Archive | February, 2016

India’s most googled person is Sarnia-born Bollywood star

Posted on 25 February 2016 by admin

Bollywood star Sunny Leone is a daily fixture in India’s newspapers, and she says Sarnia is “a great place for kids to grow up.”

The most googled person in India hails from Sarnia, Ontario.

Sunny Leone, a Bollywood movie star, is the best-known Canadian in this nation of almost 1.3 billion.

Leone has topped India’s Google searches every year since 2012 — eclipsing even wildly popular Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A daily fixture on the Bollywood pages of India’s thousands of newspapers, she appears in ads for energy drinks, her own line of perfume and condoms—a wink at her early career starring in American porn films.

Leone exudes Canadian modesty when discussing her fame in the world’s largest movie industry, which annually releases more than twice as many productions as Hollywood.

“I just see myself as a girl that just wants to work and is happy doing that. I know it all goes hand in hand but for me I’m just following my dream of working in Bollywood,” she told the Star last week.

Born Karenjit Kaur Vohra in Canada 34 years ago, she has happy memories of her childhood in southwestern Ontario before her family moved to the U.S. when she was a teenager.

“It was great growing up in Sarnia — great place for kids to grow up,” said Leone, whose parents have since passed away.

Unapologetically liberal in a country with strict film censorship rules that prohibit nudity from being shown on screen, Leone gained even greater prominence last month after a contentious interview with journalist Bhupendra Chaubey on CNN’s Indian network.

In a scolding tone, Chaubey condemned her “past as a porn queen” and suggested she was causing the spread of pornography in India.

Repeatedly haranguing the poised Leone, he quoted politicians who have publicly accused her of “corrupting Indian minds, Indian morality.”

Afterward, many in India rallied to her defence, saying no male Bollywood star would have ever been treated so disrespectfully.

“That was literally NOT an interview . . . just a hyper-opinionated statement with a question mark at the end. No grace? Chivalry? Ridiculous,” tweeted rising star Alia Bhatt, whose parents are also Bollywood players.

Writer and filmmaker Sandhya Gokhale penned Leone an open letter praising “your dignified composure throughout the attempted public lynching by an immature, crass interviewer on national television.”

“He tried to abnegate your present; his was a blatant misogyny. His look was torn between personal lust and cultural impairment,” wrote Gokhale.

Leone was philosophical about the encounter, reflecting on her own successful transition to mainstream Indian stardom in a nation of traditional values.

“I believe out of a very uncomfortable situation some positive has come from it,” the actress said.

“Women and men have commented on my calmness, but for me, I don’t really get that angry or flustered, so I just really wanted to answer the questions to the best of my abilities,” she said.

“I am attacked on a regular basis, but for the first time people were watching the way someone spoke to me — and felt what I feel regularly.”

Indeed, Leone has no regrets about starting her entertainment career in U.S. adult films, though she conceded that “the move was not easy” to Hindi-language Bollywood blockbusters.

“It did all happen organically. Nothing was planned. It just happened and my husband, Daniel Weber, and I just focused on working and being professional,” she said.

“There was a huge learning curve because things work very differently in Bollywood than in the U.S. But it was fun and we learned from our mistakes.”

Asked if her candour about her career choices was liberating for women in patriarchal India, Leone said: “I don’t know about empowering, but the only thing I say all the time is that I believe people should do what they want to do as long as they are not hurting someone, stealing or cheating someone.”

“I don’t regret my decisions in life and they were solely made by me. We should live life with integrity and honour our decisions,” she said.

During Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario trade mission to India earlier this month, much was made of Canada’s first openly gay premier being honoured at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holiest shrine of the Sikh faith.

Some socially conservative Sikhs had not wanted Wynne, who was travelling with her spouse, Jane Rounthwaite, to be presented with the “siropa” robe of honour.

The issue became front-page news in several of India’s largest circulation newspapers, but in the end, the premier was greeted with courtesy at the temple and received the orange robe.

When made aware of the controversy, Leone, a Sikh, stressed all people should be treated equally regardless of gender or sexuality.

“Everyone should have the freedom to live their life their way. My best friends are gay and lesbians and to me they are my family and I love them just the way they are,” she said.

In a country where homosexuality is still technically illegal — though India’s Supreme Court is currently reconsidering a law that dates back to British colonial rule — that stance is courageous.

“I am no one to judge someone’s sexual orientation as long as they are good human beings to people around them.”

