Energy efficiency of buildings should be important election issue

Retrofits big election issue

While pandemic-related health policies are front and centre in this election campaign, it’s important not to lose sight of other critical issues that will impact us long after a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine is widely available. Climate change is a crisis that is not going away, as demonstrated by recent wildfires. The British Columbia Real Estate Association recognizes the importance of this issue and has a specific recommendation to address greenhouse gas emissions from our current building stock.

While proposed changes to the 2022 BC Building Code will set higher standards for energy efficiency in new buildings, much can be done to address emissions from existing buildings. By providing incentives so that building owners can make informed decisions on energy retrofits, the government can accomplish many of its climate change goals, stimulate economic activity and create new job opportunities.

There are already financial incentives available from governments, utilities, financial institutions and suppliers. BCREA is looking to the provincial government for long-term, sustained funding to support property owners now and into the future, and those incentive programs are expected to be available to owners of existing commercial, purpose-built rental, multi-family strata and single-family properties.

This is a timely initiative, as home needs are evolving and many homeowners are considering renovations. Because of COVID-19, homes also function as offices, schools and primary entertainment centres. But there’s more to consider than immediate need.

When planning a renovation, property owners should also consider energy efficiency. The objective should be to improve air tightness of the building envelope, reduce heat loss and improve the efficiency of mechanical systems. Current incentive programs allow for experts (energy modellers) to assess the building and determine the best combination of energy efficiency measures (windows upgrade, additional insulation, improved air tightness or upgraded mechanical systems, for example) to get the most bang for the buck. This also includes accessing the best package of incentives within the property owner’s budget. Having competent contractors to complete the work is an absolute necessity, as well as monitoring the effectiveness of the improvements.

BCREA believes that the most progressive, sustainable step the government can take for the real estate sector is to continue these incentive programs, expand them where possible, and develop a public outreach program for consumers and homeowners to educate and inspire action. When more property owners make informed decisions to reduce their carbon footprints and cut energy costs, the entire province benefits.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

Kamloops Chamber offers take & bake option for this year's show

Business awards get creative

Kamloops Chamber of Commerce and MNP opened the nomination period for the 34th annual Business Excellence Awards on March 13.

A few days later, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of B.C. and the world.

The novel coronavirus is not going to stop the Kamloops Chamber from honouring its best and brightest businesses and people, but the awards show will have a different format when the event is held on Saturday, Oct. 24.

“We really felt like we couldn’t just let it go, and we felt it would be important to recognize businesses who’ve worked really, really hard over the last year and a half,” chamber executive director Acacia Pangilinan says.

This year’s awards will feature a take and bake option for those wishing to take part in the event but, at the same time, remain in the safety and comfort of their own home. Guests will choose one of four seasonally inspired menu options curated from a roster of local chefs and either pick it up or have it delivered to their home. They will then prepare their meal and take in the awards show via Facebook Live.

The award finalists, sponsors and dignitaries will be in attendance at the four participating restaurants but socially distancing to keep everyone safe.

The participating restaurants are BARSIDE Lounge & Grill, Cordo Resto + Bar, The Noble Pig and ROMEOs Kitchen + Spirits, and they will be the primary benefactors from the event’s ticket sales.

“It’s really neat, because we tried to get in different parts of the community,” Pangilinan says. “There’s a group over on the North Shore. There’s a group of people up in the Aberdeen area, and then there’s two restaurants downtown.

“So the show’s really taking place throughout the entire community, which will be a first for us. Normally the event would be a 400-person gala in a ballroom.”

There are three finalists each in 14 award categories, which range from Business Person of the Year to the Technology Innovator Award.

“It’s really important for us to take a moment to recognize some of the businesses and key people in our community that have worked really hard to stay afloat in the pandemic,” Pangilinan says.

