Text 1: By bike for a cleaner city
This weekend is the 19th edition of the bike festival! The opportunity to remember that cycling is good for your health, good for the environment … and rather fast, over short distances!
Whether for leisure, for sport or for commuting, in the city or in the countryside, at all ages, from all walks of life and from all origins, riding a bicycle.
Fast, cheap, non-polluting and good for your health, cycling has many qualities. Over distances of less than 6 km, it performs very well in the city and develops there in a spectacular way. Economical to buy, it is also to use. It does not take up much space and requires modest public or collective investment: cycle paths , cycle rooms in buildings, cycle parking.
In all major cities, there are self-service bicycle stations, often linked to public transport or car parks. The development or creation of specific urban roads for cycling is becoming widespread, as well as the development of areas dedicated to parking bicycles in town and secure bicycle parking lots near stations.
For more safety between all users (car, bicycle, pedestrians, etc.), there is a
highway code . You can consult it and find advice on how to apply it properly on the road safety website. Video 1: In town without my car in Montreal
Script 2: Home Cooking Classes
Caroline, reader of the women's newspaper and passionate about gastronomy, was offered a cooking class at home by her husband. She comes back with us on her evening, with small onions.
“My name is Caroline, I'm 43, I have three children and I work a lot, like many mums! I love cooking and entertaining friends at home, but very often, too often the lack of time prevails and we end up at the restaurant. Thanks to my husband, I finally found a more user-friendly , cheaper solution that allows us to stay with our children at home, while optimizing my time and allowing me to devote myself to cooking. For my birthday he offered me cooking coaching with shopping included. On Saturday afternoon around 5 p.m., the coach rings the doorbell, he arrives with all the ingredients for my favorite recipes! Without wasting time and quickly recovering from such a surprise, we go to the kitchen and unpack the bags. recipe book tells us all the steps to follow to prepare the meal quickly and well. The coaching was very friendly… it was really like cooking with a friend, except that the friend gave me lots of advice on how to cut the vegetables, season at the right time, have the right cooking, prepare the plates . We started with an appetizer : a Pumpkin Cappuccino, with all the coach's tips for cutting pumpkin and onions like a chef, plus tips for making a success with your savory whipped cream. As a starter, we prepared a salad of lentils with salmon, crumble style, these are flavors that go together very well and are pleasantly surprising. After the salad, we embarked on the preparation of a Parmentier of cod with red pesto, with perfect cooking, it makes all the difference when cooking fish. For the fruit gratin for the dessert, again the dressing and presentation made the difference. I insist on this last point, in fact there is always something to learn with a chef at home… You can be good cooks but useless in preparing and presenting the dishes, or on the contrary not very good cooks and very creative in terms of presentation, but here we are with a cooking coach, we are like pros!”
Source: The Women's Journal, 2011
Video 2: Home cooking workshop in Paris
Text 3: Dinner at a restaurant in the dark
The curtain falls, darkness envelops us. From now on, we are at the total mercy of our server.
With ease and delicacy, Dominique guides us, each placing his hand on the shoulder of the person in front. Once arrived at our table, he makes us touch his contours, as well as our chairs. Here we are, it's not more complicated than that. Look around… definitely, it's really dark. A somewhat delinquent table sometimes spoils the pleasure by turning on a cell phone, the time to visualize the plates. This should no longer occur when lockers are installed at the entrance to safely store any possible light source. Because living the experience of eating in the dark is also accepting to let go for a moment, and to share (a little) the reality of blind people. The server becomes a benchmark to meet all our needs, including that of going to the toilet. Rest assured, when the bathroom door closes on us, a little light comes on!
The service is done gently, in a respectful proximity. Hands touch when passing glasses and dishes. At all times, Dominique remembers what is already on the table, and makes sure that nothing is spilled when he puts down a dish .
The service is well thought out: large rectangular plates with a rim, and containing three verrines, which avoids the mixing of dishes. The menu, which is a surprise, includes three courses of three very different dishes, both in taste and aroma and in texture. “We're going back to basics,” explained chef Simon Martel before the meal, who, despite his 19 years, already displays superb ease in culinary creation.
It is strongly recommended to wash your hands before entering the room, because the fingers will necessarily be put to use at different times, despite the use of utensils. If only to “see” if there is anything left on the plate… Each of the operations specific to a restaurant has been designed for the benefit of blind waiters. When we arrive, we receive a magnetic card which is like our personal order book. If, for example, a drink is added during the meal, the waiter takes the card away and registers the addition. At the exit, the card is read to prepare the invoice.
The menu, which will change once a season, is made from fresh or local produce. Nothing unfamiliar, but tasty and surprising preparations. And delicious, should we say. It is only when you leave that you receive a written copy. Guaranteed surprises!
As for the price, it is $38 for the non-alcoholic meal, and $55 for a wine and food pairing. A special rate of $15 is established for children, but it is worth pointing out that the experience requires a certain maturity to be appreciated.
Reservations must be , and the formula is pre-established: arrival around 6 p.m., welcome in the lighted part of the restaurant (there is a bar), explanation of the concept, presentation of the meal by chef Simon Martel, who gives “aromatic hints” , and entry into the room around 7 p.m. Restaurant staff will inquire at the time of booking of any food intolerances or allergies.
Source: Le Soleil, Quebec
Videos 3: Restaurant in the dark
Text 4: Solar panels on the roof of the White House
The administration of US President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that it intended to install solar panels in the White House to encourage Americans to adopt this mode of energy production at home. During a conference, the Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, indicated that two panels would be installed on the residence of the American presidents to show to the fellow citizens of Mr. Obama that this renewable energy works and is reliable. In his time, Democratic President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) had already installed solar panels in the White House. However, they had not resisted his Republican successor Ronald Reagan who had asked for them to be withdrawn.
"This project reflects President Obama's strong commitment to put the United States in the lead in solar power (development)," said Chu, who also said the Department of Energy will launch a call for tenders to determine which company will win the contract. Barack Obama has made the development of renewable energies one of the priorities of his mandate, in January he announced that the United States wanted to have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 28% by 2020, compared to current levels.
