renaissance Engineers – this is a very creative way to build next generation of Canadian engineers through unique programs, both at undergraduate and graduate levels. We want our students to be “job creators” rather than “job seekers” and the nice blend of entrepreneurship and business within engineering creates incredible opportunities for Lassonde students.

How is Lassonde School of Engineering putting people first: students, researchers and professors?

Through proper investment in human capital by recruiting top students, faculty members; providing unique opportunities for students to thrive in doing what they are passionate about; providing knowledge ecosystem for people in the Lassonde School to work closely with communities around York region and beyond.

How will you change the education of engineering?

Allowing each individual to pursue their own dreams and passion – collectively creating a new paradigm for engineering education in this country.

With technology advancing so fast, is education keeping up with what’s available out there?

Change is critical — the Lassonde School is all about changing to the new world — where “knowledge” is no longer limited within the secluded walls of “university” but trying more to find mechanisms [that work] best [with what] we can do with the available “knowledge”. It is a continuous learning process and being a relatively newer school, it is much easier for us to change paths based on what our “stakeholders” want from us.

How will Lassonde School of Engineering prepare students to be job ready?

We will have students ready by providing not only fundamentals of engineering but also the much needed skills like business, communication, entrepreneurship, intergovernmental laws, etc.

What’s the job market like for Mechanical engineers?

Mechanical Engineers are of great demand, not only in Ontario and rest of Canada but globally. The Mechanical Engineering students get trained in analytical thinking – which also makes them a valuable asset for the business and financial world.

Do you foresee any partnerships with countries like India like exchange of students, professors and research?

The Lassonde School of Engineering has excellent relationships with Indian institutes, particularly with IITs. We will see more of student and faculty exchanges and also joint research collaborations.

What are the areas where you see further cooperation?

The top global challenges – Energy, Water, Food, Public Health — all these areas have huge potential for collaboration.

You have taught in India and you have taught here in Canada. What differences do you see in approach of engineering in the two countries?

In Canada, we emphasize more towards practical aspects of engineering, where as in India, the curriculum has more theoretical aspects. This difference is often due to resource constraints and large class sizes in Indian engineering programs.

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7 Things You Need To Know About The Last 5 Months In Ottawa

Posted on 25 June 2014 by admin

1. Board of Internal Economy/NDP mailings

The secretive board broke a tradition of working by consensus after it found that 23 NDP MPs had broken rules governing large volume mail. The board said the electoral letters should have been paid for by the party. It also said MPs owed a combined $36,309 to the House for envelopes and toner and $1.13 million to Canada Post for franking privileges.

2. Harper’s battle with the Supreme Court

After the Supreme Court of Canada ruled against the federal government’s desired go-it-alone Senate reform plans, softened two tough-on-crime measures the Conservatives introduced and said Justice Marc Nadon was ineligible to sit on the top court, Conservatives fought back.

3. Jim Flaherty’s death

The former finance minister’s death stunned parliamentarians on April 10.

4. The Fair Elections Act

In a rare scene, political critics, civil society and even some of its own MPs united against the government’s proposed changes to the Canada Elections Act. The Tories tried to stack the deck in their favour by revamping fundraising rules and severely limiting some Canadians’ ability to vote.

5. Abortion

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s policy of imposing a pro-choice position on all new candidates while grandfathering MPs with anti-abortion views drew criticisms from all sides.

6. Privacy

The government reintroduced a new version of a bill that would give police sweeping powers to track and trace telecommunications online.

 7. Citizenship

Bill C-24, “Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act,” contains several controversial measures that have opposition MPs worried. Among them:

  • It limits appeals in order to cut down on processing time and reduce the department’s large backlog;
  • Increases the length of time applicants need to spend in Canada before obtaining their citizenship;
  • Forces 14- to 16-year-olds as well as 54- to 64-year-olds to meet language requirements and pass knowledge tests;
  • Gives Ottawa the power to revoke the citizenship of dual citizens who are convicted with terrorism outside Canada.

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Minister Raitt announces new regulations for identifying dangerous

Posted on 25 June 2014 by admin

The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, announced that regulations for identifying the dangerous goods transported on Canadian roads and rails are being harmonized across Canada and with the United States and United Nations rules.