At-home take and bake options for the 34th annual Business Excellence Awards, presented by MNP, can be purchased here. Orders must be made by next Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Five fantastic fall getaways ready to be enjoyed in beautiful BC

Five B.C. getaways this fall

With mild temperatures and the soft golden rays of afternoon sun, fall offers plenty of opportunity to explore. From coastal escapes to mountain adventures, there’s no shortage of incredible BC getaways fit for this time of year. Here are five trip ideas to get you on the road.

Remember to plan ahead and travel responsibly. 

Live the Country Life

A rustic retreat offers a chance to get back to the basics. To experience an original pioneer homestead, head to one of BC’s many guest ranches like Graham Dunden Guest Ranch, located east of 70 Mile House, where you can saddle up to explore the Cariboo’s secluded pastures and the gem-coloured waters of Green Lake. For a more modern take, family-run ranch Myra Canyon Ranch features contemporary furnishings, mountain- and e-bike rentals, and picturesque horse rides overlooking Okanagan Lake

Retreat to Mountain Hot Springs

BC’s hot springs resorts make for a particularly stunning stay in fall. Bask in mineral-rich thermal pools as snow starts blanketing the mountains at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, and bighorn sheep come out to graze at Radium Hot Springs. On Arrow Lake, at Halcyon Hot Springs, guests can enjoy exclusive access to three outdoor wellness pools before turning in for the evening at a luxury chalet.

Discover the Unexpected in The Fraser Valley

The scenic Fraser Valley features its own set of charms. Hope delivers on hundreds of kilometres of designated trails, including the hike to Hope Lookout for valley views, and a self-guided Rambo Walking Tour of the old blockbuster’s film setting. Nature photography enthusiasts appreciate the Fraser Canyon for its labyrinth of historic bridges, narrow rock gorges, and dazzling lakes. The Mighty Fraser Circle Route provides unique highlights too, including Manning Park Resort’s dark sky astronomy, and the fabled golden larch of fall.

Find Serenity on the Sea-to-Sky

Relax and renew in Vancouver, Squamish or Whistler. A stay at downtown Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim starts slowly with breakfast in bed and personalized care at Willow Stream Spa. Go underground at the Britannia Mine Museum, south of Squamish (advance booking recommended). Or, head to Whistler to take in the region’s celebrated works of art at the Audain Art Museum, followed by a visit to the Scandinave Spa Whistler’s quiet sanctuary of hydrotherapy baths.

Seek Seaside Tranquility

Time spent near the ocean can be rejuvenating, be it a city stay exploring Victoria, or a visit to one of the many coastal towns along BC’s rugged shoreline. Parksville offers nearly 20 kilometres of soft, sandy beaches. Salty ocean air and goats grazing the rooftop of the Old Country Market in nearby Coombs are some of this town’s perks. Order ahead, then drive a half-hour north for the famed oysters from Fanny Bay Oysters Seafood Shop. For a tranquil retreat, wind down at the Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort

Adapting to life’s changes part of helping building a community

Habitat never stops helping

Habitat for Humanity Kamloops’ mission is to help build and grow communities for seniors, veterans and families in need of a safe and decent home.

Often, that involves adjusting to change.

That is why Habitat Kamloops is designed to be a “living and breathing” organization that can accommodate life’s natural ebbs and flows.

A prime example of that is the recent situation where the original owners of three homes Habitat built several years ago along Westsyde Road have moved on, and now those vacant units, spread across two duplexes, have been passed on to new families.

“In Habitat’s home ownership program, we have a buy-back provision in our mortgage agreements,” explains Bill Miller, Habitat Kamloops’ executive director. “So, in the event a family chooses to leave their home, then we exercise our right to purchase the property.”

Under that agreement, the previous homeowners were given back their principal mortgage payments made while they were residents of the homes, and then Habitat Kamloops conducted another selection process for families to take up residence in the three, four and five-bedroom homes.

A total of 45 families were screened starting last November, and three were chosen in January 2020.

“Now, these families are getting the benefit of moving into these units under the Habitat Kamloops home ownership program,” Miller says.