 Star of 14 Bollywood films since 2012

  • India’s Central Board of Film Certification censors delayed for months the release of her newest film Mastizaade, which promotes the use of condoms.
  • 1.3 million Twitter followers

 Google India’s most search person 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015

 Appeared in more than 40 American porn movies between 2002 and 2013

 2003 Penthouse magazine Pet of the Year

 

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Police owe answers to passengers left on GO bus with alleged murderer: Editorial

Posted on 25 February 2016 by admin

Passengers were left locked on a GO bus with an alleged murderer for 25 minutes. They deserve a better explanation from police.

On the face of it, it appears outrageous.

Why were about 20 passengers locked on a Toronto-bound GO bus for almost half an hour with a man police wanted to arrest for second degree murder — as representatives of four police forces milled around outside?

As passenger Alexander Ramirez told police in a letter obtained by the Star: “This incident is the first time in my life where I genuinely felt like I was being held as collateral damage.”

It’s no wonder Ramirez feels that way. The man the passengers were trapped with, Joseph Scott Young, is charged with second degree murder in the vicious January beating death of 19-year-old Tehganni Lewis.

Unless there is something that the arresting department, Durham Regional Police, aren’t telling us — and they haven’t exactly been forthcoming — Ramirez is right. “Thankfully,” he added, “it didn’t end in a tragedy. But it very easily could have.”

Here are some questions police should answer about the incident that happened beside the Gardiner Expressway late last Thursday:

 Did police know whether Young had a weapon?

 Did they consider that he might take passengers hostage?

 Is there a undisclosed protocol that says it’s safer to leave passengers with an alleged murderer than to get them off the bus?

In short, what were officers from the OPP, Hamilton, Toronto and Durham police departments — who were all at the scene — thinking?

The OPP says there was no concern for public safety. Young was kept on the bus while police gathered outside with the driver because it was “safe and secure.” It “just takes a few minutes to discuss with the other partners about what the next steps are going forward and get the best information,” according to spokesman Sgt. Kerry Schmidt.

Surely it was “safe and secure” for police outside the bus, but not so clearly for those locked inside with Young for 25 minutes.

Further details weren’t forthcoming from Durham police, who made the arrest. As Jacques Gallant and Peter Goffin reported, Durham police initially even refused to comment, saying their officers had not been at the scene. This was the day after they made the arrest.

It’s not just Durham police who should be more forthcoming. All the forces involved owe it to the people on the bus and the general public to explain what appears to be a striking lapse of judgment on their part.

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Deficit has soared ahead of March 22 budget, Bill Morneau says

Posted on 25 February 2016 by admin

The Liberal government is now forecasting larger than expected deficits for the next two years even before adding billions in promised spending in its first budget, which will be tabled on March 22.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau presented the updated numbers at a pre-budget town hall in Ottawa on Monday, then took questions from the audience as well as reporters.

Morneau said the government will post a smaller than projected deficit of $2.3 billion for 2015-16, down from the $3-billion deficit projected in November’s fall fiscal update.

But that deficit will balloon to $18.4 billion in 2016-17 and $15.5 billion in 2017-18 — and that is before any new spending Morneau outlines in the March budget. Those numbers are drastically different from the $3.9-billion and $2.4-billion shortfalls forecast just three months ago.

“A less ambitious government might see these conditions as a reason to hide, to make cuts or to be overly cautious. But our government might see that the economic downturn makes our plan to grow the economy even more relevant than it was a few short months ago,” Morneau said.

“We’re not considering any tax changes at this time,” the finance minister said when asked whether the government would consider raising general consumption taxes.

The revised two-year economic and fiscal outlook takes into account sharp declines in crude oil prices since the fall update and continued uncertainty in the global economy.

Morneau said private sector economists now expect crude oil prices (for West Texas Intermediate) to average $40 US per barrel in 2016, down from $54 per barrel expected in the fall update. He said the current price stands at $31.50 per barrel.

Economists have also revised real gross domestic product growth for Canada to 1.4 per cent in 2016, down from two per cent growth forecast in the fall update. The GDP growth for 2017 remains unchanged at 2.2 per cent.

Today’s fiscal update includes a $6 billion a year contingency — double the $3 billion Ottawa used in past projections.

The federal finance minister blamed the weak economy on the previous Conservative government.