The new regulations will bring cross border consistency to the way dangerous goods are identified, eliminating the need for interpretation and providing emergency personnel with a clearer understanding of the risks posed by goods being transported, so they can take appropriate response measures.

The amendments clarify how the danger placard is to be used to identify shipments of certain classes of dangerous goods, such as pool chemicals, propane and acetone, contained in small packages. They also introduce new safety marks to identify organic peroxides, marine pollutants and other dangerous goods transported in limited quantities.

The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on July 2, 2014, and will come into effect on July 14th, 2014.

Prior to her announcement, Minister Raitt met with representatives of the trucking industry. She addressed the issue of driver fatigue and the need for safe practices, highlighting Transport Canada’s collaboration with partners in government, academia and industry to develop the North American Fatigue Management Program. She also noted the efforts being made by the industry to deal with the looming shortage of truck drivers, and reiterated the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to conduct research, develop technology and work with the industry to contribute to a safe and efficient trucking sector.

The Minister also discussed the Government of Canada’s investment in highway projects, over the next 10 years, as part of the new $53-billion Building Canada Plan.

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MP Gill’s Bill To Protect Youth From Gangs Becomes Law

Posted on 25 June 2014 by admin

Law enforcement agencies across the country have a new tool to combat the rapid growth of street gangs in their communities, a bill introduced by MP Parm Gill designed to target those who recruit new members received royal ascent today.

“I am overwhelmed by the support this bill has received, both inside the House, and from organizations across the country,” said MP Gill. “With the passage of this bill, we will be able to better protect our youth from gangs, and punish those who have trapped our youth in this life of violence and criminal activity.”

MP Gill’s bill creates a criminal offence for the recruitment or solicitation of individuals into a criminal organization or gang. The Bill establishes a penalty of up to 5 years imprisonment for recruitment, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 6 months imprisonment proposed for those who recruit persons under the age of 18 years old. Gangs have made use of youth members in the trafficking of drugs and weapons, due to the comparably lighter sentences given to youth.

“Youth, our most innocent and vulnerable citizens, are being manipulated, coerced and at times forced to embark on a life that no Canadian should ever experience by criminal organizations and gangs. As a proud father of 3 children I am overwhelmed by the passage of this legislation and to know that this bill will protect our children and punish those who seek to harm our children by bring them into a life of crime,” concluded MP Gill.

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Canada to Scale Back Foreign Worker Program

Posted on 25 June 2014 by admin

Number of Temporary Foreign Workers Permitted Cut in Half

The Canadian government announced sweeping plans to make it harder for companies to hire temporary workers from abroad, in a move that businesses in the country’s resource-rich west have said will curb their ability to grow.

The Canadian public has often criticized the popular temporary foreign worker program as a way for companies to replace locals with cheap foreign labor, something the Canadian government has sought to address at a time when it has also been overhauling an immigration system long seen as a global benchmark.

Among the changes to the program, under which foreign workers are brought in to temporarily fill vacancies, Ottawa is curbing the overall number of such workers, halving the time they can spend here and making an application more expensive.

The temporary foreign worker program—which officials said is used by about 25,000 employers—is particularly popular in Western Canada, where unemployment is low and businesses say it is difficult to find Canadians to fill lower-paying jobs, from truck drivers to laborers.

These changes come two months after Ottawa barred fast-food restaurants from hiring temporary foreign workers, after a public outcry over alleged abuses. That measure was lifted along with the reforms unveiled on Friday. Complaints about the program ratcheted up in April, amid media coverage of two restaurant workers in Saskatchewan who alleged they had lost their jobs to foreign workers. McDonald’s Corp. franchises in British Columbia and Alberta also faced sharp criticism for hiring foreign workers.

The aim is “that the temporary foreign worker program is only used as a last and limited resort,” Employment Minister Jason Kenney said at a news conference. “That Canadians always come first, that employers redouble their efforts to hire Canadians for available jobs, and to ensure that this program works in the best interests of the Canadian economy.”

From now on, no more than 30% of a workforce at any particular work site will be allowed to be made up of low-wage temporary foreign workers. The cap will be lowered to 20% in 2015, and 10% in 2016, and Ottawa may reduce it further in the future, the government said.