Hours after the announcement, US Home Affairs Secretary Ken Salazar said his department had approved two solar power plant in the Southern California desert. The federal authorities had frozen in 2008 these projects of the Tessera and Chevron companies, the time to assess their environmental impact, in particular on a rare species of lizard. The two companies have promised to set up programs to preserve wildlife. The two plants "will use innovative technologies developed by American companies and both will provide jobs and energy to the economy of the country", underlined Mr. Salazar during a conference call. He added that other projects would be approved soon.
Source: La Presse, September 2010
Video 4: Installation of solar panels in a private home
Text 5: Traveling while sleeping on a sofa
Couchsurfing or “couch surfing” allows you to travel around the world by staying for free with locals. The counterpart: also welcoming travelers on your sofa.
What is couchsurfing?
The concept was born in 2004 when a young American, Casey Fenton, decided to go on vacation to Iceland. Without housing, he sends emails to Icelanders asking for accommodation . His audacity paid off and he decided to create a platform to help travelers find free accommodation. But beyond the financial aspect, couchsurfing is a philosophy based around the values of solidarity and the sharing of cultures. Today, couchsurfing has more than 600,000 members in more than 231 countries. To benefit from the advantages of couchsurfing, you must register on specialized sites. To join, personal data such as surname, first name, age, location and email address must be entered in the registration form. The registration is complete, you are immediately a member of the community: you can leave the next day for the Caribbean if you find an available couchsurfer.
The contract is as follows: by registering on the site, you access the emails of all the members to ask them to host you for one night or more. In return, you also agree to welcome other members. Rest assured, you have no obligation. You start by corresponding by e-mail: if the current passes and that the dates coincide, you can agree to receive for one or two nights the Portuguese woman with whom you have corresponded for a week. As for you, you may fly to Brazil the following week. Very clearly, couchsurfing is not intended as long-term accommodation. The duration of stays rarely exceeds 3 nights. Don't forget that your free pension depends only on the hospitality of the member… It's a means of troubleshooting because you will certainly have to sleep on a couch. But it is above all an opportunity to discover a culture and meet exceptional people.
Welcoming a stranger into your home can scare you, which is why to avoid any unpleasant surprises, couchsurfing sites have set up a member evaluation system. Whenever you 're staying with someone or hosting them, you can make a comment about the host. Couchsurfing.com has posted a guide for women traveling alone .
– Be sure to read ALL comments about members even if there are a lot of them. If possible, prefer to stay with a woman or a family rather than a single man.
– Do not divulge your email address. On the site, there are options to control who can access your personal information.
– When you couch surf, always have a plan B . Leave with the address or the telephone number of a hotel.
– Do not hesitate to leave your host if you feel uncomfortable. Don't be afraid to offend him, your safety comes first!
If couchsurfing really scares you too much or you want to go as a family, another solution is available to you: home swapping. The principle is simple: while your guests are enjoying your house or apartment, you are spending your holidays with them. Thanks to the proliferation of specialized websites, it is now possible to go to the four corners of the world thanks to the exchange of domicile. Websites (often paying) serve as intermediaries between individuals. Once you have contacted the person with whom you want to exchange the house, multiply the exchanges by email to be prepared for your arrival. Moreover, people who practice house swapping often maintain cordial relations. Each leaves tourist guides, recommendations and instructions for use of the washing machine available to its guests. If you have valuables, avoid leaving them at home.
Source: Current Woman, June 2009
Video 5: Couchsurfing-report
Text 6: Swap your house
Home exchange is attracting more and more people who want to save money without depriving themselves of the pleasure of going on vacation. On average, the exchange of house allows savings of more than 50%. According to Lonely Planet, some 250,000 exchanges take place worldwide each year.
The principle is simple: the “exchangers” of houses register on a specialized site (paying) by detailing their accommodation. Then, they are free to contact each other to negotiate the terms of exchange. The website does not intervene in the exchange process. The only guarantee often offered by the site is the reimbursement of registration fees if no exchange has taken place during the year.
House swapping has existed since the 1950s in the United States and has been developing in France for a few years. All social and professional profiles let themselves be won over by this new way of vacationing, from the family with children, to singles and a group of friends. Everyone is benefiting. Beyond the convenience, home swapping is a way to connect with people all over the world.
For example, in addition to leaving their house, landlords often leave a list of good addresses and visit in the area at the tenants' address. Families appreciate having toys for the children at their disposal, and singles appreciate having a DVD player or sometimes even a swimming pool available.
The only precautions to take to exchange your house are related to insurance. Home insurance should cover damage caused by a third party . If the “barters” have also carried out an exchange of vehicle, it must be ensured that the car insurance also covers damage and accidents caused by a third party. From a practical point of view, remember to make room for your guests to sit comfortably
Video 6: How to .change your house
Text 7: Come to my house, I live in a container
An De Ridder is 26 years old and has plenty of enthusiasm. This young Fleming broke ties with her country to study history and Europe in Amsterdam. And she lives, like thousands of her peers, in a new type of accommodation, which the Netherlands has no shame in exhibiting: the container .
Houthaven (“the timber port”) is a semi-residential district of Amsterdam located ten minutes from the central station. If he is not careful, the passer-by will not even notice this construction on three floors which includes 700 apartments. If he turns his head, he will wonder if it is a school complex or a penal center that has been erected there. If he engages in one of the lanes of the “village” at the edge of the water, he will come across a square of grass which acts as a central square and parking lot for the large bicycles of the hundreds of occupants .
Astonished by the number of mailboxes and doorbells at the entrance of each unit, the visitor will finally understand what the local real estate consists of: a stack of boxes with a single window, each surrounded by a plastic shell and surmounted by a metal roof. An De Ridder's container studio is 23 m2 including bathroom. She feels good there. She put her bed, her books and her trinkets there. Here, she especially appreciates her independence, the proximity to the city center and the fact of no longer having to share the kitchen and the shower. Before, she paid 400 euros for a tiny 8 m2 room in the city. Today, she pays 385 euros per month for her container.
Faced with a very strong shortage , housing managers imagined this solution a few years ago. In 2003, the situation had become untenable in several cities in the Netherlands, and especially in Amsterdam, which includes two of the four largest universities in the kingdom. The bad mood rose and prices panicked as the number of students enrolled in universities and colleges increased (by 3% to 4% per year, on average).