“After 10 years of weak growth, Band-Aid solutions, and inaction from the previous government, Canada’s economy was simply too vulnerable when faced with a combination of the drop in oil prices and economic uncertainty around the world,” Morneau said in Ottawa Monday.

Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose fired back calling into question the competence of the new Liberal government, blaming the soaring deficit on “uncontrolled, permanent, new spending.”

“I find this reckless, irresponsible and it’s entirely the result of the finance minister and the prime minister not being able to make the decisions that they need to make today to respect taxpayers’ money,” Ambrose said on Parliament Hill.

Morneau said the Liberals will focus on making investments in infrastructure, innovation, measures to help the middle class and the country’s most vulnerable.

“We were elected to a fundamentally new approach to growing our economy. We said to Canadians that a time of low-economic growth the right thing to do is make investments in the economy,” Morneau said in Ottawa Monday.

“The wrong thing to do would be to make cuts.”

But Ambrose was critical of the government’s plan, calling it “a recipe for waste and mismanagement.”

“There’s no fiscal anchor left in this government,” she said Monday afternoon.

Following question period, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said Canadians would be “disappointed” to see that the Liberals have backed away from “a promise to have smallish deficits.”

“Was it foreseeable that they were lying,” Mulcair said in French. “Probably, given their track record on the matter.”

Mulcair said the low price of oil and the downturn in the economy was already a factor during the election campaign.

The NDP leader urged the Liberals to make good on another campaign pledge to reform the employment insurance system to help unemployed Canadians.

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Liberal tax hike threatens jobs for Ottawa’s high-tech businesses: Poilievre

Posted on 25 February 2016 by admin

Conservative Member of Parliament for Carleton, Pierre Poilievre, is calling on all Ottawa Liberal MPs to urge their government to reverse a proposed tax increase on Ottawa’s high-tech sector. Poilievre will launch an effort next week to convince the Liberal government to abandon a proposed tax increase on stock options, which local business leaders are warning would kill jobs in the city’s high-tech sector.

That is particularly the case for Ottawa’s all-important small technology start-ups. Roughly 900 high-tech companies in Ottawa have fewer than 10 employees. Many of them have little money, but lots of potential.

“Stock options allow cash-strapped start-ups to afford the most talented employees by letting them profit from future increases in share prices–enticing today’s talent with a piece of tomorrow’s treasure,” said Poilievre.

But a Liberal platform commitment to double taxes on stock options would effectively end the practice, forcing many young professionals and the entrepreneurs that employ them to seek opportunity outside Canada instead.

“With 60,000 Ottawans working in professional, scientific and technical services, all Ottawa MPs have a duty to oppose new taxes that threaten high-tech enterprises in our city. The Liberal Government’s economic approach is going to continue to drive jobs and investment away from Canada. The Liberals must work to create jobs instead of of bringing in higher taxes on small businesses,” concluded Poilievre.

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Peel cops deny they ‘devalued’ South Asian policing

Posted on 25 February 2016 by admin

 

The Human Rights Tribunal case for Peel police officer B.J. Sandhu wrapped up Friday. He alleges he was discriminated against in 2013 when passed over for promotion.

Ontario’s Human Rights Tribunal will determine if the Peel police service “devalued” the work one of its own officers did in the South Asian community, after closing arguments were made Friday in a case involving allegations of discrimination by the force.

“This idea that certain kinds of work are devalued . . . in fact, the opposite is the evidence,” argued the force’s lawyer Glenn Christie, during the closing summations in the hearing for Staff Sgt. B.J. Sandhu, who alleges he was discriminated against in 2013 when he was passed over for a promotion into senior ranks.

“Deputy Chief (Christopher) McCord did this work side-by-side with the applicant.” Christie argued that McCord, who had testified as the force’s witness earlier in the day, was elevated to the force’s second-highest rank after supervising Sandhu while heading the “Diversity Relations” bureau of the force, illustrating that the Peel force did value work that focused on the South Asian community.

But during her closing arguments, Sandhu’s lawyer Kelley Bryan pointed out that unlike McCord’s role in diversity relations, Sandhu’s “required somebody to speak the language” and was “more closely linked to (his) race.”

She pointed to evidence heard throughout the hearings that she asked the tribunal to consider. Numerous witnesses, she highlighted, testified that Sandhu had been asked by the force to step into a role “because of his race” in order to focus on policing in Brampton’s and Mississauga’s rapidly growing South Asian community.

