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Tag: Canada

Women’s immune system stronger than men

A Canadian study from McGill University has found that the female hormone Estrogen gives women more powerful immune system, boosts their ability to fight bacterian viruses, and blocks the inflammation process. As such, the lack of estrogen makes men more sick.

Avis Favaro from CTV discusses this in her Mednews Express report below along with other studies such as the new simple test to predict Alzheimer’s disease.

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Ecstasy could be used to treat post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by Canadian Forces

Suddenly, I feel like joining the army.

On August 5th, Lt. Col. Rakesh Jetly, a psychiatrist and senior health adviser for the Canadian Forces, said Canada’s military would use the illicit dance-floor drug Ecstasy to treat soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder if it’s proven safe and effective.

A new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology shows a small clinical trial found 80% of chronic patients treated with psychotherapy and MDMA - called Ecstasy on the street - no longer showed signs of t-traumatic stress disorder if (PTSD) and had no serious side effects. Three patients once so debilitated by the disorder they couldn’t work were able to return to their jobs after treatment.

MDMA was used by psychiatrists and psychotherapists to aide treatment before it was outlawed in the 1970s and 1980s.

More info on this in the Toronto SUN article here.

Ecstasy pills

Ecstasy pills

Nations United gala “Art of Peace” in Toronto on June 17, 2010

I have already blogged about Chaker Khazaal and his brilliant project Nations United which unites the nations through a collaborative movie combining people from different parts of the planet. Now, the “Art of Peace” gala is being thrown in Toronto on June 17, 2010, where all the proceedings of the event will be donated to the Nations United campaign.

Again, I would like to congratulate Khazaal for his efforts in creating a positive environment for people of under-privileged areas.

For more information on this project, please check the flyer below or the event directly on Nations United website at www.NationsUnited.org .

Art of Peace gala by Nations United

Art of Peace gala by Nations United

Chaker Khazaal: the Lebanese-Canadian behind Nations United

A 22-year-old Lebanese-Canadian man is seeking to unite the nations through a collaborative movie combining people from different parts of the planet.

People from every nation are invited to create a film, 3-5 minutes in length, displaying anything they wish to show the rest of the world. There are no restrictions to the footage they film or the message they wish to present. A selection of chosen footage will be edited into a pre-existing concept for a movie called Nations United or NU, written by Chaker Khazaal, the man behind the project.

Chaker Khazaal on the 17th of March 2010 became a Canadian Resident and his dream since childhood has always been to unite humanity and its people.

Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, of Palestinian background, Chaker Khazaal moved to Toronto, Canada in 2005 as an international student at York University where he completed a BA degree in International Development Studies. He also took courses in the fields of film, languages and International Relations.

More information on the project Nations United can be found at www.nationsunited.org

Chaker Khazaal's Nations United Vision - www.nationsunited.org

Chaker Khazaal's Nations United Vision - www.nationsunited.org

Lebanese behind the largest illegal use of Quebec’s healthcare insurance RAMQ

You have previously heard about the documentary exposing Lebanese faking their Canadian permanent residency, and this one just adds to it.

Quebec’s healthcare system RAMQ (Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec) is trying to recuperate around $500,000 caused by the illegal use of the system, which made it the largest fraud in RAMQ’s history in relation to illegal use of the medical card. And guess what, the majority of this is caused by Lebanese.

RAMQ has investigated in the recent months around 1,700 immigrants. More than two-third of them, the majority Lebanese, have simulated their presence in Quebec with the help of a fraudulent Lebanese immigration lawyer, the famous now Nizar Zakka. They have obtained a medical card and used it for healthcare services totaling $500,000. RAMQ was only able to recuperate around $42,000 since most of the immigrants do not live in Quebec. The control of this fraudulent activity will not be easy until RAMQ implements its new barcode card.

You can read the investigation report on RAMQ’s official website here.

Quebec's healthcare system (RAMQ) medical card

Quebec's healthcare system (RAMQ) medical card

Lebanus 2009 annual party in Montreal set at Club Opera on November 27th

Lebanus is doing it again! Their third edition of the famous annual “Lebanese Night” party is set once again at Club Opera on November 27th, 2009.

This is an event not to be missed in Montreal since it is one of the best for the Lebanese expatriates. The 15$ entrance fee will go at 100% for financing needy Lebanese students in Lebanon. Lebanus will also be celebrating their 20th anniversary in Montreal during this event in which DJ Mario will be spinning.

For those of you who don’t know, Lebanus is a cultural and humanitarian organization dedicated to financially assisting needy Lebanese students. It was founded by four students in Paris and Lebanon in 1986, and three years later expanded to include Montreal.