Mr. Kenney said the phased-in cap would make the adjustment costs “manageable” for businesses. He said the impact would be “meaningful” but “not devastating.”

In areas of high unemployment—6% or higher, according to the government—employers in the food services, accommodation and retail sectors will be barred from using the program to fill the lowest-wage positions. Ottawa said these are typically entry-level jobs for young Canadians, and should be preserved for unemployed Canadians where there is no evidence of a labor shortage.

The government also said it plans to slash the time a temporary worker can work in Canada to two years from four years.

The processing fee for each worker will be increased to $1,000, almost quadruple the current $275.

Employers who do not comply with the rules face fines up to $100,000, and may be banned from hiring foreign workers, the government said.

Business groups criticized the measures. “I think this is the single worst decision the federal government has ever made,” said Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Garth Whyte, president and chief executive of Restaurants Canada, a lobby group for restaurants across the country, said labor shortages are already a major concern for one-third of the group’s members, and the new changes will make it even tougher for them to get workers.

For decades, Canada has been seen around the world as a country that attracts large numbers of foreign workers and immigrants and largely succeeds in integrating them into wider society. But in recent years, Canadians have begun to complain more, while statistics show that incoming generations of immigrants are faring less well in job markets than preceding waves, compared with locals. With this in mind, Mr. Kenney has led a revamp of the system, implementing stricter language and placing tougher qualification demands on applicants than before.

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Accused killer a ‘scapegoat’: Lawyer

Posted on 25 June 2014 by admin

The lawyer for one of two men charged in the savage stabbing death of Brampton realtor Devinder Kumar has told jurors her client was a “scapegoat” and a “dupe” who agreed only to rob the father of two— not kill him.

Darryl Plummer had no motive to kill the 38-year-old Kumar, a man he did not know, Plummer’s lawyer, Margaret Bojanowska told jurors in her closing address Friday at the end of his first-degree murder trial.

Bojanowska told the jury it was Plummer’s co-accused, Marlon Nurse, who knew the victim and harboured animosity toward him. She said Nurse killed Kumar, and had enticed Plummer to the scene so he could “point the finger of blame” at him for the murder.

Nurse and Plummer are both on trial for the Nov. 10, 2011 murder of Kumar, who was stabbed at least 29 times in the middle of the day on the side of a Caledon road.

The trial, wrapped up this week. Mr. Justice Steve Coroza will instruct the jury Tuesday and jurors are expected to begin deliberations Wednesday.

In her closing statement to jurors Friday, Bojanowska said the most powerful evidence jurors have to decide guilt in the case is “the evidence offered by Devinder Kumar himself”.

“He unequivocally identified his killer,” she told jurors. “He identified the one and only person with a motive, a deep-seated rage, a twisted purpose…”

As he lay dying on the side of The Gore Road, conscious but unable to speak because his vocal chords had been cut, Kumar pointed to the wounds to his abdomen, then pointed to Nurse, who was there telling police he was a witness to the attack, jurors heard during the trial.

Nurse was renting a house from Kumar on The Gore Road just north of Mayfield Road in Caledon, but their relationship soured when Nurse’s rent cheques began to bounce.

Nurse had told everyone, including Plummer, that he owned the house, and had built a fake reputation for himself as a successful businessman with money and an education, Bojanowska told jurors.

“Marlon Nurse is the ultimate manipulator,” Bojanowska told the jury. “He will stop at nothing to get his way.”

Kumar told Nurse in November 2011 that he had to move out after countless failed attempts to collect rent, and the pending eviction would have brought Nurse great embarrassment and shattered the illusion he had created, Bojanowska told jurors.

That enraged Nurse.

“Murder is a crime of passion,” she told the jury. “Marlon Nurse’s passions had been stewing inside of him for days, into a motive to kill Devinder Kumar.”

Plummer didn’t know anything about the issues between Kumar and Nurse, and his only interest was in robbing Kumar to get money to pay his rent at the motel he was living in, and a vehicle to drive around in.

“That Darryl Palmer would risk so much to gain so little makes no sense,” Bojanowska said.