In this particular instance, that includes having each family provide 500 hours of sweat equity in preparing the home for occupancy. Normally, on new Habitat Kamloops builds, families contribute their time during construction of the home.

And as per normal, under Habitat Kamloops home ownership agreement, mortgage payments are designed to not exceed one-third of a family’s income.

While finding new owners for a Habitat home is somewhat unique—most families stay long-term—the organization’s creative and flexible nature that adjusts to real-life changes extends further than just single-family homes, Miller says.

For example, Habitat Kamloops upcoming multi-family project in Salmon Arm, designed mainly for seniors, is open to a home trade program.

“If you are a senior, already have a home and want to move into one of these new units in Salmon Arm, Habitat Kamloops will look at taking their home in a fair, market value trade,” Miller says. “The senior then moves into one of our units, and we go through the family selection process and find new occupants for the home we acquired.

“We call that our ‘housing continuum.’”

For more information about Habitat for Humanity Kamloops and how it helps adjust to growing communities, visit their website here.


From mountain towns to its shoreline, BC offers plenty this fall

Ways to explore BC this fall

In fall, vivid colours transform an already spectacular setting. With fewer crowds and a slower pace, it’s a wonderful time to travel within our vast backyard. Here are four ways to experience BC this fall.

Remember to plan ahead, and travel responsibly. 

Visit Charming Small Towns

BC’s small towns are tucked among mountaintops, rainforests, and coastlines—find your ideal location and stay awhile.

Mountain towns are perfect for anyone looking to reconnect with nature on a grand scale. Forested peaks are at your doorstep calling you to adventure. Nestled in the Selkirk Mountains, Nelson is home to hundreds of heritage buildings and an eclectic food scene. Further east, towns like Cranbrook, Golden, and Fernie offer the dramatic scenery of the East Kootenays. 

BC’s rugged shoreline draws both adventurers and artists, who flock there for inspiration. Gibsons and Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast boast vibrant art scenes with plenty of locally-owned shops and galleries. Explore sheltered waterways in a kayak, and enjoy fresh fish and chips on land. 

Celebrate Harvest and the Changing Season

Autumn is a time for celebration and renewal, from colourful foliage to food and drink. See the elusive golden larch in E.C. Manning Provincial Park, or on a guided hike with Playwest Mountain Experiences in the Purcells. Celebrate fall’s harvest with a visit to a winery or a farm tour along culinary corridors like the Fraser, Okanagan, or Cowichan valleys. Prepare your palate for October’s Craft Beer Month with a taste test on the BC Ale Trail.

Change Your View With a Cabin or Ranch Stay

Get off the grid with a relaxing getaway to a luxury lodge, guest ranch, or rustic cabin. Stay at Quaaout Lodge & Spa at Talking Rock Golf Resort for lakeside serenity in the Shuswap or Cameron Ridge Bungalows in the Cariboo’s playground of pine and spruce. For a memorable holiday on horseback, visit Wells Gray Guest Ranch or Flying U Ranch

Find Beauty in the City

The tree-lined streets of BC’s urban centres offer plenty of natural beauty. Stay in Victoria and rent a bike to explore the Galloping Goose Regional Trail that runs from Victoria’s downtown waterfront to a hidden lake, a quiet cove, and a forest of fall foliage. Pick up treats at Little Vienna Bakery to refuel after your ride. 

Spend a weekend in Vancouver and wander the West End for a display of Instagram-worthy autumn leaves. Or, visit Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver’s Chinatown, with its water lily pond and burgundy hues, for a peaceful oasis in a bustling city centre.


Babylon by TELUS Health offers convenient care during COVID-19

Make most of virtual care

B.C. has been praised for its effective response to the pandemic. But many aspects of life have still been impacted, including regular access to care.

According to a recent study by Nanos Research and TELUS Health, a third of British Columbians have delayed medical care for themselves or their loved ones due to fear of exposure to COVID-19.

