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By, Carla Hindman,

From wedding showers to engagement parties to wedding ceremonies, the cost of celebrating the couple-to-be can put a strain on your budget during the summer wedding season. According to WeddingBells Canada, weddings are a $5-billion business in Canada, with more than 160,000 weddings taking place every year and 67% of weddings occurring between June and September.

Are weddings also a financial burden for guests? For a few years in my late twenties, it seemed like as soon as summer hit, I was spending every weekend at a wedding, and spending all my dollars while I was at it! Though I loved celebrating with my friends, between travel and gifts, the pressure from all the partying was putting a strain on my bank account. If you’re heading to a few weddings this summer, here are some tips to get you through the season without paying the high cost of love:

Build a budget: Before wedding season, take inventory of upcoming weddings and build a budget based on your current financial situation. Do you have wiggle room for the extra dollars you may need to fork out on expenses beyond the main event? If not, consider making adjustments to your spending habits leading up to wedding season. Need help building a budget? Practical Money Skills has a calculator that can help you build or even rework a budget.

Wedding Attire:  Want to look your best on someone else’s big day? It’ll cost you. RetailMeNot says that Wedding guests spend an average of $325 for wedding attire, with men outspending women (men spend an average of $334). Don’t be afraid to recycle your outfits. For men, simply changing a shirt and tie combo can make for a quick and less costly new look. Women can save by exploring dress rental stores with options that will keep them on trend. Another option is to stick with a classic little black dress, but switch up accessories for a different look. If you really want to wear something new, you can make a little extra cash by selling your old suits and dresses at a consignment shop or online. Also, be on the lookout for buy, trade and sell groups on social media sites – often they have gently used attire that could help you celebrate in style.

Wedding Gifts: Wedding gifts can also take a big slice out of your budget. According to the RetailMeNot survey, 54 per cent of Canadians prefer to give cash. But cash is not always king for your budget. Consider bringing together a group to pitch in for a big-ticket item and don’t forget to look for sales while shopping the gift registry. Giving the newlyweds an experience, like a cooking class or a honeymoon excursion, is also a great idea for a present. Most of all be thoughtful. If your friends have invited you to share their day, hopefully they’ll be more thrilled with your presence than your present!

Travel expenses: Travelling to and from a wedding can be costly. If possible, travel with a group to cut down on fuel and hotel costs. Heading to a destination wedding? A WeddingBells survey estimates that one in four weddings that occur between November and April will be destination weddings. Explore using your rewards or loyalty points on airfare and hotel costs.

Bottom Line: Weddings are expensive, even if you’re not the one walking down the aisle. With planning and budgeting you can enjoy wedding season without breaking the bank.

By, Carla Hindman, Director of Financial Education, Visa Canada

http://www.practicalmoneyskills.ca

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Vancouver:  Khalsa Diwan Society, Vancouver celebrated Vaisakhi festival on Saturday, April 15.  Thousands of people lined on the parade route to see and be part of the celebration.  The Vaisakhi festival went from 9 am to 5 pm with hundreds of people offering free food and gifts.

The Vancouver parade started from the KDS Ross Sikh Temple at 8000 Ross Street in Vancouver at 11 am at the Ross Sikh Temple and proceeded down Marine Drive, up Main, along 49th Avenue, south at Fraser, east along 57th Avenue and then down Ross Street back to the temple.

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Vancouver:  Khalsa Diwan Society, Vancouver celebrated Vaisakhi festival on Saturday, April 15.  Thousands of people lined on the parade route to see and be part of the celebration.  The Vaisakhi festival went from 9 am to 5 pm with hundreds of people offering free food and gifts.

The Vancouver parade started from the KDS Ross Sikh Temple at 8000 Ross Street in Vancouver at 11 am at the Ross Sikh Temple and proceeded down Marine Drive, up Main, along 49th Avenue, south at Fraser, east along 57th Avenue and then down Ross Street back to the temple.