“He excelled in everything he was asked to do. None of that was considered good enough by his employers and his managers,” Bryan argued.

Christie countered: “They gave the applicant lots of credit for all his achievements.”

Bryan asked witnesses throughout the hearings about Sandhu’s contribution to the force. Inspector Norman English described him as “invaluable” because of his ability to speak four languages, his investigative skills and the close ties he created with the South Asian community. Other witnesses Sandhu called testified that he had received numerous commendations and awards during his 25-year career, including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012 for excellence in policing.

During his closing arguments, Christie challenged the suggestion that the force did not value work done by its officers with the South Asian community.

He pointed to earlier testimony by Insp. Raj Biring, who was promoted in 2014, after Sandhu filed his case with the tribunal. “Inspector Biring did this work and has had three promotions so far.”

Bryan argued, citing evidence from the promotional packages of other candidates, that the same criteria used to justify Sandhu’s exclusion from the promotional competition — his lack of front line supervisory experience — was not applied to other candidates who made the competition despite lacking the same experience. She argued earlier in the case that evidence showed Sandhu was a superior candidate, compared to some who were considered.

During the hearings Sandhu and two other South Asian officers each described their experiences dealing with a constant barrage of racist comments by other officers, including the routine use of the term “Paki” to describe civilians and the officers themselves.

Statistical evidence was introduced highlighting the force’s racial makeup in 2013, when the promotional competition was on. According to the data, none of the force’s 55 senior officers were South Asian, even though that community made up 43 per cent of Brampton’s and Mississauga’s residents.

Christie argued that the case is not one alleging “systemic discrimination” in the force. He said it is about one attempt at a promotion and Sandhu was told he had done “excellent work, excellent career . . . but right now, no.”

He also questioned why Sandhu called no witnesses to testify that they had not received a promotion because of their race or because their work was not valued.

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NEW POBLEMS IN CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS IN PAKISTAN

Posted on 25 February 2016 by admin

Dr. Hasan Askari

 Pakistan’s politics is entering a difficult and uncertain phase. Two important developments last week can have far reaching implications on the nature and direction of Pakistani politics, including civil-military relations.

First, the prime minister’s angry reaction to the National Accountability Bureau’s management of corruption and misuse of state resources issues could not be viewed as a routine comment. He was quite upset about the role of the NAB as an autonomous accountability institution.

 Second, the registration of the First Information Report (FIR) in Gujranwala regarding the terrorist attack on the Pathankot Air Base in India is another unusual development that will have implications not only for Pakistan-India relations but also for Pakistan’s internal politics.

 The timing of the Prime Minister’s statement is politically motivated. When the NAB pursued accountability in Sindh, the PMLN leadership did not complain about any deficiency in its procedures. There was no complaint about its rough treatment to those accused of corruption or misuse of state resources. Several PMLN leaders supported the NAB’s accountability in Sindh.

 Now, it was the Prime Minister’s turn to criticize the NAB because the available media reported suggested that the NAB was looking into the affairs of the PMLN big guns at the federal level and in the Punjab. It was reported that some of the major power generation and transport projects as well as the LNG projects were under scrutiny. Some of the “blue eyed” bureaucrats of the federal and the Punjab governments were also said to be under investigation. All this perturbed the Prime Minister because if these actions are allowed to go unchallenged, the PMLN’s monopoly of power and resources in Punjab will be undermined.

 The Punjab Law Minister defended the Prime Minister’s criticism of the NAB and blamed the NAB for scaring the big businessmen and investors like Mian Mansha from launching new business and industrial projects. He also claimed that this would also undermine the efforts for privatization of state enterprises running in losses.

 The track record of the NAB and its predecessor institutions for accountability shows that the rulers are not held accountable for their misdeeds. They may face accountability when they are knocked out of power. Even in such cases if the ousted rulers agree to work smoothly with the new rulers, they can save them from accountability. Keeping in view this tradition, there is not much hope of the NAB holding the Sharif brothers, their senior advisors and beneficiaries responsible for any corruption or partisan use of state resources.

 The Prime Minister or the Punjab Law Minister need not worry about the NAB pushing the complaints of corruption against the PMLN leaders to their logical end. This is quite evident from the NAB response to the Prime Minister’s criticism that reflected its timid traditions.

 What worries the Prime Minister and the PMLN top leaders is that if Pakistan’s security establishment extends its blessings to the NAB, its Chairman can adopt a tougher posture towards the PMLN ministers and other big guns on corruption and misuse of state resources. Therefore, the Prime Minister’s comments were also a message to those who were, in his estimation, pushing the NAB for action.