Virtual care tools, such as Babylon by TELUS Health, are on the rise, providing safe, convenient access to care that complements existing health services. In fact, more than three in five B.C. residents had a phone or video call with their family physician during the pandemic, and over half said they would use virtual care services even after the pandemic subsides.

Still, more than half are eager to learn more about virtual care. With 74% of British Columbians concerned that a second wave of the virus will impact their ability to receive care, it’s important for them to better understand how these services work.

“The pandemic brought a lot of uncertainty,” says Dr. Sarah Olson, a B.C. family physician. “When used to its full potential, virtual care will help give families more access to the care and support they need, reassuring them in the face of a potential second wave.”

Particularly helpful for those without a family doctor or who have trouble accessing a healthcare provider, Babylon by TELUS Health allows British Columbians to check their symptoms and quickly connect with a B.C.-licensed physician even during evenings, weekends and holidays. Through the app, B.C. residents can receive care for respiratory symptoms, skin conditions, or even anxiety and depression, as well as get referrals for any necessary diagnostic testing or specialist appointments, and have prescriptions filled, all through their smartphones.

Dr. Olson recommends these tips to make the most of a virtual appointment:

• Register in advance — Register via virtual care tools, such as Babylon by TELUS Health, in advance of any health issues or concerns, ensuring the service is ready to go as soon as you need it.

• Gather personal health information — Complete your profile with your medical history, current medications or allergies, and list your symptoms when booking your appointment so the physician has enough information to make an accurate assessment.

• Secure a private setting — Consider conducting the virtual session in a quiet, private setting that offers the same level of confidentiality as a physician’s office.

• Share consultation notes — If you have a family doctor, add your physician’s name and contact information to your profile to have your virtual consultation notes shared directly with them.

Financing deal helps boost affordable home construction plan

More Habitat homes coming

The comfort, safety and independence created by affordable housing just got a step closer to reality for more families, seniors and veterans in B.C.’s Interior region.

Thanks to an agreement with Interior Savings Credit Union to provide financing services, Habitat Kamloops will be able to significantly increase the number of homes it helps build each year for those in need.

Historically, Habitat’s home ownership program offered 100% financing with zero interest, no down payment and 500 hours of volunteer work by a recipient family whose monthly mortgage payment was tailored to not exceed 30% of their income.

“That meant Habitat needed to fund 100 per cent of the land and building costs,” says Bill Miller, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Kamloops, adding some of those funds came from a number of sources, including sponsorships, and donated supplies and materials.

“Basically, we have now negotiated a deal that provides a combination of a mortgage with the credit union, and a second mortgage with Habitat,” Miller says. “It has typical mortgage terms covering 65 per cent of a home’s assessed value. And where the home recipients win is the remaining 35 per cent covered by Habitat acts as equity.”

That allows Habitat to buy back the property and offer it to another family, senior or veteran in need if the original homeowner moves.

But moreover, what the addition of financing means is Habitat can build a greater number of houses each year, all while the cost to the home recipients remains at a manageable amount, based on their income.

“Typically, we were only able to provide one of two units each year. This agreement with Interior Credit Union will enable us to move in an entirely different direction that will allow us to build many more,” Miller says, adding the ultimate goal is to provide 40 to 60 homes annually.

“And that can be single-family residences, duplexes, townhouses or multi-family homes.”

While this will help fill part of the need for affordable housing in the region, the local economy will also benefit from getting people into their own homes, thanks to the ability for Habitat to access capital to buy materials and pay for services when building homes.

“Originally, we used the model where we asked the community to donate their time or materials to build a home,” Miller says. “But you can only ask the community for that so many times.

“Now, we can call up a business and tell them to give us their best price.”

Studies have also shown that for every dollar Habitat Canada spends in the community, it creates $4 of economic benefit.

For more information about Habitat Kamloops, visit their website at habitatkamloops.com.