Musician Tara Kye was the first white woman to ride with the Sikh Motorcycle Club in a Vaisakhi parade.CHARLIE SMITH

City councillor Raymond Louie says he supports NDP candidate and former councillor George Chow in Vancouver-Fraserview.
CHARLIE SMITH
There was no shortage of B.C. New Democrats at the parade, including leader John Horgan (third from left).
CHARLIE SMITH
New Democrat candidates David Eby (left) and George Heyman (right) joined MP Don Davies (second from left) and community leader Amarjit Toor for a photo.
CHARLIE SMITH
Chief Adam Palmer, Balbir Sidhu, and Deputy Chief Steve Rai were among tens of thousands in the Vaisakhi parade.
CHARLIE SMITH
It wasn’t just Indian food that was available for free along Southeast Marine Drive.
CHARLIE SMITH

The Khalsa Diwan Society is a pioneer Sikh society formed on July 22nd, 1902 in Canada, America; it was formally established in 1906. In 1908, the Society purchased and built the first Sikh Gurdwara at 1866 West 2nd Avenue, Vancouver British Colombia (BC) in Canada. The Gurdwara was inaugurated on January 19th, 1908. This is believed to the first Sikh Gurdwara in the whole of the American continent. This Gurdwara Sahib served the Greater Vancouver Sikh community until new Gurdwara Sahib was occupied on April 25th, 1970.

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Washington D.C. [USA], April 20 (ANI): A study finds that women aged 60 or more are at higher risk of complications after total hip or knee replacement surgery because they are hypersensitive to metals used in joint implants.

The results suggested that immune sensitisation to implant metals was 49 percent in women, compared to 38 percent of men.

Prior to blood testing, 29 percent of women were in pain after joint replacement and said they had allergic skin reactions to metals, compared to four percent of men.

“These findings may explain, at least in part, the sex disparity in the outcomes of certain TJA [total joint arthroplasty] implant designs,” said lead researcher Nadim J. Hallab and colleagues from Rush University Medical Center, Chicago.

The team analysed 2,613 patients who were evaluated for unexplained joint pain after total hip and/or knee replacement.

All had metal-containing joint replacement components and none had signs of infection, inflammation or other findings that would explain their pain.

The patients were of the average age of 62; 60 percent of the patients were women.

The research appeared in journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Average time since joint replacement was about three years, and in most cases less than two years.

All the patients underwent a blood test–the

Lymphocyte Transformation Test, or LTT–to evaluate immune cell sensitisation to metals.

The LTT can assess whether the patient has developed hypersensitivity to one or more of the metals contained in the implant components, such as cobalt, chromium, or nickel.

The results show a “remarkable and significant” increase in immune cell sensitivity to metals in women compared to men with unexplained pain after total hip or knee replacement.

“This supports both our hypothesis and previous reports that females may have a higher risk of adverse responses to implant metals,” authors concluded. (Ends)

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Baikonur [Kazakhstan], Apr 20 (ANI): Russia’s Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft has been launched to International Space Station (ISS) from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The spacecraft carries two crew members including NASA (U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration) astronaut Jack Fischer and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, reports the Sputnik.

The launch was carried out from the Russian-leased launch facility of Baikonur, carrying 70 kilograms of food products.

The Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft has an upgraded navigation system, new communications system and a modernized docking system. The spacecraft also has a larger solar cell area, which enables it to generate more energy.

The launch of the Soyuz capsule was initially scheduled for March 27 but was postponed to conduct more safety checks.

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Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 20 (ANI): Looks like the former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will soon be seen in the role of Genie in the upcoming live-action remake of Aladdin.

According to Deadline, Will Smith is in early talks to voice Genie in Disney’s live-action ‘Aladdin, reboot from director Guy Ritchie.

It is a part of the studio’s strategy of bringing its classic animated titles to life, and the most recent one was ‘Beauty and the Beast.’

On this note, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ has already grossed over one billion dollar worldwide.

Like ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Aladdin’ will also be a live-action musical and that would fit well with Smith, who is not only an actor but was known to the world for his musical prowess as ‘The Fresh Prince’ rapper before he hit the little or big screen.

The shoot will supposedly start in the United Kindoms in July and wrap by early next year- long, six-month shoot. (ANI)

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Washington D.C. [USA], Apr 20 (ANI): Julia Roberts is 2017’s Most Beautiful Woman of the World, according to PEOPLE magazine.

It’s been 26 years since the ‘Pretty Woman’ star was first on the cover of the magazine’s ‘World’s Most Beautiful’ issue. Now for the fifth time in record, she is ruling the issue.

“I am very flattered,” she reacted, adding, “I think I’m currently peaking.”

On a related note, ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S’ fame Jennifer Aniston was last year’s most beautiful woman for the magazine.

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VANCOUVER – Visitors will soon have more camping opportunities throughout British Columbia with the completion of more than 350 new campsites in BC Parks and forestry recreation sites, in time for the upcoming camping season.