The “housing corporations” have therefore imagined using the container formula. The initial formula, that of real maritime containers summarily fitted out , as seen in other parts of the country, has been improved. Acoustics , insulation , foundations have been reinforced. And a third generation of containers is being born: assembled in China and fully equipped on site, they will even include curtains, supposed to reinforce the illusion of “normal” housing and erase the reputation of containers. Many Dutch people have called them “last chance houses”. Because, at the beginning, the authorities had imagined that they would shelter for some time people suffering from mental disorders or dependent on drugs, even illegals...
Today, the statistics show that young Dutch people are studying longer and longer, that young people of foreign origin are flocking en masse to higher education and that foreign students (Germans, Chinese and Belgians, in order) are more and more seduced by a quality education, delivered for the most part in English. Also, the housing deficit is likely to persist. “Until 2020”, announces the company Duwo, also active in the container housing sector.
Conceived as temporary, the container formula therefore evolves towards what Wim De Waard calls, with a smile, the “permanent temporary”. The boxes, initially designed to last five years, will undoubtedly see their lifespan double. And the “villages”, supposed to be dismantled to make way for permanent constructions , should also last longer than expected. The crisis has dampened the ardor of promoters and the cost of moving cities is now more taken into account.
Like others, like her companion who lives in a similar studio, An De Ridder only wonders, with a touch of skepticism, where she will settle once her studies are finished: in Amsterdam, it sometimes takes up to fifteen years to land an affordable apartment in the center of town.
Source: Le Monde, January 2010
Video 7: Building your container house
Text 8: Segway tours
Proposed by the Tourist Office, here is an original way to discover the vineyards without fatigue and in complete safety.
On Thursday, departing from the cellar, a group led by Jérôme, instructor-guide, set off through the countryside using the Segway , a self-stabilizing single-seater electric vehicle with two parallel wheels.
Its operation is based on an exclusive system of gyroscopes and very sophisticated sensors, which ensures balance , both stationary and in motion, without the user having to worry about it.
Modeled on the mechanism of walking, the Segway reacts instantly to the inclination of the body. Lean forward to move forward and backward to slow down ... And to steer, just turn the handlebars, a unique operating principle that guarantees astonishing safety and exceptional manoeuvrability.
Two circuits to choose from are offered, lasting one or two hours, accessible to adults and children from 12 years old and 45 kg, with safety elements (helmet), in order to take full advantage of nature in a different way, observe the fauna and flora and breathe clean air, all without any noise pollution and in total respect for the environment, with zero CO² emissions.
Outings set at the dates and times desired by the visitor, depending on the availability of the service provider. Book a week in advance if possible. Rates vary according to season.
Source: lejsl.com, August 2008
Video 8: Visit of Tournai by Segway
Text 9: Clinical trials: volunteers wanted
Are the classifieds attractive? Several hundred dollars donated to volunteers . But not all side effects are predictable and participation in clinical trials has its limits. “A volunteer cannot participate in more than five or six studies per year. There are regulatory criteria to be met,” explains Marc Lefebvre, vice-president of scientific affairs at Algorithme Pharma, the largest private Quebec company specializing in research for the pharmaceutical industry.
Each year, the firm conducts some 200 clinical studies and welcomes approximately 6,000 participants to its facilities. “Contrary to what one might think, the majority of people only participate in one or two studies and only 10% of subjects will participate in more than two studies per year,” he adds.
After the preclinical research phases, any new drug must be tested on humans. Nearly a thousand phase 1 clinical trials, on healthy subjects, are underway in Canada. The generic drug study groups have about 30 volunteers. More at risk, the groups of subjects to whom new drugs are administered are restricted to less than ten people.
“It is very important to restrict these groups for security reasons. We first administer the lowest possible dose
Algorithme Pharma has 230 beds in Montreal and PharmaNet has 350 beds in its facilities in Montreal and Quebec.
"Contrary to phase 2 and 3 trials, for which the patients obtain a medical benefit, the healthy volunteer does not derive any direct benefit", explains Mario Tanguay. For a stay lasting 24 to 48 hours, a volunteer will therefore be entitled to financial compensation varying between $800 and $1,200. But any volunteer should expect to observe some side effects such as nausea, headaches and dizziness. Others are less predictable. “I've worked here for 16 years and we've never had to stop an ongoing study. From time to time major effects such as large voltage drops are observed. But we only had one case of convulsion”, emphasizes Marc Lefebvre of Algorithme Pharma.
The creation of a new drug costs on average 1.5 billion US, according to Alain Boisvert, vice-president market access at Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada. A process that can take 10 to 12 years before it is marketed.
In 2010, BMS, a company dedicated to the research and development of pharmaceutical treatments, invested $28.6 million in research in Quebec alone, or more than half of its total investments in Canada in pre-clinical and clinical studies. “Quebec offers excellent research centers and attractive tax incentives,” maintains Alain Boisvert. “On the other hand, the big challenge for the pharmaceutical industry is to provide access to drugs to the population,” he adds. Canada is one of the most restrictive countries in terms of market access,” he said. More than 50% of new drugs would not be reimbursed by public insurance schemes.
Source: La Presse, March 2011
Video 9: Testimony of a drug tester
Text 10: Benoît Robert, President of Communauto – Both hands on the wheel
Well installed at the wheel of a complex machine that he himself has been patiently building for 15 years, Benoît Robert, President of Communauto, is about to shift into third gear to reach, over the next few years, the objective he had in mind from the beginning, which is to reach a mass clientele. "We are aiming for 400,000 users in Quebec," he said, without specifying how long it will take to get there, "because it depends on several factors." Communauto now has 21,000 users, 1,100 cars, and had sales of $13.3 million in 2009. That's not bad for someone who in 1994 was just a young student embarking on a search for information for the purposes of a master's thesis in land use planning and regional development at Laval University.
The subject of his thesis was on the environmental impact of car sharing in North America. The model already existed in Europe, but not in America. "I never thought about starting a business at all," he says. Following a trip to Europe to see in practice how this model worked, he wanted to return to Quebec to set up a car-sharing service to be able to analyze it.