This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

Take survey, maybe win $100 by explaining which path you took

Go to work, or go to school

How did you decide whether to seek or avoid more formal education after Grade 12? A new online survey in B.C. wants to find out, and participants have a chance to win $100.

Dawne Bringeland, a faculty member at Thompson Rivers University and BCIT, is researching how people make the decision whether to get a post-secondary education as part of her dissertation.

“I’m just trying to understand the thought processes behind choosing to go to some form of education or not, and I’m seeking to understand the barriers that might be present that influence the decision-making process,” says Bringeland, a doctoral candidate at Fielding Graduate University’s School of Leadership.

The online survey takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete, Bringeland adds. Participants can enter a random draw for one of five $100 prizes.

Bringeland is also looking for a cross-section of interviewees who will each be paid $50. All personal data will be kept separate from the anonymous survey.

She hopes to hear from a wide range of respondents from across the province.

Some may have entered an undergraduate degree program; trade school or other stream of formal education while others may have entered the workforce directly after high school or considered upgrading their skills later in life.

Bringeland’s research draws on previous studies, which have looked at barriers to post- secondary education such as the increasing cost of tuition, parents’ own education background, psychological barriers and emotional gaps.

She intends to learn a bit about the backgrounds of the people who made the post-secondary education decision. For example, some students may have had no barriers whatsoever and still decided against it.

Finding out what drives such decisions could benefit students, educators and schools but also have a wider positive impact, Bringeland says.

“There’s a split here,” she says. “What do we need as an economy—in terms of school and student outcomes—to support and grow the economy? And what do we need to do as a society to provide the opportunities for youth to get into those streams [to follow their passions] so that they are not left behind?”

Bringeland’s research on decision-making and post-secondary education has been underway for a decade and she finds the timing of the survey during the pandemic fascinating, she explains.

One thing she wonders is how work-from-home scenarios might influence a person’s decision. Part of B.C.’s workforce has avoided returning to the office but that isn’t an option for workers in manufacturing and production, for instance. The entertainment and hospitality industries have been hard-hit and responded in creative ways, but what will they look like in the future?

Bringeland believes the pandemic has presented an opportunity to consider how and where we work, and “really think about where we want the economy to land.”

She says her findings may present opportunities to look at different models of education that are as legitimate as an undergraduate degree or trade school, but provide an easier path for people to pursue their passions.

“One of the things I hope to come out with is some recommendations on how we present educational opportunities and what kind of changes might need to be considered to get people into school,” she says.

“We’ve got a very linear model of education right now. If we think about open-education models, are there different models that would work better for some of these students who say, ‘It doesn’t work for me because of X, Y and Z’?”

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to share your experience and win $100, the survey runs online for one month, click here to enter.

Kamloops market is still trending in sellers' favour despite COVID

Compete in seller's market

British Columbia and the rest of Canada may still be battling the challenges of COVID-19, but the real estate market in the Kamloops region firmly remains a seller’s.

That’s the view of Aaron Krausert, who along with brother Chris is keen to offer experience and insight to prime clients with the best strategies when either buying or selling their home.

“Yes, we are in a pandemic, but what controls the real estate market is the simple economic concept of supply and demand,” Aaron says. “And in Kamloops, as we have been for the past three years, the demand side has been outweighing the supply side, making for a seller’s market.”

This comes despite the negative national real estate market projections as the COVID-19 virus has affected the Canadian economy.

“With all this worry of value reductions and market collapses, for Kamloops specifically, we remain in a strong seller’s market,” Aaron says. “That means buyers have to be sharp if they get into competitive, multiple-offer situations.”

Helping keep the demand for properties strong has been Kamloops’ diverse economy, which is helped by the fact that both of Canada’s national (CP and CN) rail lines run through the community.

“There are also two mines operating in the region. Plus, Royal Inland Hospital and Thompson Rivers University are major employers that help keep the local economy healthy,” Aaron says. “We are not a one-horse town.