 It is in the context of who is “fueling” the NAB, the second development becomes significant. It is surprising that the FIR has been launched in Gujranwala for something that has taken place in another country, that too, India. Though no person or group has been named in the FIR, the phone number given by India are expected to be pursued. The registration of this FIR amounts to partly acknowledging that the incident originated from Pakistan. Since the FIR has been launched by civilian authorities, it raises the question if they think that the military dominated intelligence agency has some role in it.

 India is not going to be satisfied with the launching of the FIR. While giving credit to the Nawaz Sharif government for this, the Indian government will use this FIR to engage in propaganda against the military and the Army-led intelligence agency. India’s game would be to cause a breach between the civilian government and the Army because it already argues that Nawaz Sharif wants to improve relations with India and especially promote trade. However, the Army top command opposes this policy.

 The timing of filing the FIR is significant. The press reported two weeks ago about a meeting between the Prime Minister and the Army Chief at the ISI headquarters. Then came the Prime Minister’s statement on the “misdeeds” of the NAB. Within a day of this statement was a surprise decision by the federal government to file FIR in Gujranwala. There is no evidence available to suggest if the Army authorities were taken into confidence for adopting this course of action.

 These developments have created new difficulties in civil-military relations. It is important that the two sides handle the situation with restraint and caution. If Nawaz Sharif has embarked on these two measures to assert his electoral strength and he hopes that the PPP will stand by it as it did in the course of 2014 PTI Sit-in, he is likely to be disappointed unless Nawaz Sharif agrees to protect the PPP interests in Sindh.

 Nawaz Sharif should not overestimate his political clout. It could prove to be as misleading as was the case in October1999, when his attempt to assert his command over the Army top command failed miserably. Given the on-going challenge of terrorism and extremism, the civilian authorities and the Army top command need to work in harmony. However, the civilian government needs to pay more attention to improving governance, controlling corruption and highly partisan use of state resources. Further, the civilian government should be willing to get an independent scrutiny of the major projects in power generation, metro bus in Lahore and Islamabad and other construction projects. Any increased tension in civil-military relations can make the future of Pakistani democracy problematic and uncertain.

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Young grads need to brush up on 3 R’s, employers say

Posted on 25 February 2016 by admin

Executives in surveys said they want to hire people with “essential skills” — communicating, problem-solving, critical thinking, teamwork — yet this is where they see students being deficient.

It’s a familiar corporate rant: Young grads today can’t write worth beans, are weak in math and lack the analytical chops to work their way through the problems we’ll need them to solve.

Executives in 20 recent employer surveys said they look to hire people with so-called “soft” or “essential skills” — communicating, problem-solving, critical thinking, teamwork — “yet this is where they see students being deficient,” said Harvey Weingarten, president of Ontario’s higher education think-tank.

If these skills are so important, it’s time to actually test students for them when they enter university or college, and again when they leave, said Weingarten, whose Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) advises Queen’s Park on higher learning.

In a groundbreaking pilot project this fall — the first of its kind in Canada — HEQCO is looking for several colleges and universities to submit their incoming students to a 90-minute online test of literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills, and give the same test to the graduating class as they leave.

It won’t be required to get in or to graduate, but results of the globally recognized Education and Skills Online assessment from the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development “will show quite simply whether students have these skills or not,” said Weingarten.

If the tool proves useful enough for Queen’s Park to want to have all institutions use it in future, Ontario would become the first jurisdiction in North America to give entrance and exit exams in the 3 R’s to all post-secondary students.

“We don’t want to test because we’re interested in ranking institutions. But students spend time and money on post-secondary education, and the public invests in it, so we need to know if students are acquiring the skills that are going to serve them well,” said Weingarten, former president of the University of Calgary. “If we’re not doing as well as we’d like, then we need to do a better job.”

It’s not clear who’s to blame for the shortfall in these basics. Some accuse schools of dropping their standards. Others point to a distracted screen-crazed culture. Still others suggest helicopter parents kept a generation from learning how to solve problems themselves.

Whatever the cause, the complaints are common.

“A significant minority of students are graduating from post-secondary education with a shortfall of the skills they need — in core literacy and numeracy and problem-solving,” said Michael Bloom, the Conference Board of Canada’s vice-president of industry and strategy. “And if they have trouble using language and numbers, they’ll have trouble operating in real time at the level they should.”