The man who had first obtained a baccalaureate at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) in biology to feed his passion for ecology, then did a year at McGill in agronomy, said to himself in 1990 that car sharing could be a solution to reduce the negative impact of too many cars on city streets.
To flesh out his thesis work, he therefore had to launch himself into the car-sharing service and found a small company, in this case a cooperative, at the suggestion of an official from the Ministry of Transport where he was doing an internship. A market study on the concept of car sharing with a well-targeted clientele in the Faubourg Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Quebec City then made it possible to find the first customers wishing to pay a deposit of $50 on a membership fee of $500 to this coop, called Auto-Com, which was then able to obtain financing from the Caisse d'économie solidaire Desjardins and a guaranteed loan from a fund to help young entrepreneurs.
Two new Pontiacs and one used car were purchased. Mr. Robert specifies that he worked on a voluntary basis and that he even put money into the business by drawing on his loans and bursaries. “I was the one working in there all the time. Some found that I was taking up too much space in the coop and that created tensions. In 1997, by a large majority, the members decided to end the coop, which turned into a private company, of which Mr. Robert is still the sole shareholder today.
Anyway, at the end of 1995, the company had 197 members, 23 cars and opened Communauto in Montreal. The following year, it had 447 users and 34 cars. “We have doubled the number of users every three years”, underlines the president, but in 2009, the economic crisis limited growth to 18%. “Our cycles follow auto sales cycles perfectly. Our customers arrive when their car lets them go,” he notes.
He recognizes that there is a paradox in this progression, since Communauto is closely linked to the automotive world. "It's spawning with the devil, but there's a legitimacy behind that," he hastens to add. He is also reassured by the thought that he has been able to rally support from CAA as well as from Greenpeace and from the late Claire Morissette, a bike path activist in Montreal who was a precious collaborator “to break down barriers” .
“Personally, explains Benoît Robert, the vision that has always driven me in the process, over all these years, has been to make this formula a service for mass consumption and not a service limited to a few marginal niches. This is the only way to make car sharing play a significant role in terms of environmental benefits and influencing urban development.”
The strategy adopted to move towards mass consumption has taken on an increasingly concrete appearance over time. Communauto has established partnerships to promote the “DUO auto+bus” with all the public transport companies in its territory, except for one, that of Longueuil, with which talks are going well. Those of Montreal, the metropolitan area, Laval, Quebec, Lévis, Sherbrooke and the Outaouais are Communauto partners, but there are also Taxicoop Quebec, Via Rail and several car rental companies. In all these cases, they are "variable geometry" agreements.
Pragmatism is part of the culture of this company, born from the dream of an ecologist. For example, car rental companies receive, according to negotiated rates, the overflow of customers who come to Communauto during peak periods. Taxicoop Québec, for its part, concluded a pairing between the use of a taxi and the rental of a car by offering taxi coupons from the account of Communauto users, whose vehicles are available in self-service for half a hour, one hour, several hours, a day or longer. There are various pricing terms, including a $500 membership fee, refundable after one year, or an annual fee of $37 to $360 depending on the package chosen. There is also a rate per kilometer which does not exist for those who have paid the membership fee and which can vary from 11 to 37¢, depending on the packages. “The mode of pricing determines the nature of car sharing. In our case, large volumes are needed to make the company profitable,” explains the president.
The company recently pledged to add 50 all-electric Nissan Leaf cars to its fleet starting next year. The memorandum of understanding involves the Quebec government, Hydro-Quebec, the cities of Montreal and Quebec, as well as the Energy Efficiency Agency. Car sharing is an excellent platform for experimenting with vehicles offering reduced energy autonomy.
Until now, the cars acquired have been Toyotas, first Tercels, then Echos and Yaris. “We needed durable cars, but now we want to diversify a bit,” says Robert. Communauto keeps its cars for six years and sells them when they have 200,000 km. Subcontractors take care of mechanical and computer maintenance, which is important at Communauto since all the cars are equipped with an on-board computer, which allows the customer to use a magnetic card and not a key to have access to a car. This system is also a control tool for the customer and the fleet. In addition, half of the vehicles are equipped with a GPS.
As proximity is an important element in this organization, there are 315 stations where you can find a car. Some stations may only offer three or four.
Communauto's ratio is 20 users per car. About 65% of trips are made on journeys of less than 50 km and nearly 80% of trips do not exceed 10 hours between the outward and return journeys. On average, there are 50,000 transactions recorded at Communauto per month.
A survey carried out in 2004 showed that 33% of users used this service for leisure purposes and for their holidays, followed by 25% who used this means of transport to go shopping. Women made up nearly 58% of the clientele. The average age of users was between 31 and 40 years old for 30.5% of them; 25.6% were between 41 and 50 years old. Finally, 73% of the members were academics and for more than 36% the income was between $25,000 and $45,000, while 29% declared income between $45,000 and $70,000.
This year, Mr. Robert is embarking on another rather revolutionary step by “broadening the range of means available to tend towards a rationalization of the use of the automobile”. This is the PEP component (loans between people). This formula will offer car owners the possibility of renting their vehicle to other people. This service will allow Communauto to reduce its investments in the purchase of vehicles (it will have purchased 240 cars this year). The pilot phase for this project is scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year. The owner who rents his car would be entitled to an income of $20 per day and 10¢ per kilometre. A rental of two days per month would bring in $3000 per year.
Communauto currently holds almost 100% of the car-sharing market in Quebec and 50% of the Canadian market. In this field, this company is a pioneer and a model in North America.
Mr. Robert is still considering ensuring the sustainability of the company by seeking a formula that would open up the share capital to investors who want to preserve the ecological mission, but also attract other investors who would like a return on their actions.
He formed an advisory committee, which includes people with complementary skills, including Claude Béland, the former president of the Mouvement Desjardins. When will this capital opening take place? “I try to invent the formula. The opening of the capital will take place when I have found the formula”, he answers. Video 10: A car-sharing service in Quebec
Text 11: How to devote your holidays to Voluntourism
Would you like to experience humanitarian aid abroad, but you only have a few weeks of vacation? The adventure of "voluntourism" is still possible... If you cannot afford to take unpaid leave to participate in an international cooperation , there are programs that allow travelers to leave for short periods. Faced with the multitude of programs offered, the future volunteer may nevertheless wonder whether it is better to leave with an organization or on his own.