“Yes, some businesses have been affected. But on a larger scale, Kamloops has continued to move forward, and that has been reflected in our real estate market.”

Given that, buyers should be ready to take action when they enter the market. Foremost, that means making sure they have a full pre-approval financing letter from their lender and a sizeable down payment in hand.

“A larger deposit than typical—seller’s will notice that if there’s a multiple offer scenario,” Aaron says.

“Even more importantly, if buyers have a short subject removal period—say, a week, rather than two—that will put the buyer in a much more favourable position.”

Thanks to their experience, Aaron and Chris also have a custom checklist of strategies designed to give their clients an edge in multiple offer situations.

“You must treat those occasions completely differently than when you are simply writing an offer as a sole buyer,” Aaron says. “And it’s a set of strategies we only share with our clients so these methods remain effective for them.”

To find out more about how Aaron and Chris Krausert can help you land the property you want, check out Your Kamloops on Facebook, or email [email protected].

The 2020 Classic Car Raffle revved up and ready to help provide attainable housing

Car raffle returns

Habitat for Humanity Kamloops is getting revved up for its second annual classic car raffle that will help to provide attainable housing for families, as well as seniors and veterans, across all four of their regions in B.C.

This year, a lucky winner will get the keys to a dark cherry red, 1968 Pontiac Beaumont convertible with soft, deep black leather interior — just one of 47 built that year.

This fully restored car is a product of Tappen’s, Mike Hall and his crew at Rust Bros., which is featured on the History Channel’s reality show Rust Valley Restorers.

It’s that kind of support from local businesses, groups and individuals that is helping Habitat Kamloops provide the much-needed assistance in placing seniors, veterans and families in attainable housing.

One project Habitat Kamloops is working on specifically for veterans is in Enderby, B.C., and it will provide 60 housing units.

“We also have a need for about 100 units in Vernon, and Revelstoke is about the same amount,” says Rex Landis, a veteran and Habitat’s procurement and donations coordinator.

“We see this as a much-needed lift for veterans and seniors,” Landis says. “Since John Rose, GM of our ReStore, and Scott Lukianchuk, Habitat’s warehouse and construction manager, and I are all veterans, we know where our veterans and seniors are coming from as well as what a struggle it is to afford decent housing.”

Rose says many veterans depend solely on their small retirement pensions for financial support, which makes housing costs a concern.

“A lot of veterans are dealing with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), which can affect their ability to get hired and supplement their income,” Rose says. “When I tell people about the help Habitat Kamloops can offer, it brings tears to their eyes.”

The opportunity to help make attainable housing a reality for people is what Lukianchuk values.

“I am lucky enough to have a job with a company that is not just about making profits,” he says. “We can actually make a difference in all the communities we serve. The fact that we can help seniors and veterans makes me proud to be a part of Habitat Kamloops.”

Tickets for the 2020 Classic Car Raffle are $25 each and are available online from Habitat Kamloops’ website as well as at the Kamloops Restore. The 2020 draw will be held Dec. 16 at 12:15 p.m. on CFJC’s Midday show.

Landis adds that tickets will likely be sold out quickly, so buyers will need to act fast to ensure they have a chance at the big prize which will be featured in the upcoming new season of Rust Valley Restorers, starting in early December.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity Kamloops, visit online at: habitatkamloops.com.

Catalpa Community sales raise money for Kamloops initiatives

New project helps everyone

A new Kamloops housing development in Brocklehurst is providing more than just a place to call home.

It’s helping to improve Kamloops for everyone.

The 73-unit Catalpa Community, located near the end of Ord Road, is the latest Wings Above Kamloops project, which is dedicated to assisting a variety of local causes. The latest is the creation of a new home for Kamloops Search and Rescue, and SRD (Search, Rescue Detection) K9’s of B.C. at the corner of 8th and Halston, which is the location of the old Soccer Quest and Dirty Jersey Sports Bar.

