This is GREAT! Now only if I could add more hours in the day…


All things being considered, the past week was a pretty darn good one for The Urban Daddy.

He has the WWE Network.

He found Impact Wrestling.

He gained 8 points in his hockey pool.

 

The only problem is that there is not enough hours in the day for all of these “events”.

 

I showed my kids the WWE Network and they cannot quite understand the concept of 24/7.

“Every time I turn to that channel, there is wrestling on…”  Yup.  For the kids that means they get to see all the wrestler I have been talking about for years, and they get to see the wrestlers who belong to the wrestling figures they play with.

For me, it means no more reality TV when I morph into The Urban Daddy at night time.  No more Kardashians, no more Honey Boo Boo, nothing to do with fixing household problems, no more cooking competitions, and no more I can’t believe I was… (pregnant / fat / thin / dead / an alien / a boy / a girl…)

As the Miz would say, “Quiet on the set.  Quiet on the set!”  AWESOME!

 

As for Impact wrestling, at the start of the new year (2015) Impact left Spike and headed off to nowhere land with a Canadian World Champion and other Canucks on the roster without a TV deal for us Canadians.  More importantly, Impact has FINALLY ditched the “TNA” part of their name (Total Non-stop Action) and the most important change was the removal of their terrible announce team!  I’m okay with Taz, and Josh Matthews will grow into the role, but I hated the old announcer whose name thankfully escapes me.

Now I found out that Impact has set up a Canadian-only link so we can view their shows.  The link is here:

http://www.impactwrestling.com/videos/Canada

I’m watching their most recent show now!  It’s apparently updated Saturday mornings at 10am.

YAY!

 

And finally, I’m out of last place in my hockey pool, thanks for some key players who have gotten hot (Kris Letang, Alex Barkov, Wayne Simmonds, to name a few).  I’d be much higher than 10th out of 15 teams if I had selected better goaltenders.  I chose the Edmonton Oiler goalies, who remind me of that old joke out of Detroit when the Red Wings had a struggling Chris Osgood and Mike Vernon as their backstoppers.  The comment was that the Wings were going to play Osgood or No-good, and the Oilers goalies have me so far in dead last in all goalie categories that my other 2 goalies, Robin Lehner in Ottawa and Kari Ramo in Calgary cannot help me out of.

I need a goalie.

Other teams want all my good players for little in return because they know I’m ready to shed salary, but I’m waiting for a really good return so I can make up some group this year and have the best group ready for next year.

 

So, who needs sleep?

WWE, Impact, and all the west coast hockey games…

Awesome!!

Target Corporation Announces Plans to Discontinue Canadian Operations… Immediately!


MINNEAPOLIS — January 15, 2015target

Today Target Corporation announced that it plans to discontinue operating stores in Canada through its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Target Canada Co. and an application for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) has been made to protect Target Canada from it’s creditors.

I’m shocked, and sad.

With 133 stores across the country and around 18,000 employees many saw this news coming, and now that it has arrived, it’s still left many with their mouths open in shock.

According to Target’s press release, and to ensure fair treatment of their Canadian employees, Target Corporation has asked the courts to approve a contribution of $70 million (Canadian) into an Employee Trust which would provide nearly all Target Canada-based employees a minimum of 16 weeks of compensation, including wages and benefits coverage for employees who are not required for the full wind-down period.

Target Canada stores will remain open during the liquidation process, which is expected to begin immediately.  Speculation is that as stock is sold, stores will continue to close until there are few left with merchandise which will be either sold off or returned to Target’s inventory.

One of the leading factors behind this decision is the $5.4 billion of pre-tax losses in the fourth quarter of 2014 alone.

Additional factors leading to this decision include the poor introduction into the Canadian market after much excitement, when locations chosen were poor, shelves empty and prices much higher than prices in US Target locations or in rival Wal-Mart stores (which entered Canada nearly 20 years ago).

It will cost Target Corporation between $500 million to $600 million to leave Canada (less the sale of any real estate assets) and this is not expected to have any impact on US operations nor should any customers south of the border see an increase in prices to cover these costs.