Year after year, “voluntourism” (which combines volunteering and tourism) seems to be a growing trend, and there are more requests than offers. Many NGO programs are aimed at people who are ready to invest for several months or even a year. In Canada, Uniterra's Solidarity Leave, co-funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), is a program that allows employees of partner companies to participate in a humanitarian project in developing countries for the duration of their vacation. Programs last an average of three weeks. The program costs, which are around $6,000, are borne by the participating companies and not by the volunteers.
In general, short-term programs often go through private employment agencies. Some are non-profit while others are businesses. These agencies charge program fees that can run into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. "I don't think private agencies are a bad thing per se," said Shannon O'Donnell, a 29-year-old American speaker who has been involved in voluntourism since 2009. volunteer experience once there by doing my own research, she says. Many prefer to do business with an organization that will take care of all the bureaucracy and that already has contacts with the host country. Even if this management has a cost.
These costs can vary considerably. For example, i-to-i, a major British private agency, enables participation in the Riverkids programme, a Cambodian community project helping street children. The program fees are $1079 for a duration of two weeks. On the other hand, it is possible to participate in the project independently at a lower cost by contacting Riverkids directly. “We don't charge any fees for volunteering,” says Florence Chea, Project Manager and Head of Volunteers at Riverkids in Phnom Penh. Participants are responsible for their own expenses and for covering the costs of activities they organize that are not in our budget. By being conscientious, it is possible to live in Phnom Penh for around $500 a month.”
Travel alone or with an agency ?
Transportation and accommodation
With an agency: transport, accommodation and meals generally included in the program fees.
Autonomous traveler: the volunteer must find accommodation and travel by their own means. No meals included unless agreed with the organization on site.
With an agency: predetermined duration. Several agencies offer short-term programs that allow you to leave for two weeks.
Autonomous traveler: the durations are flexible and are often adapted to the wishes of the volunteer.
Getting in touch
With an agency: access to resource people on site and in Canada (or elsewhere). Procedure provided in the event of a problem.
Independent traveler: once there, some organizations have limited means of communication. It is the volunteer's responsibility to check the level of assistance if needed.
With an agency: organized projects are structured in such a way as to ensure a rotation of dozens of volunteers who take over in a given project. It can be difficult to see the impact of his involvement.
Independent traveler: for short-term projects, the individual impact remains limited. On the other hand, by staying longer, the traveler can better measure the results of his commitment.
With an agency: a good part of the program fee is used to support an administrative structure.
Autonomous traveler: by doing business with a project directly, we avoid financing intermediaries
With an agency: much higher costs, because the volunteer pays for all the logistics and to have access to resource people.
Self-guided traveler: many organizations do not require any on-site attendance fees.
With an agency: practical for the volunteer who only has a few weeks to leave.
Autonomous Traveler: The volunteer generally has more control over all aspects of their experience.
With an agency: more expensive and sometimes very (too?) supervised.
Autonomous traveler: requires much more organization to find a suitable project. It can be difficult to do this without contact in the host country or knowledge of the language.
Source: La Presse, 2014
Video 11: Volunteering or tourism? Belgian television survey
Script 12: Within reach of barter
Remember those “we schaaaaange” playgrounds? The tilted head, the flirtatious look... a dream within reach, do you think! This is how you got your comrades to slip your feet into the coveted pair of shoes, to wear that irresistible bar of chocolate until you taste it, or even to bite into that banished delicacy at home. In exchange, we conceded to get rid of an object, an accessory, one of our treasures. Internet has not forgotten these satisfactions of yesteryear and hosts sites whose vocation is to offer the barter of products, goods and services without money. This exchange system is "an alternative way, in times of economic crisis, to consume without undermining one's purchasing power, to control one's consumption and therefore save money", as well as to "respect the ecological idea of not -waste by reviving a product condemned to be stored or destroyed”.
Everything is coveted. Everything is traded (or almost). Behind our computer, tablet or smartphone screens, it is no longer necessary to wink at the owner of an object or service that we would like to make our own. It is now enough to click, without even sometimes talking .
I OFFER, I SEARCH, I TRADE
In recent years, websites, shops and stores invite people to no longer buy DVDs, CDs, video games, books, toys, software, clothes, etc., but to exchange. The principle is to create a list of products that we offer and another that we are looking for. Once one of our offers has found a buyer, we receive points that we can use in turn to get our hands on the item of our choice.
Cultural goods, skills, seeds, tools, housing, motorized vehicles… But be careful, no weapons and animals, no food. Everything is there to "exchange life to the fullest", as the slogan of one of the sites has it!
Source: The World, 2014
Video 12: Bartering time: exchanging services
Text 13: Shopping online
IGA customers who do their grocery shopping online will now be able to enjoy the same variety of products as that offered at their neighborhood merchant.
This is the main improvement made by the IGA brand to its electronic grocery site. Since its introduction in 1996, the latter has allowed consumers to order and pay for their food online , then pick or have it delivered to work or home. "For the first time, customers will be able to connect directly to the assortment of their favorite grocery store," says Alain Dumas, Senior Director, Communications and Digital Strategy at Sobeys. As a result, instead of choosing from a catalog of approximately 15,000 products, customers will be able to choose their products from a catalog that may include up to 30,000”.
IGA flatly refuses to communicate the development costs of its new transactional site, as well as the importance of the income it hopes to derive from it. At most, the Sobeys representative argues that the site has seen its traffic grow by 20% per year for eight years, and that if it was absolutely necessary to attach a figure to its electronic sales, they would approach those of today. an IGA Extra store (40,000 to 50,000 sq. ft.), whose sales are unfortunately… also kept confidential.
Since February 17, five Quebec stores have been offering all of their products online. And within a month and a half, Sobeys expects the majority of its 285 IGA merchants to offer the same service. A total of 248 stores had switched to the old electronic version. The proposed new online grocery store also allows customers to add specifications to their order (the level of ripeness of bananas, for example), allows them to integrate flyer promotions, consult their latest purchases, made electronically or in-store , or to search by theme (“New products” or “Quebec Foods” for example).