Address of Club Opera:
32 Ste Catherine West
Montreal, Quebec
H2X 3V4
(514) 842-2836

2009 Lebanese Night by Lebanus

2009 Lebanese Night by Lebanus

Happy Glasses: another solution for the Canadian “winter depression”

The weather in Canada is starting to get cold, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) - also known as “winter depression” or “winter blues” - is at the doorsteps. As I have brought to you last Winter a simple solution to combat SAD, I now introduce a new solution: the happy glasses.

Developed in 2006 at the Liege University physics department in Belgium, the glasses are designed to stop the production of sleep hormone melatonin by shining light rays into the retina.

Check them out in the video below:

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Lebanese faking Canadian Permanent Residency exposed!

And you wonder why the term Lebanese is not very appreciated in the Western world.

It is a shame (at least for me) to bring you this. Last week, a documentary appearing on Radio Canada’s show Enquête exposed the Lebanese faking their Canadian Permanent Residency to seek the Canadian Citizenship. Here is the documentary split into four parts for those who didn’t have the chance to see it:

Part 1:
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Part 2:
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Part 3:
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Part 4:
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Resumes with English names more likely to get interviews in Canada

A new study published on May 20th by Metropolis B.C. has found that Canadians with English names have a greater chance of landing a job than those with Chinese, Indian or Pakistani names. In fact, after sending out thousands of resumés, the study found those with an English name like Jill Wilson and John Martin received 40 per cent more interview callbacks than the identical resumés with names like Sana Khan or Lei Li.

Philip Oreopoulos, an economics professor at the University of B.C, and his team of five research assistants composed 6,000 resumés to represent applicants with English or non-English names and sent them to 2,000 different job postings offered by Canadian employers in the Greater Toronto Area, between May and October last year. He found that resumés with foreign names could only improve their chances of getting a job if they had Canadian or British work experience. In fact, callbacks nearly doubled with the addition of just one previous job in Canada. Another interesting finding was that, Chinese resumes that had English first names increased the chances of getting a callback.

More about this in the video below by CTV:

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Canada’s first same-day breast cancer diagnosis

Canada’s biggest cancer hospital announced that it expanded a clinic that can offer what no other hospital in this country can: same-day breast cancer diagnosis. The rapid diagnostic breast clinic at Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital will be able to provide a patient a diagnosis in a matter of hours instead of the more typical five-week wait.

Patients also receive an immediate treatment plan based on their diagnosis, which explains their treatment options: surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. Women in Canada typically wait weeks for a diagnosis after finding a suspicious lump in their breast. But at Princess Margaret, almost 500 patients have quietly been undergoing rapid testing at the clinic as part of a pilot project that began in the fall of 2006.

More about this in the video below by CTV:

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Bixi Montreal: Canada’s first public bike system

I’ve been seeing this everywhere in downtown Montreal, so I thought of posting something about it. Bixi is Montreal’s public bicycle sharing system. The $15-million Bixi program was officially launched last Tuesday at city hall, where Mayor Gérald Tremblay took the first ride. It’s the first of its kind to be launched in Canada.

Bixi is a portmanteau word of bicycle and taxi created by Michel Gourdeau. It was conceived and fabricated in Montreal. 3,000 bikes are available for short-term rental from the 300 stations located in Montreal’s downtown core. The bikes, which cost $2,000 apiece, are made of aluminum and are theft-proof, according to their designers. The bikes are very innovative. They contain a GPS chip, and if rented and not returned, they will slow down, and the brakes will lock automatically.

The stations are installed progressively in the spring, starting at the beginning of May, depending on weather conditions. Stations are kept in service until the end of November before being removed from the streets during harsh winter months. Cyclists can subscribe to the service at a cost of $78 for a year, $28 for a month or $5 for a day. The first 30 minutes of each rental are free.

More on the Bixi program in the video below by CTV:

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Canadian embassy in Lebanon now accepts immigration applications

Good news for the Lebanese wishing to apply for immigration in Canada. Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced a couple of days ago that as of March 31st 2009, Lebanese nationals applying to immigrate to Canada may select the visa office in Beirut, Lebanon, as their main point of service.

The prelude of these enhanced services started with last year’s announcement which gave immigration applicants from Lebanon the option to have their interviews conducted in Lebanon rather than Syria. But now, applicants have the choice submit their applications to the Canadian embassy in Beirut, and have their files processed there.

But, Federal Skilled Worker applicants will need to submit their application elsewhere – to the Case Processing Centre in Sydney, Nova Scotia, which is the process for all applicants in this class. Canadian citizens and permanent residents sponsoring their family will continue to send their applications to the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. On their application form, they will be able to select the office in Beirut as their primary point of service.