With the departure of this big box brand, it will be difficult to see what could replace Target in the locations it held.  With K-Mart and Zellers, Simpsons, Woolco, Eatons and Sears leaving Canada it could spell the end of the this business model.  I did, however, notice on a recent trip through Western New York, that many malls had replaced their big box retailers with activities like mini-golfing and go-karting and they were packed with people.

Having had the opportunity to meet and become friends with some of Target Canada’s management team, I can say that this is a very sad day for us not only having to say goodbye to a business which failed in Canada, but to some really great people who tried their hardest to make it work.

See you in Minny!

Citizenship and Immigration Canada announce Improvements to Canada’s Caregiver Program


Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced Improvements to Canada’s Caregiver Program, formerly known solely as the Canadian Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP), and the Canadian government hopes that these improvements will:

  • Result in faster processing at all stages of the program
  • Provide faster reunification of families in Canada
  • Create better career opportunities upon completion of the program, and
  • Establish better protection against potential workplace vulnerability and abuses

These reforms were put in place to address some key concerns of the old Live-In Caregiver program through the removal of the live-in requirement and increasing the processing time for permanent residence.   In the old program there actually were employers who felt that since the caregiver was living in their homes that they were available to work 24/7, and even questioned their caregivers who wanted to go out in the evening, or stay away on the weekends.

Another major problem with the old program was the lack of long-term opportunities for caregivers who, through talking to their peers, waited for their program requirements to end so that they no longer needed to live-in, and could demand a higher wage.  Often this was not a discussion between the employee and the employer and thus a job change was the often outcome.

The resulting job change often meant a higher salary, but in the same field, or with less hours, or with less “perks” like meals and living accommodations earned as the caregiver and the families bond over the years.  It’s usually a major step backwards when the caregivers should be leveraging their employers for their next step once their employment is no longer required.

In addition, CIC plans to reduce the backlog by admitting 30,000 permanent resident caregivers and their family members in 2015, an all-time high, and also a major change in direction from a government which has always publically stated that the Live-In Caregiver Program was not meant to be used for reunification.

CIC also announced that they will be dropping the live-in requirement for caregivers.  If employers and caregivers wish to agree to live-in arrangements, they can continue to do so.  In addition, caregivers currently in the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) may choose to live out and later apply for permanent residence by applying for a regular work permit to replace their LCP-specific work permit.

On November 30th, 2014, the Canadian Government launched two new pathways for caregivers which will:

  • accept up to 5,500 applicants for permanent residence per year plus family members,
  • process these permanent residence applications with a 6-month service standard, and
  • accept applications from those already in the LCP queue who prefer one of the improved pathways

The 2 New Pathways:

1.  Caring for Children Pathway:  A pathway to permanent residence for caregivers who have provided child care in a home, either living in the home or not.

Eligibility is based on:

  • Work experience – A minimum of 2 years of Canadian work experience as a home childcare provider, with a work permit.
  • Human capital criteria – A 1-year completed Canadian post-secondary credential, or equivalent foreign credential, and language level of at least initial intermediate

2.  Caring for People with High Medical Needs Pathway:  A pathway to permanent residence for caregivers who have provided care for the elderly or those with disabilities or chronic disease at higher skill levels in health facilities or in a home

Eligibility is based on:

  • Work experience – A minimum of 2 years of Canadian work experience as a registered nurse, registered psychiatric nurse, licensed practical nurse, nurse aide, orderly, patient service associate, home support worker or other similar occupation, with a work permit.
  • Human capital criteria – A 1-year completed Canadian post-secondary credential, or equivalent foreign credential, and an appropriate level of language proficiency to practice their occupation, ranging from initial intermediate to adequate intermediate

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What sort of work permit should I apply for if this is my first time as a caregiver in Canada and my employer applies for a Labour Market Impact Assessment after November 30, 2014?

A1: You will need to apply for a regular work permit, not a specific caregiver work permit.