At the other end of the chain, a growing number of grocers would have employees exclusively dedicated to preparing orders. The assembly of these orders has been set at $4 (plus tax) for the consumer and the cost of delivery , within business hours following the order, varies according to the merchant. If some offer it for free, others would charge up to $10 for the same service. Because of these fees, IGA notes that the average online order reaches $150, while it varies between $30 and $40 in store. In addition, IGA estimates that 25% of online customers are not “natural customers” of its stores, which allows it to benefit from the income of customers that its merchants could not reach otherwise.
That said, even though office cafeterias and Early Childhood Centers (CPE) have proven to be unexpected customers of online grocery shopping, IGA maintains that the “traditional family of two adults and two children” still represents 70% of its clientele. “We receive all kinds of testimonials from grateful parents, confides Mr. Dumas with a tender eye, thanking us for allowing them to do their grocery shopping from home, comfortably installed at 9 p.m., after having bathed and put the children to bed”.
Source: Les Affaires, March 2015
Video 13: Shopping online
Text 14: Extra, a profession?
Make money as an extra? No need to be called Claude Legault or Mariloup Wolfe to earn a salary playing in front of the cameras. Ways to get out of the game in a market that does not have the scale of Hollywood.
The pay per day may seem attractive: close to $200 per 8-hour day for members of the Union des artistes, but only $12/h for non-union extras. "Nobody gets rich doing that," warns Carole Dionne, founder of Figuration Carole Dionne.
Even though several filming projects are almost always underway in Montreal, the high number of extras available makes it difficult to live comfortably. An extra can for example appear in all the episodes of a TV series, but this will sometimes only represent about twenty days of work. Those who devote themselves entirely to it struggle to earn more than $10,000 a year, according to Carole Dionne.
Many extras therefore turn to casting agencies to find work. Their prices can vary, even if the salary of the actors is regulated. Some placement services are free, however, because they are paid by the productions to provide them with extras. The profession of extra is less easy than it seems. Long waits, early days, and hours on your feet can make the job tough. Moreover, the best actors do not necessarily make the best extras. "You have to be expressive, yes, but not too much," explains Carole Dionne. If there is a dialogue between the main characters, we don't want the viewer to start looking at the extras. The productions also have particular needs: young, old, Latinos, bikers, discreet city dwellers or urban Vikings covered in tattoos, each profile has its role.
Figuration is above all a gateway to the artistic world. Many young actors go through figuration to join the Union des artistes. From extra to silent role then to spoken role, some manage to pull out of the game. In addition to television and cinema, extras make it possible to participate in productions on stage such as at the opera. "I do it because I like it," says Michel Beaulieu, retired for two years and who has chosen to reconnect with his love of theater by doing extras. The former hair salon manager, now 65, wanted to continue earning some money by pursuing one of his passions. "There is no age to be an extra," he recalls. I know some who are 77 or 78 years old! »
Figuration is therefore above all a story of passion for the performing arts. It's a way of experiencing the energy of film sets and being able to tell yourself that you've put a small brick in the wall of a major film production.
Source: canoe.ca, May 2015
Video 14: The pitfalls of the profession of extra
Text 15: Shared, community and collective gardens: for the love of the earth… in the city
You imagine yourself on your knees turning the earth, sowing your favorite vegetables, watering your plot of land. The birds sing, the sun warms the seeds, then presto! The first shoots… Then you say to yourself that you mustn't be dreaming, that you are in town. Never mind, community and collective gardens exist precisely for you!
The majority of gardens allocate free lots at the beginning of April. There are nearly forty community and collective gardens on the territory of Quebec City, from Cap-Rouge to Haute-Saint-Charles. Offered by the City, but managed by volunteers, they were set up to allow people to acquire and develop knowledge of gardening , to promote the practice of an outdoor and to create links of mutual aid and exchange between citizens. In fact, these gardens especially allow people who do not have access to land to still be able to cultivate a vegetable garden and consume fresh, local food in the summer season. They also help financially, by reducing the cost of the grocery basket.
Shared or community gardens
gardeners as well as connoisseurs who aspire to return to the land can become owners of a lot for a financial contribution . This entitles them to gardening tools, access to water and, in most gardens, compost. Depending on the turnover of members, sections of the land will be allocated to new gardeners in the spring.
The collective gardens
All participants help with the gardening and maintenance of the same large vegetable garden, free of charge. Harvests are then divided among members or families. A coordinator determines staffing needs in the spring based on the number of returning or non-returning members. On the other hand, the participants must volunteer their time, two or three times a week. An ideal formula for apprentice gardeners.
The benefits of group gardening
“The impacts are positive on several levels,” explains Martine Allard, one of the volunteers in charge of the collective garden La tomate Joyeux. “It helps break isolation and build a social network. Several people see each other again outside the garden.” At the collective garden La tomate Joyeux, in addition to sharing their knowledge – "retired people say they feel useful again" -, members can also benefit from canning workshops and collective cooking sessions. . In the garden of the Craque-Bitume collective, a facilitator is employed to take care of the two gardens and to delegate the tasks between the fifteen participants who help twice a week. They can thus learn more about seedlings, gardening on the roof, in the ground and urban composting. "We bring the participants to empower themselves," says Josiane Bergeron, project manager in urban gardening for the collective. Activities and advice on harvesting and conservation are offered.
The growing enthusiasm in recent years for community and collective gardens has increased the gap between supply and demand. The waiting list system was therefore overhauled in 2011 in order to offer a place to all interested parties. You must contact your borough office, which redirects citizens to the person responsible for the garden closest to their home.
Neighborhood residents have priority, then people from the borough. Only one prize is offered per household.
Some gardens, which are more popular or located in densely populated areas, have a long waiting list.
Source: Le Soleil, April 2014
Video 15.1: Shared gardens in Paris
Video 15.2: Montreal: 40 years of community gardens
Text 16: The long hike in Quebec
Take your rucksack , turn your back on civilization… and go deep into the forest. The long hike is to discover the landscapes at the most natural pace there is: that of your own steps. An activity that makes you forget the hassle… provided it has been well planned.