“Camping is an important way of life for Canadians to connect with family and friends. People come to experience British Columbia’s outdoors, to enjoy our world-class scenery and to camp in our provincial campground facilities. This campsite expansion allows us to address the increasing local regional demand for overnight access to the outdoors, while building a first class experience for our visitors.” says Joss Penny, chair, Camping and RVing BC Coalition.

This is the first phase of the 1,900 new campsites announced by Premier Christy Clark in November 2016 as part of the BC Parks Future Strategy, the Province’s commitment to public recreation opportunities. Campsite expansion is occurring in all regions of the province, and the majority will be where demand is greatest – in the Kootenays, Okanagan, the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

“We’re pleased these new campsites will be open for the upcoming camping season, and these are only the first phase of campsites to come. We know people are passionate about BC Parks, and that demand for camping opportunities is high. This campsite expansion will help provide more camping opportunities where demand is greatest, which will improve the overall visitor experience, and help to support a strong and secure parks system for future generations,” Mary Polak, Minister of Environment.

“These investments will increase the number of camping opportunities in B.C. to help meet the growing demand. By offering recreation sites, we’re able to provide a range of camping experiences,” says Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations .

 

Quick Facts:

 

* B.C.’s provincial parks receive more than 21 million visits each year.

* Parking is free in all provincial parks, making them more accessible to families.

* BC Parks manages the third-largest parks system in North America behind the United States National Park Service and Parks Canada.

* British Columbia has the highest percentage of its land base dedicated to protected areas of all provincial Canadian jurisdictions.

* B.C. offers a range of camping experiences in provincial parks as well as recreation sites.

* Over the past five years, the Province has invested approximately $60 million in park facilities, delivering projects directed at attracting young families, offering new recreation opportunities and increasing attendance.

 The new campsites, which will be available for the 2017 camping season, are:

* Blanket Creek Provincial Park near Revelstoke – 58 sites

* Halfway Hot Springs Rec Site near Nakusp – 20 sites

* Six Mile Bay Rec Site near Mackenzie – 20 sites

* Okanagan Lake South Provincial Park near Summerland  – eight sites

* Badger Lake Rec Site near Heffley – 30 sites

* Scuitto Rec Site near Kamloops – 17 sites

* Garibaldi Provincial Park near Squamish – 20 sites

* Chek Canyon Rec Site near Squamish – 32  sites

* Stave West -Sayres Lake Rec Site near Mission – 60 sites (Phase 1)

* Desolation Sound Provincial Park  near Powell River – 34 sites

* Rathtrevor Provincial Park near Parksville – 30  sites (Phase 1)

* Goldstream Provincial Park near Victoria – four sites

* Pye Mountain Rec Site  near Sayward – 20 sites

* Maple Grove Rec Site near Lake Cowichan – 22 sites

The new campsites are a mix of BC Parks and forestry recreation sites which supports maintaining a range of camping opportunities (rustic and less rustic) in the highest demand areas.

The construction of BC Parks campsites also includes associated infrastructure, such as roads, water and sewer expansion, electrical upgrades, outhouse facilities and shower and toilet buildings. New campground developments also incorporate accessible design standards.

The recreation site expansion will include associated roads, campsites with picnic tables and fire rings, signage and outhouse facilities.

The majority of the new BC Parks campsites will be available for reservation via the Discover Camping Reservation Service. To reserve your spot, please visit: https://secure.camis.com/DiscoverCamping/Home.aspx

Recreation sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

As part of the BC Parks Future Strategy, the Province is investing up to $22.9 million to add more than 1,900 new campsites over five years. More than 800 of the new sites will be in provincial parks, while more than 1,000 will be in recreation sites.

Additional campsites will be announced as expansion continues.

The Province also recently announced a new investment of $35 million over the next three years, as part of the BC Parks Future Strategy. The funding will result in 28 more full-time park rangers, new programs to promote and protect the environment, and $10 million as an initial endowment to the new BC Parks Foundation. This increased budget is also part of the BC Parks Future Strategy.

To date, more than 11,000 BC Parks licence plates have been sold since the plates became available for purchase at Autoplan broker offices on Jan. 29, 2017.  The Province introduced this series of specialty licence plates – featuring images of a Kermode bear found only in British Columbia, the snowcapped Purcell Mountains, and a stunning view from Porteau Cove overlooking Howe Sound – in partnership with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). Approximately $165,000 will go toward the Park Enhancement Fund as a result of the plate sales.