You can live in your own home. If you and your employer have agreed that you will live in their home, this should be:

  • in your employment contract, and
  • noted in the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) request by your employer to Employment and Social Development Canada. Your employer will have to confirm that the accommodation they are providing meets acceptable standards before they get the LMIA.

Q2: I am working as a live-in caregiver but would like to move into my own home. Can I?

A2: To work as a caregiver on a live-out basis, your employer will need a new Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and you will need to apply for a new work permit based on that LMIA. In addition, you would have to apply for permanent residence through the Caring for Children or Caring for People with High Medical Needs pathway, and not through the Live-in Caregiver Program.

Q3: I have submitted an application for permanent residence through the Live-in Caregiver Program. Can I submit an application to either the Caring for Children or Caring for People with High Medical Needs pathway as well?

A3: If you meet the requirements of either the Caring for Children or Caring for People with High Medical Needs pathways, you may submit another application for permanent residence, including providing the required information and processing fee.

Q4: I am already working as a live-in caregiver. Will I be able to apply for permanent residence when I complete the work requirement?

A4: Yes. You may continue working as a live-in caregiver and apply for permanent residence when you meet the work requirement. You do not need to switch to one of the new pathways.

If you choose to remain in the Live-in Caregiver Program pathway, your eligibility for permanent residence will still be based on the requirements of that program. This includes the requirement to live in the home of your employer.

If you choose to apply to the Caring for Children Pathway or the Caring for People with High Medical Needs Pathway, your eligibility for permanent residence will be based on the requirements of those pathways.

Q5: I just applied for a work permit as a live-in caregiver. Will I be able to apply for permanent residence when I complete the work requirement?

A5: Yes. You may come to Canada to work as a live-in caregiver and apply for permanent residence based on the requirements of the Live-in Caregiver Program. This includes the requirement to live in the home of your employer.

If you choose to apply to the Caring for Children Pathway or the Caring for People with High Medical Needs Pathway, your eligibility for permanent residence will be based on the requirements of those pathways.

Summary: What are the improvements to the Caregiver Program?

As of November 30th, 2014, the Caregiver Program includes two new pathways for permanent residence for foreign workers with experience as caregivers in Canada.

The two new pathways are:

  • Caring for Children
  • Caring for People with High Medical Needs

For both the Caring for Children Pathway and the Caring for People with High Medical Needs Pathway:

  • You do not need to live in the home of your employer to qualify for permanent residence.
  • You do need to work in Canada with a work permit in an eligible occupation for two years.
  • You do need to meet requirements for language ability and education.

In addition, the Live-in Caregiver Program pathway to permanent residence is still open for all live-in caregivers who:

  • have started working in Canada as a live-in caregiver, or
  • have applied for a work permit as a live-in caregiver, or
  • apply for their initial work permit based on an approved Labour Market Impact Assessment that had been submitted by the employer to Employment and Social Development Canada by November 30, 2014, and
  • complete the work requirement of the Live-in Caregiver Program.

All your questions, plus more, can be answered here; (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/index-featured-int.asp), on the government’s website.

(Happily) Sponsored Post: Dove Men + Care Pro-Moisture Shave Cream


I’m not much of a fan of the sponsored post concept for a couple of reasons, the most obvious one being that I find it difficult to put my name behind a product that I have not used, or do not use without making it feel like I’m just copying a press release.  The other reason is because, generally it’s a lot of work trying to organize my thoughts to make the post sound like you need to run out and grab this product right away, if that is the intent of the post.

But when the kind folks behind the Dove Men + Care product line came to my rescue a couple of years ago, I told them I would be happy to speak about their products at any time… Just because.

What happened was – caution personal information following – I got a red rash in my armpits after a ball-hockey game a couple of years ago, and being a dad with work, household expectations and putting my well-being last, I waited a couple of weeks (okay months) before going to the doctor for the antibiotic cream.

What came out of that appointment was a promise made to my doctor to stop using that great smelling antiperspirant with all the chemicals which was inflaming the rash, and to find and start using a natural deodorant so I could heal and not smell.  (YAY!).