Check the press release on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.
For a list of FAQ on these enhanced services at Beirut visa office, Click Here.
Visit the embassy website at www.international.gc.ca/missions/lebanon-liban .

Contact Address of the Canadian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon:
First Floor, Coolrite Building, 43 Jal El Dib Highway
P.O. Box 60163
Jal El Dib, Lebanon
Tel.: (011 961 4) 71 39 00
Fax: (011 961 4) 71 05 95 or (011 961 4) 71 05 93
Email: berut@international.gc.ca

Lebanese waiting in front of Canadian embassy - Associated Press

Lebanese waiting in front of Canadian embassy - Associated Press

Bisphenol A found in canned soft drinks

There’s new debate about the controversial chemical Bisphenol A, commonly abbreviated as BPA, and its use in consumer products in Canada. BPA has already been banned in 2008 from infant items, such as baby bottles. Now, testing by Health Canada has highlighted its presence in some pop and energy drinks packaged in cans.

Watch the video below by Dr. Rhonda Low from CTV:

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Pay what you want at Montreal’s restaurant Taverne Crescent

Hit by the downturn of the economy and a deep slide in American tourists, Montreal’s restaurant Taverne Crescent, located on Crescent street in the downtown area, is trying a new strategy to bring back customers: pay what you want.

So yesterday, lunch-hour customers were given the choice of an appetizer, plus either tagliatelle bolognese, salmon or braised beef, and coffee or tea, for whatever they wanted to pay. For a dollar even. Or nothing. George Pappas, the owner of the restaurant, says there is no catch for the ‘pay what you want’ deal. The restaurant is just trying to bring the ‘joie de vive’ back to the city. The deal is from Monday to Friday between 11 am and 3 pm.

This move follows a similar one this month by the London restaurant The Little Bay, and two years ago by the American restaurants One World Café in Salt Lake City and SAME (So All Might Eat) Café in Denver.

More about this in the interview below by CTV with George Pappas, the owner of Taverne Crescent. You can also visit the restaurant’s website at www.TaverneCrescent.com :

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Huge price discrepancy of healthy food between and within Canadian cities

In its annual report on Canadian Health, the Heart and Stroke foundation found that there is a huge difference of prices for healthy food between cities, and within cities as well. The report looked at 66 communities across Canada between Oct. 15 and Oct. 25, 2008. An example of such difference is the following: one kilogram of lean ground beef was $13.21 in Ottawa, but only $4.14 in Barrie, Ont. In contrast, there was little variation in the cost of snack foods such as cookies, potato chips and pop that should be consumed in moderation.

In addition to that, healthier foods were found to be more expensive. For instance, margarine with trans fats cost on average $2.79 compared with $3.29 for trans-fat-free margarine. A survey accompanying the report suggested that 47% of Canadians reported occasionally going without fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy products, whole grain products, meat or fish because of high cost. Healthy eating is a key factor in preventing heart disease.

Watch the following interview by CBC with Stephen Samis, director of health policy for the Heart and Stroke Foundation:

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A taste of the Montreal rave scene: Igloofest

When it comes to electronic music, every city has its own unique style, resident DJs, or clubs, but Montreal offers a different experience that transcends all this. Last weekend, I have assisted to Igloofest, a rave held in open air during the very peak of the Canadian Winter! With the temperature outside as low as -20 degrees Celsius, it cannot but be a lifetime experience.

Co-produced by Quais du Vieux-Port and Piknic Électronik (the organizers of the weekly Summer rave at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal), comes the special event Igloofest. It spans over three weekends, where DJs from Canada and around the world such as James Holden come heat up the crowd during the coldest period of the year. The style of music ranges from Funk, Deep House, to Minimal.

Check out the exciting video below from the 2009 Igloofest:

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Canadian Winter skincare

Most, if not all Canadians apply moisturizers to their skin in Winter to keep them from drying out. But the Dermatologist Dr. Harvey Lui gives out some tips to efficiently keep out your skin from irritation, drying out, and all the skin related symptoms of Winter.

Some of those tips are: applying the moisturizers right after a hot shower, using mild and basic soaps, avoiding exposure to too much hot water and heat.

More in this video from CTV:

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Simple solution for the Canadian “winter depression”

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as “winter depression” or “winter blues”, affects one in 10 people. I always believed that the brain neurotransmitters responsible for this are affected by weather conditions, but studies suggest that they are affected by latitude.

All Canadians know that Winter is harsh in Canada, but we can now fortunately prevent a Winter depression. Light therapy can be a quick and simple solution. Two thirds of people with the SAD condition, sitting in front of a light device or light box, for thirty minutes every morning really alleviates most of their symptoms. The good thing is that results can come quickly, usually four to seven days.

Watch Dr. Rhonda Low from CTV explaining this solution:

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