It is usually the most beautiful time of the day. The one where you drop your backpack on the steps of the shelter, where you take off your muddy and sweaty boots and where you stretch the muscles tired by a long day of walking. But this time we will try to add a second icing on the cake. After putting on a swimsuit and a pair of sandals, we descend the rocks towards a destination that attracts us like a magnet: the Saguenay Fjord. A smile wins our lips: the descent is possible. And by looking a little, we find a rock that can easily serve as a pool patio. After two days of effort, heat and perspiration, entering the water is pure enjoyment.
We are on the edge of the trail , in the Saguenay National Park, practicing an activity that dates back to the day when the first hominid had the idea of standing on its two hind legs, a few million years ago. years: walking in nature. For the past two days, we have been traveling along the wall of the fjord on a path that sometimes takes us up to heights from where the view is breathtaking, sometimes down almost to the banks.
Leaving from the Baie-Sainte-Marguerite welcome center on Monday, we will arrive in Tadoussac on Thursday. A course of 42 kilometers. Why walk when today you can roar in a personal watercraft or watch nature from the window of a motorhome? For the satisfaction of physical effort, some respond. For the beauty of the landscapes to discover, say some others. There is also the pleasure of rushing into a forest and surviving there for a few days without running water or electricity. Or the meditative state that can bring the fact of putting one foot in front of the other and starting again, tirelessly.
The rays of the sun end up being less hot and we return to the refuge. It's time to get out the propane stove and the bowls for a panoramic meal on the balcony, with a view of the fjord.
Parties ? We take out all the bataclan that we have just put away because the urge to warm up with a tea has just taken hold of us. We chat a bit with his companions of refuge. Then we look at the stars or read by candlelight. Usually sooner rather than later, fatigue takes its toll. We then make a pillow out of a pile of t-shirts, we rush into our sleeping bag … and we let ourselves sink until the next day.
In 1989, Yves Séguin set out to write a book on hiking . Quite naturally, he turns to the United States to recommend excursions. “In Quebec, there was nothing. Nothing to write a book, in any case”, he explains. His first book on Quebec was published in 1993. But it was really in the mid-1990s that the boom hit Quebec. “In 1995, it really went crazy, says Mr. Séguin. There were new trails everywhere, I couldn't even follow." With the mountains of the northeastern United States a few hours from Montreal, it's no wonder that many Quebecers have always looked south of the border to test their hiking boots. Even today, Mr. Séguin considers that the possibilities are rather limited in Quebec given the vastness of the territory. Not to mention that you sometimes have to negotiate with a few small irritants. In our case, for example, the fjord trail led to beautiful surprises: grandiose panoramas, frolicking belugas and shelters so beautiful and well located that we should speak more of chalets. The downside: a portion of the trail crosses private property, which forces hikers to leave the forest to do part of the journey… by car.
Still, Quebec has had some great successes. "We had to get rid of the idea of mountains," says Yves Séguin. In some cases, with the river, the islands, crossing other types of forests, we really managed to do things that we don't see in the United States. And there is peace. Go for one of the classic hikes in the United States on a Saturday and there can be 100, 200 people, with the dogs and all…” And with fall upon us, the forests of Quebec will soon put on their most beautiful colors…
"As in any other field, the hiker will be tempted to follow the currents of fashion when the time comes to tour the shops to buy his equipment," writes Yves Séguin. While advances in technology can make hiking more enjoyable, you don't have to break the bank to hike the forests. And as Mr. Séguin writes, you can always rent certain pieces of equipment, just to see if they are really useful.
One thing to remember: each object that we choose to bring, we will have to drag it on our back. So you have to think about the weight factor.
Small lists of essential things:
– good hiking shoes (to avoid blisters, never go on a long hike with new boots);
– a quality backpack;
– a sleeping bag and an insulating mattress;
– a tent if you do not sleep in a refuge;
– a stove and fuel for cooking;
- a gourd;
– a set of bowls;
- a flashlight;
- A pocket knife;
- a first aid kit.
When it comes to food, each hiker has their own thing. You have to think of something nutritious, which can be kept without refrigeration and which is not too heavy to transport. In his book Hiking in Quebec, Yves Séguin makes a few suggestions. Specialty shops also sell dehydrated meals; we add a little boiling water, we wait… and it's ready.
It is the most important. In several regions of Quebec, stream water is contaminated with a parasite called Giardia lamblia, which can cause intestinal problems. It is therefore essential to treat it. It can be boiled for a few minutes, filtered with a purifier or treated with iodine solutions.
An idea: the national trail
A 1,500 kilometer trail that crosses eight regions of Quebec, from Ontario to New Brunswick: this is the idea of the Sentier national du Québec. More than 800 km have already been developed; Eventually, the Quebec section will be linked to the Cross-Canada Trail, which aims to link the Pacific to the Atlantic.
Good walk !
Source: La Presse, 2014
Video 16: A comparison of backpacks for hiking
Text 17: the ULM (Ultra Light Motorized Aircraft) wants more women under its wing
first flights this weekend at €25 for women who wish to discover this aerial hobby.
The PULP, microlight club of Montmorillon, is taking part this month in the regional operation "Flying in a female microlight". Saturday and Sunday, women will be able to offer themselves (or be offered) a first flight for 25€.
Last weekend, several had already answered the call, among them Céline. The flight of a good twenty minutes was a birthday present for the young woman, thrilled by this first experience: "We passed over Montmorillon and went up the Gartempe to the Voulzie, then the large pond and Azat-le-Ris. » No fear and the firm desire to return for other flights as a passenger.
Irène Zeanon didn't wait for her 84th birthday to go for a ride in a microlight: she's already flown by plane, helicopter and she took the opportunity to try out the ultralight: “I don't mind! laughs this retiree from Montmorillon, while the pilot installs her in the bucket seat and hands her the earphones and helmet.
“We fly between 200 and 300 meters, specifies pilot Jean-Claude Mayaud, except above the town of Montmorillon where we have to climb to 1,000 meters. The purpose of this operation is to encourage women to take an interest in ULM: it is still a very masculine environment. The PULP, twelve members, has no women in its ranks, for the moment.