So the Dove Men + Care deodorant became my go-to choice for all those great reasons and it’s still my brand of choice.  It’s great and the smells are subtle and don’t make me smell like I’m going to a rave at night or that I drank some cologne and it’s now seeping out of my skin.

Then came a couple more Dove products to try, in the face-care area, which always concerns me because I’ve had eczema since I was 14-years-old, so whatever I use on my face has to be mild but get that oily glow off of my face so it looks like I’m clean.

Then a couple of months ago, Dove Men + Care reached out to me regarding a brand new line of shaving creams.  I was absolutely interested since the regular cheap foams have a ton of terrible products in it, and being that I’m meeting clients daily, I have to shave at least once every couple of days.

Then this came in the mail for me;IMG_1829

 

It contained a cool old-school razor, plus a couple of tubes of this funky shaving cream that was the consistency of tooth-paste.  I was a bit nervous at first to try it, but once I bit the bullet, I was hooked.  It’s been great for my sensitive skin, and it’s in a shower-friendly tub, so that was great as well.  I’ve tried both the Sensitive and the Hydrate formula’s and they are equally as effective.

The added bonus, I have discovered is that because it comes in what they call a “low-foaming cream” I actually have to rub it into my face which means my stubble is that much softer and as we all know, a smooth shave means less pulling out of hair and thus less nasty rashes and ingrown facial hairs..

So I am writing this post as a consumer who has bought these products and who has used them and continues to use them.  I recommend you give them a try!

Find everything you could want and more right here; http://www.dovemencare.com/

 

Happy 50th Dove Canada. Thank You For Teaching Men, Women and Children to be Happy in Their Own Skin


Dove is celebrating 50 years in Canada, and to mark the occasion they have reached out to men, woman and children about health, and what it means to be beautiful.  During their campaign celebrating their 50th year, Dove revealed some startling facts around women and the fear of embracing their age!  untitled

Earlier this year, Dove put out an open casting call to find up to 50 real Canadian women. More than 4,000 women from coast-to-coast applied and those selected are being featured in a new campaign showcasing their personal stories about why they feel beautiful at any age.

Dove is celebrating its 50-year milestone in Canada trying to inspire women to feel beautiful at any age – whether they are 30 or 100 – to educate children about what advertisers do to images of “real” people and how that is not attainable, and by providing better quality men’s products without all those unneeded chemicals and additives.

You can watch Dove’s new film titled How Old Are You? here: www.youtube.com/dovecanada.

Here are some additional stats on why Dove decided to launch the Beautiful Age Campaign and they were asking Canadian women, “shouldn’t every age feel beautiful?”

  • 27% of women feel you have to be young to be beautiful
  • 25% of woman feel pressure to look younger than their age
  • On average, women get anxious about aging at 34
  • 56% of woman feel negative when naked
  • 47% of women feel society puts less value on older women
  • 20% of women avoid celebrating birthdays because of their age
  • 42% of women wish they looked younger
  • 28% of women have pretended to be younger
  • 72% of women are concerned about aging
  • 87% of women are not proud to reveal their age

Amazing.

But Dove is not just concerned about woman, as during this campaign they made the rounds to many public schools to have conversations with children about health, and “beauty” and the role that media places on men, woman, boys and girls.  They showed the children pictures of real people and then images of what they looked like after make-up, and photoshop, and they told the children that so long as you take care of yourself and feel happy about yourself that is all that matters.

My 9-year-old son came home to tell me all about this discussion with the representatives from Dove Canada because he knows that I have been using the Dove Men + Care product line for over a year once it was introduced to me.  He told me that they saw an image of a woman who has brown hair and brown eyes and once the advertisers got through with the images she was now blonde with blue eyes and they make her skin look perfect and made her look super-thin and that for the majority of people in the world, it’s just not possible.

He understood the message, which tells me it was a great campaign, and a great idea by Dove!  I like what I see from Dove on the product side and socially within the community itself  They deserve to be recognized and commended for their actions.

There is more on the Dove Men + Care coming up, as they have a new men’s shaving product which they shared with me, but this post is all about Dove’s 50th birthday in Canada.  (Clearly not afraid to say their age, eh?)

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