Still, many universities and colleges think things are fine.

A landmark 2015 study called Youth In Transition: Bridging Canada’s Path from Education to Employment, showed a staggering 83 per cent of educational institutions believe their grads are equipped for the workforce, whereas a mere 34 per cent of employers agreed, and just 44 per cent of students themselves.

“You won’t find a college or university administrator who doesn’t claim ‘We enhance these (soft) skills’ but the story gets kind of lame if you don’t have any evidence,” said Greg Moran, HEQCO’s director of special projects and former provost at Western University. “You can wave your hands and cite anecdotes (about how great your students are) but if these are the skills universities are looking for, people are going to want us to be able to demonstrate it.”

The conference Board’s Michael Bloom said the idea of entrance and exit tests of literacy, numeracy and problem-solving has value.

“Sampling students at the front end would be useful to give us an idea of the state of people coming in, and offer immediate, focused help to get the student up to standard,” said Bloom. “It also would give professors a greater consciousness about the importance of these transferable skills, and students could use it at the end of their degree to show employers the skills they have.”

David Lindsay, president of the Council of Ontario Universities, said assessing soft skills could be useful but warns against using one test as a be-all and end-all.

“You have to be clear about what you mean by being ‘prepared for the workplace.’ A forestry graduate might not have learned about drone technology in school, but does that mean they’re not prepared for a job in the sector, which now uses drones to check forest fires and insects and floods? Or do you want a graduate with the cognitive skills to figure that out on the job?”

Community colleges don’t oppose the idea of testing for essential skills, said Linda Franklin, president of Colleges Ontario, because “employers have had concerns about these skills for a long time, so if we have that data, there may be things we can do to improve.”

Even students welcome a yardstick that would show which universities do a good job of teasing out these skills, said Spencer Nestico-Semianiw, president of the Ontario Undergraduate Students’ Alliance.

“Students say they don’t always see an emphasis on those skills of teamwork, communication, confidence, critical thinking, so if we can have something that communicates this to employers — that would help.”

Said Weingarten: “Universities and colleges boast that their grads are great thinkers, great researchers — but I know a lot of people who think that’s not true. And I know a lot of people who think it is true. I don’t actually know what’s true, but I do know how to find out, and that’s to measure.”

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Scotts Canada Donates $10,000 to The Mississauga Food Bank to Help Fight Hunger

Posted on 25 February 2016 by admin

Sponsorship will support community and school-based food programs in Mississauga

Scotts Canada is strengthening its relationship with The Mississauga Food Bank with a $10,000 year-long sponsorship. The donation will go towards supporting breakfast clubs at local schools and eliminating hunger in the City of Mississauga. As part of the sponsorship, Scotts Canada employees also contributed a half day of volunteering at the food bank to support the distribution of food across the city.

“Over the past five years we have worked with The Mississauga Food Bank to create a fuller, better city and educate our neighbours on growing healthy food,” said Karen Stephenson, Director of Regulatory Affairs and Stakeholder Relations for Scotts Canada, part of The ScottsMiracle-Gro Company. “As a Mississauga-based company, we strive to support our community members and fight causes – like easing hunger – to improve lives in our community.”

The Mississauga Food Bank provides food for over 183,000 meals each month through its network of member agencies, which include neighbourhood food banks, hot meal programs, breakfast clubs, youth-at-risk drop-in programs, youth and family shelters and emergency food pantries. With 15 per cent of Mississauga residents living in poverty, the agencies offer their services throughout the city.

“Every day, thousands of individuals and families across Mississauga rely on our services,” said Meghan Nicholls, Director of Marketing and Development for The Mississauga Food Bank. “In these harsh economic times, people are struggling to put food on the table, making Scotts Canada’s sponsorship a vital contribution to ensuring that no one goes hungry in our city.”

As a leader in the lawn and garden industry, Scotts Canada strives to take the same leadership role in building strong community partnerships. From 2011-2013, Scotts Canada partnered with The Mississauga Food Bank on its Gro for Good Food Bank Program, in which Scotts Canada donated plant growing kits (tomatoes, lettuce and spinach) to the food bank and their clients. The GRO1000 Grassroots Grants award program also provides communities and non-profit civic organizations with grants of up to $15,000 to develop community gardens, green spaces and pollinator habitats. To date, Scotts Canada has funded 43 community gardens across Canada.