 

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VICTORIA – Government is providing school districts with a total of $95 million to help them extend the life of their facilities, put new supplies in classrooms and buy new school buses.

Every school district in the province will receive a portion of this funding, which is being allocated through four provincial programs.

Under the School Enhancement Program, all school districts will receive a portion of this year’s $53-million investment, supporting 223 school improvement projects. This program helps school districts extend the life of their facilities through of a variety of upgrade projects.

“Through this suite of programs, we’re investing $95 million so that every school district can ensure students have the learning environment and tools they need to succeed, says Mike Bernier, Minister of Education.

“These capital investments will help school districts save money, protect their assets and support student learning. I encourage every district to continue to take advantage of these programs to support their students and schools.”

“I can’t wait to hear what exciting new learning resources will be coming to B.C. classrooms for next school year as a result of the new Student Learning Grant. Districts will be talking to teachers and parents to determine how they can best use the one-time funding to help bring the new curriculum to life and cut costs for families throughout the province.”

Every school district will also receive a portion of $27.4 million from the new Student Learning Grant, which was announced in February. Districts will use the funding to purchase classroom equipment and supplies such as textbooks, lab equipment and art supplies. Districts will begin back-to-school planning with parents and teachers now to determine how best to use the one-time funding to reduce costs for parents and help teachers deliver B.C.’s new curriculum.

Fifteen school districts will become more energy efficient with a $5-million investment under the Carbon Neutral Capital Program.  School districts will use the money to fund projects that cut greenhouse gas emissions. These upgrades benefit schools by saving them money on electricity, natural gas and maintenance. Schools can put the money they save back into classrooms.

Students in 25 school districts will benefit from 71 new and replacement buses with a $9.4-million investment under the School Bus Replacement Program. The new buses will make traveling to school safer and more reliable for students.

As a result of B.C.’s strong economy and balanced budget, the Government of British Columbia is able to support record funding increases for students and B.C.’s education system. Budget 2017 commits an additional $740 million in operating funds over the next three years. Combined with $400 million in previously announced budget increases, this means an additional $1.1 billion in funding will benefit the K-12 system over the next three years. In addition, Budget 2017 supports $2 billion in capital spending to upgrade or build new schools over the next three years.

 

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Opinion Editorial from John Horgan Leader of NDP

People want to spend their time with their friends and family, not sitting stuck in traffic for hours every day.

That’s why I welcome the announcement from the federal government that Ottawa is ready to come to the table to fund transit. Unfortunately, Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals are still refusing to be full partners in building transit. I have committed to funding 40 per cent of the cost of transit construction to unlock federal funding and get people moving. Christy Clark has refused to do the same.

New Democrats are ready to get busy building transit and creating jobs. Right away. While Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals keep stalling people in traffic, I’m ready to get shovels in the ground.

It just doesn’t make sense to delay. Not when we can create more than 40,000 new jobs, reduce traffic congestion and help people save time and money getting around the city.

I want to see people have more time to spend with their kids, with their friends, and watching the game, rather than being stuck in gridlock for hours every day. People have better things to do than idle in exhaust fumes while Christy Clark takes a private jet to work.

People don’t have time to wait. Costs rise for all of us every minute we do nothing. Traffic congestion costs us an average of one billion dollars every year in environmental costs, lost time, lost productivity, and goods being stuck in gridlock instead of getting to market. That will only rise over time.

Whether you drive or take transit, we need this infrastructure built – not more talk. We need to make it easier for people to get around and free up space on our streets by moving people more efficiently. We need buses and trains for Surrey and the Tri-Cities. We need to get goods moving. And we can create jobs while doing it.

Christy Clark can’t just keep telling the Metro mayors and commuters to “suck it up” as her minister Peter Fassbender did last fall. She can’t keep wasting people’s time with gimmicky referendums.

I’m all in on a partnership with Ottawa and the Metro region mayors to get this done for people.

It’s the right thing to do for our economy, for commuters, and for the fight against climate change.

Christy Clark only cares about her rich friends and corporate backers. They may not need transit, but ordinary people do.

Unlike Christy Clark, I’m working for ordinary people. I want to create good family-supporting jobs building the transit infrastructure we need. I want to get people moving so they can spend more time on the things that matter – like their friends and families – and less time stuck in traffic.

People have been stuck with Christy Clark for too long. It’s time to get people moving.