Unlike Nurse’s lawyer, Bojanowska urged jurors to accept the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) messages exchanged between Nurse and Plummer and introduced as evidence by Crown Mark Poland.

“Not once does Darryl Plummer agree to commit murder,” she said of the BBM chats between the two co-accused. “He talks about money, his need for money and his intent to commit a robbery.”

Nurse enticed Palmer to come to the Gore Road house to participate in a robbery by telling him Kumar “rolls with deep pockets”, Bojanowska said.

“Even though it is abhorrent that he (Plummer) planned to rob Devinder Kumar, it does not make him guilty of murder,” Bojanowska told the jury.

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Posted on 25 June 2014 by admin

Dr. Hasan Askari


   The long awaited military action in North Waziristan was started by the Army on June 15, 2014. This was the decision of the Army top command, the federal government led by Nawaz Sharif went along with it. In fact, the federal government did not have any other option left after the terrorist attack on Karachi Airport a week earlier.

 The military authorities are relying heavily on air strikes by jet aircraft and armed helicopters to target the Pakistani Taliban hideouts, training camps and weapon storages.

Foreign militants, especially Uzbeks, are being targeted in air raids. It seems that the Pakistan Air Force has detailed intelligence about the Taliban hideouts and activity centers because the targeting was quite accurate, causing serious losses to Pakistani Taliban and their local and foreign allies.

  There was a limited use of ground troops in the first ten days. These were used to surround the Talban hideouts so that they do not run away. There were only a few direct encounters between the security forces and the Taliban. 

 Six Army jawans were killed from a land mine explosion and two were killed in exchange of fire with Taliban and foreign militants. Over 240 Taliban and their foreign allies have been killed and 23 hideouts were destroyed during the same period.

 The military plans to destroy the Taliban enclaves and hideouts by using airpower in the first two-three weeks before sending in ground troops to cleanse the area. This operation is taking place away from the settled areas which means that the civilian population has not been hit by air and ground strike. After initial consolidation the Army and paramilitary troops will move into mountainous areas to flush out the Taliban.

  The Army has also increased monitoring of the Pakistan-Afghan border so that there is as little movement across the border as possible. It is expected that the military will be able to assert its control over most of North Waziristan in 6 to 8 weeks. It seems that the military will stay in the area for a longer time so that the Taliban do not return and re-establish their hideouts and activity centers.

 The federal government has also launched efforts to let the civilian population leave North Waziristan so that the Army has greater freedom to take action against the Taliban and other groups. These internally displaced people are being accommodated in the Bannu area. Some are going to other areas or are moving-in with their friends and relatives. The federal government is registering these internally displaced people to keep their record which will be used for their return to their homes later.

In the initial days, the state machinery moved slowly. It did not have enough facilities to receive them and accommodate them for their registration and assignment to a camp. Some Pakhtuns from North Waziristan refused to live in tents. They were accommodated in government buildings, schools and hostels.

 The government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and societal groups were slow in providing humanitarian assistance to these refugees. Hopefully the non-governmental organizations, religious and political groups will soon join the federal government in helping the people displaced from North Waziristan. Around seventy thousand people moved out of North Waziristan in the first week of military action. Some had left the area before the start of military operation.

 The Army authorities wanted to start this operation in the middle of March but the federal government opted for a dialogue with the Taliban. The federal government spent over three months (March-June) but the Taliban were not showing any signs of coming to a political arrangement with the government.

However, Nawaz Sharif and his close associates were not willing to admit that the talks had failed. They continued to harp on the theme of dialogue and refused to support the Army for military action. This contributed to straining Nawaz Sharif’s relations with the military.

 The Taliban-Uzbek attack on the Karachi Airport on June 8 exposed the hollowness of the federal government’s effort to produce peace with the Taliban through dialogue. Though the federal government was still hesitant to go for military action, the Army top brass made it clear that they could not wait for an indefinite period on the pretext of dialogue which was going nowhere.

  The federal government reluctantly agreed to support the military action. The first information about the beginning of the operation in North Waziristan came through military sources. The Defense Minister’s supporting statement came later. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took one day to address the two houses of the parliament on the resumption of military action and his government’s endorsement for this action.

