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Will the new tax Become McGuinty’s Legacy?

January 29, 2010 by  
Filed under lifestyle

McGuinty0Whether or not you agree with his policies, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has never shied away from controversial decisions. The latest of several rather contentious policies his government has introduced in its six years in power is the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). The name sounds nice – the word ‘harmonized’ evokes images of consumers, business owners and tax-gatherers living happily together to a peaceful choral soundtrack. However, the mere thought of another new tax, especially one that increases the price of some things, is enough to make a lot of people bristle.

It has been a little over 13 years since McGuinty became leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and almost six and a half years since he became the premier of Ontario. This period has been eventful to say the least. In the 2003 election, the incumbent Progressive Conservative Party was turfed out, Read more

Get into Gear with a Hands Free Solution

January 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Auto

Auto_hands_free_0On Oct. 26, 2009, Ontario joined the growing number of jurisdictions around the world to introduce a distracted-driving law. Among other things, the new law makes it illegal to drive while using any kind of hand-held phone, PDA or other device such as a GPS or MP3 player. The period between the introduction of the law until the end of January 2010 is being used to educate drivers about the new law before police start issuing fines on Feb. 1, 2010.

While the law does apply to all devices, the most common cause of hand-held-device-related accidents is people making phone calls, texting and performing other operations on their cellphones while driving. Numerous studies on the effect of distracted driving have shown that sidetracked drivers are up to 20 times more likely to have an accident than more focused drivers. Over 90 per cent of all accidents are caused by driver error, Read more

Albania: Scarecrows and Teddy Bears

January 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Travel

Albania_travel_0As the bus hobbled across the Macedonia-Albania border, it dawned on me at the time that I only knew two things about Albania. The first is that it is involved in the Kosovo dispute, but I don’t know the details. Someone else can sort that out. The second is that, around the start of the 20th century, international cricketer and world long jump record holder, C.B. Fry, was, somewhat bizarrely, offered the throne of Albania. Initial signs, from the time we head across the border and into the Albanian countryside, are that the impression I gleaned from Fry might have some basis. The people look a bit peculiar, such as the guy on the bus who looks like Mel Gibson circa Lethal Weapon with massive mullet and all, crossed with Sylvester Stallone at the end of a Rocky movie once he’s had his face punched 200 times. Read more

Let go with Moksha Yoga

December 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Health

MokshaThe Holidays can be a stressful time of year, for many reasons, so an invigorating but relaxing hot yoga class can be just the thing to smooth out some of that anxiety and tension. What many people don’t realize is that hot yoga is also an excellent full-body workout that improves posture, tones muscles and builds immunity.

The recent popularity of yoga may make it seem like simply the latest in a long line of passing trends. However, this combination of discipline for the mind, body and spirit has been around for thousands of years. That is a lot longer than spinning classes or the South Beach Diet, so the ancient combination of meditation and physical exercise must be doing something right. Of the many varieties of yoga, the one that is heating up in Toronto is Read more

To Zanzibar the Hard Way

December 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Travel

Travel0There is nothing to worry about. I know many people in Kipumbwe,’ says Mr. Iddy, looking at us the way you look at a child who is worried about their first night away from home, ‘I will come with you. Everything will be fine, yes?’

After a month in Pangani spent teaching English and slowing down to the rural pace of life, my wife Jane and I feel ready for a change of scene. Pangani is a lazy fishing town on the Tanzanian coast, with a beautiful beach that welcomes the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. On a clear day you can catch a glimpse of Zanzibar, perched on the horizon. Most tourists fly there from the mainland or take the big fast ferry from Dar es Salaam but those options are too expensive for us. Mr. Iddy, our Pangani expert on everything, recommends the sailing boat from Kipumbwe, a remote village further down the coast. Read more