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Avoiding Christmas Debt

November 30, 2010 by  
Filed under lifestyle

Christmas DebtHoliday sales often pop up before the snow starts to fall, causing some people to pull out their credit cards before their winter jackets. This Holiday season, the National Retail Federation has estimated a 2.3 per cent increase in sales from 2009, a promising forecast for recession-bitten retailers, but troubling news for cash-strapped shoppers.

“Some people are telling us that they’re still paying off last Christmas’s debt,” says Bruce Cran, president of the Consumers Association of Canada. “And they don’t intend to repeat the same mistakes this year.”

According to an October study by Environics Research Group for MasterCard Canada, 48 per cent of Canadians go over their Holiday budget and that’s if they set one at all—one in Read more

The Aspartame Controversy

October 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Health

Aspartame“Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation,” said Saint Augustine. Now, over 1,600 years later and in a world filled with preservative-pumped food products, his words have only become more pertinent.

Aspartame’s potential toxicity has been debated for over 40 years but this popular additive – dubbed ‘sweet poison’ by skeptics – can be found in sodas, puddings, yogurt and chewing gum, as well as in 6,000 other products worldwide. It is better known as Nutrasweet, the low-calorie alternative to sugar, and it is approved for use in over 90 countries.

“There has been no credible, scientific evidence that links aspartame to any health-related problems,” says Susan Somerville, a registered dietician and program coordinator of Humber Read more

People to Watch: Paramedic Rahul Singh

June 11, 2010 by  
Filed under lifestyle, Special Features

Rahul EMSGrief often spurns action, but for Rahul Singh, the loss of his close friend David Gibson inspired him to found a charitable foundation.

Now, 12 years later, Global Medic (GM) has grown into a respected emergency relief organization as part of the David McAntony Gibson Foundation.

“I was out in Nepal for some disaster work and came home to [David’s] funeral frustrated with the way the aid system works, so I set something up more efficient and named the charity after him in his honour,” Singh says.

At 39, Singh recently gained recognition from TIME Magazine, appearing alongside the likes of Bill Clinton in the magazine’s annual “100 Most Influential People” feature. Speaking about the Read more

Family Matters with Rabbi Shmuley

June 11, 2010 by  
Filed under lifestyle

Rabbi ShmuleyFamily dinners are integral for the healthy and positive growth of all family members, most importantly for children, argues Rabbi Shmuley, founder of the non-profit organization Friday Night is Family Night (TFNFN) and This World: The Jewish Values Network.

With this initiative, Rabbi Shmuley is spreading Jewish values across North America but the program is not exclusive. “The message of inclusion is a strong part of the program,” he says. “We hope to inspire people nationwide to come together to embrace their family and spend quality time together irrespective of race, creed, colour, religion, sexual orientation or marital status.” Rabbi Shmuley recently visited the Vatican and garnered Pope Benedict XIV’s support for the TFNFN project. Read more

Health Watch: Slashed Pharmacists’ Allowances

June 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Health, Special Features

Ontario HEALTH WATCHPremier Dalton McGuinty’s Drug System Reforms are not the cheerful, one-dimensional guarantees his government claims they are, according to worried, independent pharmacists; but McGuinty’s government is steadfast and assures not only have the right steps been taken to ensure pharmacies’ survival, the reforms will also benefit the health care system overall.

Generic drug prices will soon drop from 50 per cent – set in 2006 reforms – to 25 per cent of their brand name counterparts, possibly saving the government more than $500 million a year. But looking past this money-saving exterior, pharmacists wonder, at what true cost to them?

In order to cut generic drug prices in half, the government must eliminate what pharmacists consider their lifeline, Read more

Teen Road Safety

April 5, 2010 by  
Filed under lifestyle

Teens carHow far will parents go to keep an eye on, and ensure the safety of, their new, teen drivers?

Most teenagers crave the freedom and independence that comes with their first set of car keys, whether their own or a set that their parents toss them. Further down the road, however, there is a point at which driving is more than just an adrenaline rush. Parents surrendering those keys for the first time may start to wonder what their teenagers do when they’re out on the town: where do they go, do they wear a seatbelt, and how fast do they drive? Have they been drinking? Parents can now rest easy, because there are devices available to keep tabs on unsupervised teens.

If parents want to spy on their teens, they can try the Spark Nano Real-Time GPS Tracking Device. The palm-sized Read more

Chancing Concussions

January 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Health

hockeyPockets of hockey dads huddle and conspire while drinking their warm, morning coffees within Phil White Arena in Toronto. You can hear whispers of advocacy, feel an atmosphere of community and guess that each group is thinking the same thing: Why did we have to do this?

“I don’t think the Greater Toronto Hockey League [GTHL] cares about concussion injuries,” says Neil Clifford, one of five directors running the new Toronto Non-Contact Hockey League (TNCHL). He also coaches his son’s team, one of the league’s three teams made up of 11-and-12 year-olds. Behind the bench, he keeps warm by hiding under a tightly pulled blue Chevy Re-Evolution cap, his jacket’s high collar cutting across his crimson cheeks. Read more