 All political parties, including Pakistan Therik-i-Insaf, announced their support for the military operation. The only exception was the Jamaat-i-Islami that criticized this decision. The JUI-F of Maulana Fazlur Rahman also did not take a firm position. It maintained ambiguity on this issue.

 The military action in North Waziristan is important because this tribal area had become the main source of terrorism in Pakistan and some of the neighboring states, including China. The Taliban had developed strong links with mainland Pakistan militant groups who used to get training in North Waziristan. It was also the main source of suicide bombings. If the Army is able to control North Waziristan and make sure that the Taliban and others do not return to the area to re-establish their main centers of activity, terrorism will be considerably reduced in Pakistan. This will also have a demoralizing impact on the mainland Pakistan groups that engage in violence.

 For dealing with extremist and sectarian groups in mainland Pakistan, a different strategy will have to be employed. In urban centers, the key role will have to be played by the Police, Intelligence agencies and paramilitary forces. The Army can be summoned if needed but it cannot be the main agency for controlling terrorism in urban populated areas. Further the civil government will have to take steps to discourage religious and cultural extremism, strengthen law and order and address the problems of the common people.

  The operation in North Waziristan is the first formidable step to eliminate terrorism from Pakistan. However, follow-up measures will be needed in North Waziristan and a comprehensive effort is required to eliminate terrorism from cities. These efforts cannot be launched successfully until the Army succeeds in North Waziristan.

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India to seek ‘black money’ details from Switzerland

Posted on 25 June 2014 by admin

India has said it is writing to the Swiss authorities, seeking details of Indians who have parked untaxed wealth in Swiss banks.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s comments came after reports that Switzerland was sharing with Delhi a list of Indians holding “black money”.

The Swiss said there had been no meeting with Delhi since February, but it was committed to fight tax evasion.

Indians are estimated to hold $500bn (£297bn) in overseas tax havens.

India recently set up a special task force to find “black money”, in one of the first decisions taken by the government of the new prime minister, Narendra Modi.

“We are today writing… to the Swiss authorities with whom the ministry has been in touch so that details with regard to whatever information the authorities have can be expedited and the co-operation between the Swiss authorities and the government of India can bring fruitful results. Our communication will be sent today,” Mr Jaitley told reporters on Monday.

“News has appeared in various sections of the media quoting Swiss authorities that they are willing to actively co-operate with the government of India in giving details about Indians who hold bank accounts in the Swiss banking system,” he added.

Earlier, the Press Trust of India quoted a senior Swiss government official as saying that Switzerland had prepared a list of Indian names and the details were being shared with India.

“These individuals and entities are suspected to have held untaxed money in Swiss banks through structures like trusts, domiciliary companies and other legal entities based out of countries other than India,” the official said.

A member of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed last month by India to investigate “black money” described it as a “breakthrough development“.

In a statement on Monday, the Swiss embassy in Delhi said: “Switzerland understands and shares India’s wish to fight tax evasion and is committed to complying with the relating international standards.

“Switzerland is committed to resolving any open question with India and trusts that India shares its understanding that any solution can only be found within the established national and international legal frameworks.”

India says illegal funds are often sent to tax havens, including Mauritius, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the British Virgin Islands, and the new government has said “unearthing black money is an important issue” for them.

Analysts say this flight of capital has helped widen inequality in India.

The former Congress party-led government had been on the back foot on the issue of “black money” and corruption, and the Supreme Court has also chided the government for not doing enough to unearth illicit money.

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THE MORTGAGE GLOSSARY: What is the Qualifying Rate?

Posted on 25 June 2014 by admin

By Nitesh Kumar


In 2010, the Department of Finance introduced the Qualifying Rate as a new way to assess borrower eligibility and ensure borrowers can handle their payments should rates begin to rise. Your lender will use the qualifying rate to calculate your debt service ratios, which must be at or below their guidelines.

The qualifying rate is a 5-year rate published every week by the Bank of Canada. For terms less than 5 years and for all variable rate mortgages, the qualifying interest rate is used if it is higher than the contract rate. For 5-year terms and longer, the qualifying rate is the contract rate i.e the rate your lender is offering you.

What does the qualifying rate mean to you?