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6 Tips To Manage Winter Skin Itch

Posted on 25 February 2016 by admin

1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize

Winter skin care comes down to adequate moisturization of the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. This isn’t about eight glasses a day. It’s about finding the right moisturizer for your cold, dry winter skin. Winter is the time to switch from a lotion to a cream, as generally the thicker your moisturizer, the more intense the moisturizing effects. Scan the aisles for a product with ceramides, such as CeraVe, which can help restore the skin’s natural protective barrier that may be damaged as a result of the dry cold winter weather. Staying moisturized in winter can soothe and protect skin and help prevent dry, itchy skin.

2. Sunscreen

Just because its winter, doesn’t mean you can toss your sunscreen. UVB rays might be weaker in winter, but UVA rays stay the same all year long. These rays can lead to wrinkles and skin cancer. You can accumulate the same sun damage from UVA rays in the winter as you can in the summer. So apply a sunscreen to exposed skin frequently to prevent your skin from getting dry and to protect it from harmful UV rays.

3. Winter acne – don’t pop it!

Whether acne is your constant enemy or decides to show up randomly in winter, you can still win the fight against acne. Winter can be a tug of war between treating acne while still trying to keep your skin moisturized. Use an acne treatment with benzoyl peroxide, like AcneFree’s Oil-Free Acne Cleanser, that also contains ceramides to help moisturize your skin while fighting acne bacteria. I love a dual purpose product!

4. Humidifiers to the rescue

Add a humidifier to your room at night to help with dry skin. Humidifiers help make dry air more comfortable by increasing the water vapour. It’s basically a moisturizer for the air. During winter, as humidity levels drop, the cold air loses most of its moisture and becomes dry, in turn drawing moisture from your skin. A humidifier is a useful way to add moisture to air and help your skin feel more supple upon waking up – the true essence of a beauty sleep.

5. Lose the lip-licking

Lip-licking and lip biting is more likely to occur in winter when your lips are chapped. The problem is that both these acts continue the cycle of chapped, dry and damaged lips. Saliva is acidic and breaks down food as well as lip skin. Choose plain lips balms such as Vaseline – bland is best. To be sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

6. Turn down the heat

While they may feel great to some of us, hot showers and baths can turn your skin into the Sahara desert! The heat opens your skin matrix and releases your natural moisturizers. So turn down the heat and keep your showers or baths to less than five minutes. Once done, pat dry and immediately apply moisturizer to damp skin to lock in the moisture.

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5 Bad Breakup Mistakes You Want To Avoid

Posted on 25 February 2016 by admin

Breakup mistake #1: Dragging things out.
If you’re unhappy in your relationship and you’ve tried unsuccessfully to make it work, you’re only prolonging your misery by not ending things. People tend to indulge in a lot of false hope that a person or situation will change, but if you’ve tried and tried and your relationship is no better, maybe it’s time to cut your losses and get out.

Breakup mistake #2: Break-up to make-up.
If things were bad enough that you or your partner finally decided to end it, getting back together is almost always an exercise in futility that will leave one or both of you even worse off than before. Resist the temptation to get back together, and trust that there was a good reason for you to end things in the first place.

Breakup mistake #3: Making it about you.
OK, it hurts when someone rejects you. It’s a blow to the ego, but it doesn’t have to devastate you. You need to understand that sometimes, no matter how much you like someone, the two of you are just not a good fit. Instead of personalizing things and then feeling diminished by a break-up, chock it up to experience and move on, knowing that someone else very soon is bound to find you irresistible.

Breakup mistake #4: Jumping right back into the ring.
After any sort of meaningful relationship, a person needs time to process what happened; to lick their wounds and learn what they can from the experience. Otherwise, they’re likely to drag their baggage from the last relationship into the next one. Take some time off to sort out your heart and your head before trying to meet someone new.

Breakup mistake #5: Guilty as charged.
If you’re the one who initiated the break up, you might be walking around with a lot of guilt for having hurt someone who loved you, and it could be interfering with your ability to let go and move on to your next relationship.

Or maybe you’ve been avoiding breaking up, because you feel too guilty about causing your partner pain. Think of it this way: you wouldn’t want someone staying with you just to spare your feelings, would you? It’s kinder to them and to you to cut your partner loose so that you’re both free to meet someone who’s the right fit, rather than staying together out of guilt.

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