“What’s incredibly unique about this development is the fact that the developer is hugely philanthropic and community-minded, making a commitment to donate $10,000 from every sale to these very worthwhile groups,” says Realtor Aaron Krausert, who is the exclusive listing agent for Catalpa Community.

The new facilities for Kamloops Search and Rescue will be its regional command centre, and will include training facilities for both search and rescue personnel and the K9 members.

“It will be the new, customized home for search and rescue,” Krausert says. “And with 73 units in Catalpa Community, the financial commitment is significant and extremely generous by the developer.”

The donation comes through the Cooper Family Foundation, which most recently made significant contributions expanding the Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Memorial Hospice Home. The Cooper family formerly owned and operated the Cooper’s Foods chain of grocery stores that was sold to the Overwaitea Food Group in 1999.

“The Cooper Family Foundation has been active in Kamloops for many years and focuses on projects that unbiasedly improve the region for all of us,” Krausert says.

Sales of the single-family detached homes and duplexes at Catalpa Community are scheduled to hit the market by the end of May or early June, with prices purposefully below the median house price in Kamloops, ranging from $399,900 to $459,900.

“There’s nowhere else in Kamloops you can buy a brand new, detached house with a double-car garage, your own fenced yard and high-end finishings like quartz countertops for that price,” Krausert says.

Located at the end of Ord Road near the Ord Road Dog Park, Catalpa Community is close to the River’s Trail along the Thompson River and about one kilometre from Kamloops Golf and Country Club.

The development will uniquely feature a five-kilometre walking path and a spacious amenities area with catalpa trees. Catalpa trees have heart-shaped leaves and are symbolic to the development’s sense of community care.

“It will be the development’s own park, with picnic tables even fitted with charging stations for portable devices. That way, you can work or recreate outside while getting your vitamin D in this extremely sunny western edge of the city,” Krausert says. “With hiking or biking trails, close proximity to the 18-kilometre river’s trail, the golf course, and direct access out of city limits into vast forests and lakes, Catalpa Community has something for everyone. ”

For more information about Catalpa Community, visit online at catalpacommunity.com.

Canada is the country of choice for immigrants. Here's why

It only takes to read the newspaper headlines to know that we live in an unsettled world. There’s Brexit in Great Britain, labour strikes and immigration debates across Europe, and economic challenges in Latin America.

In addition to that, there are the messages about border walls and denied entries coming from the United States. It’s little wonder that Canada is becoming the country of choice for many immigrants.

Canada also announced that it wants to attract 350,000 immigrants a year by 2021. The country was built by immigrants and is firmly committed to the ideal that diversity and its people can make it stronger. However, Canada also needs more skilled workers to reach its full economic potential.

“Canada welcomes everyone regardless of race or religion,” says Rachel Gary, COO of Canada Direct. “The Canadian government wants brilliant minds and skilled workers to come here.”

Now is the time for people who always wanted to move to Canada. “More and more people want to become Canadian citizens,” Gary says. “North America has always had huge appeal to people from around the world, even Europeans. Now, with everything that’s happening in the States, more are turning to Canada.”

People see Canada as a place where they can thrive, live a happy life and meet their own potential.

However, it’s not enough to say that their country of origin is in political or economic turmoil. The Canadian immigration requirements are largely based on people’s desire and ability to contribute to the economy.

“When people come to us asking for information, we make sure they meet proper age and education requirements,” Gary says, explaining how Canada Direct helps their clients through the whole process from the first application to submitting documents for their permanent residency.

“There are things that the Canadian government asks of the potential immigrant. It works on a points system and we help people get the required number of points. For instance, everyone, even if they are native speakers, has to take an English proficiency test. We provide the course and help them prepare. We let them know which documents they need and how to bring them up to Canadian standards. If they are able to apply to multiple programs, we do hybrid applications.”

Do you want to find out if you meet Canada’s eligibility requirements? Canada Direct can help. Click here to start the process of immigrating to Canada today.

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