  1. The qualifying rate applies when you want a variable or 1 to 4-year fixed mortgage. The qualifying rate is typically higher than the rate being offered by your lender.
  2. It is not used for qualifying 5-year fixed mortgages; you qualify based on the contract rate.
  3. A 5-year fixed mortgage may be the only term that qualifies you for the mortgage amount you need.
  4. Your actual payments are based on your contract rate, not the higher qualifying rate.

We are experts at providing the advice, education and resources that homebuyers need. It’s important that you understand the terms you encounter when making what is likely your biggest purchase decision.

We’re here to help you!

The Five “C”s of Credit

Going to a lender to ask for a mortgage can be a nerve-wrecking experience when you’re not sure what to expect. Before you go looking for credit, take a few minutes to understand what lenders are looking for: the five “C”s of credit.

How might you stack up in a lender’s analysis of the five C’s of credit?

Capacity: Be prepared to show a lender that you can afford your payments. The lender will look at your income from all sources, and compare that with your monthly financial obligations.

Capital: Your down payment demonstrates that you can save and accumulate assets, and that you are more likely to do all you can to keep up with your mortgage payments.

Collateral: This is the lender’s assurance that the mortgaged property is marketable and can be re-sold to recover the investment.

Credit: Your habits in meeting your debt obligations will be evaluated. Do you consistently pay your debts on time?

Character: Are you sufficiently trustworthy to meet your obligations? Your education and work experience will be factors, along with length of time at your current residence and job.

Good communication is essential to credit success. You want the lender to see that you and your business are a good investment. Let us show you how!

Nitesh Kumar is a Mortgage Broker with Mortgage Intelligence. He can be reached at 416-419-2566 or visit his website @ FSCO lic M08001411

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Staying Safe While Practicing Yoga

Posted on 25 June 2014 by admin

Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years, and currently, close to 11 million Americans are enjoying its health benefits. Yoga can hardly be called a trend. Most Westernized yoga classes focus on learning physical poses, which are called asanas. They also usually include some form of breathing technique and possibly a meditation technique as well. Some yoga classes are designed purely for relaxation. But there are styles of yoga that teach you how to move your body in new ways. Choosing one of these styles offers the greatest health benefits by enabling you to develop your flexibility, strength, and balance. Even though for most healthy people yoga is a safe non-aerobic form of exercise, it is not without its risks. according to the American academy of orthopaedic Surgeons, the yoga injuries most commonly treated in emergency rooms involve overstretching and strain from repetition to the:

• neck

• shoulders

• spine

• legs

• knees

Also, certain poses can increase your risk of injury if you have conditions such as:

• severe osteoporosis

• high or low blood pressure

• ear problems

• problems with your spine

• pregnancy (including risks to your unborn child)

Here are some tips to help you reduce your risk of injury from yoga:

If you are pregnant or have a pre-existing health condition: Consult your health care provider before starting a yoga program. Your health care provider can help you know how to judge what type and level of yoga exercise is safe for you.

Don’t try learning yoga on your own. Work with an experienced and credentialed instructor to learn the proper way to perform the exercises and avoid injury.

Yoga is not a substitute for medical care. Yoga offers many health benefits and may even be included as part of some treatment plans. But it’s still important to work closely with your regular health care providers and get proper treatment when you need it.

Know your limits and stay within them. Before beginning any new type of yoga, ask about its physical demands. Find out how strenuous it is. Talk with the instructor and others who do that type of yoga to be sure it’s suitable for you.

Go slow. You’re not in competition with anyone else in the class. Learn the basics, such as proper breathing and how to maintain balance, before you attempt the more ambitious stretches. Warm up properly before every session. Cold muscles increase your chance of injury. Wear proper clothing. Wear clothes that allow you to move freely.

Ask questions. If you don’t understand an exercise, ask to see it again before you attempt it yourself, Stay hydrated. That’s especially important if you are practicing what’s called “hot” yoga, which is done in a very warm and humid room. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. Yoga isn’t supposed to hurt. If you feel pain, stop. If the pain persists, see your health care provider. Stop immediately if you have chest pain, feel faint or overheated, or become dizzy. Get immediate medical help if the sensation continues after you stop.


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