Source: centre-presse.fr, October 2010
Video 17: French people on a trip to Quebec in a ULM
Text 18: Sleep in a "treegloo", in the heart of the forest
Have you ever dreamed of spending the night in an
igloo , but the idea of sleeping all bundled up and surrounded by walls of snow has put you off? Julie Zeitlinger and Jeremy Fontana, owners of the Au Diable Vert mountain resort in Glen Sutton, have had an idea that will please you: the treegloo! Since October, they have been offering outdoor enthusiasts a unique version of this type of dwelling, installed on a platform in the heart of the forest. Fiberglass walls, wood stove for cooking and heating, table, chairs and beds are available to you in an enchanting setting offering a spectacular view of Mount Sutton devoid of any form of pollution. Outdoor enthusiasts of all ages are welcome, as are their dogs!
“It's the form of
building that is as organic as possible. There are no corners, and it's really zen. It's very rare!” says Mr. Fontana proudly. The idea of the treegloo is that of Jeremy Fontana, always looking for new ideas, each one more ecological than the other. “This is the first shelter used like this. It's the same thing used to make humanitarian shelters in Haiti,” explains the friendly owner, giving us a little guided tour of his woods.
The green colored shell is actually an assembly of eight fiberglass panels designed in British Columbia. Jeremy Fontana admits that this type of dwelling is not the "warmest", but that the wood stove manages to provide the necessary heat for the comfort of visitors. The basic tools for cooking are available to them, as are the two beds, the table and a few chairs. The capacity is two to four people.
“It's the most organic form of building possible. There are no corners, and it's really zen. It's very rare! “, he underlines entering the treegloo. “We have light sources, the big stove… It's rustic,” continues the owner, indicating that all the basic needs are met there.
The installation of the treegloo was done with the greatest respect for nature, without concrete and without digging a hole. It is raised on stilts and a huge balcony is attached to it, offering a breathtaking view of Mount Sutton. "From the balcony, there is no light visible at night, there is no passing plane and no traffic," illustrates Mr. Fontana, who also works in the field of advertising in Montreal.
Source: lapresse.ca, February 2011
Video 18: Sleeping in an igloo in Austria
Text 19: Make people discover the territory by dog sledding
It is with a view to making people discover the Lac Saint-Jean region that Mathieu Gagné, Ulysse Rodrigue and Robin Côté agreed to take advantage of their 1000-kilometre expedition in 2010 in order to make it the subject of a 60 minute documentary. That the expedition took place 4 years ago does not prevent the three “mushers” (dog handlers) from keeping in mind the difficult times, anecdotes and imperishable memories of this trying journey. Physical and mental challenge, it was the same for the dogs who all managed to complete the course. Only one of them was withdrawn by prevention of the expedition, following an injury. After a few years of waiting, they will finally be able to view the fruit of their journey with their loved ones and all those who are curious to discover a little more about this captivating domain. But the leader Ulysse Rodrigue warns people: “The idea that the world has of the world of sled dogs is magic, it's beautiful, but it's different than in reality. There are all the difficult passages that we don't see,” he explains. I remember one night when the dogs were burned, we hadn't eaten all day. It was so cold, around -41. It was hard!"
The three true enthusiasts have since their expedition, organized groups of leaders from outside for adventures of 300 to 350 kilometers, each year in order to discover the region and to give the chance to those who have less experience of it. do with those who have them.
“Often, you are framed by anyone. You invest several dollars and a lot of time only to realize that you don't like it that much. An experience like this gives you a good understanding of the field. Before having dogs, you have to have made them and of different types: races, expeditions, etc.,” explains Mathieu Gagné.
Proximity to dogs
Handlers cultivate a close bond with their dogs. Each of them daily observes situations that surprise them. “Just the step, when I arrive they recognize me. When my girlfriend arrives, they get angry differently than when it's me. When I didn't live here but I drove past in a truck, they knew the noise of the truck and reacted when I passed in the street,” says Robin Côté.
“If I go off on a four-wheeler to go to my lot, I hear them screaming the whole time I'm gone. If it's my girlfriend, we won't hear them,” adds Mathieu Gagné.
"I changed vehicles a week ago and it took them a week to adapt and they heard me five minutes before I arrived," continued Ulysse Rodrigue.
Each handler can easily recognize the howl of each of his dogs. They know them well and the reverse is just as true.
Over time, the three leaders got to know each other and the exchange of knowledge between them made them better. Being surrounded by the right people therefore saves a lot of time for comfort on your sled. “It's 60 feet long, it requires constant anticipation. It's very complex. […] Today I might not be able to overtake Robin, but I can follow him,” says Ulysse Rodrigue with humor.
Constraints and Joints
Although they are passionate about their activity, Robin, Ulysse and Mathieu admit that it requires a lot of time and sacrifice, especially for the people around them. They would not even advise anyone to start this hobby and believe that it is better for the spouse not to practice it. “If you don't have a good goalkeeper or a good goalkeeper, it's binding. Sometimes we find ourselves a little crazy to persevere in it, ”concludes Ulysse Rodrigue.
Shipping in a few figures
18 days including 4 days off
11 days below -30 degrees Celsius
39 sled dogs
almost 1000 pounds after each departure
3 pounds of food per day per dog
4 to 5 hours of sleep on average
lelacstjean.com Video 19.1: Different sled dogs
Text 20: Spend the night in a wooden cabin in the trees
Le Clos du Chatelier has existed for 4 years now. In the nearby countryside, 2 kilometers from the city, two functional reception rooms host various events ranging from cocktail parties to seminars. This old farm was transformed by the care of Olivier Robert, former employee of an agricultural cooperative. He now shares the management of Clos Chatelier with his activity as a farmer on neighboring land. This man is truly passionate: “I like the relational side of my job. In addition, you have to know how to be inventive and reactive. »
Sleep almost 7 m above the ground
Olivier Robert was inventive when he built the squirrel cabin in 2008. “The idea was to find an innovative and atypical type of accommodation. We received the cabin as a kit and then we assembled it ourselves,” explains Olivier Robert. To find this chalet, you have to continue your way past the reception rooms and into the woods. “Its name comes from the many squirrels that roam around and come, sometimes, to wake up the long sleepers. » The accommodation works on the same model as the two chalets installed near the reception rooms but at the top of a maple tree! “These are chalets called kotas in Finland, explains Olivier Robert, two adults and two children can sleep almost 7 meters above the ground! »
A cozy and functional cabin
The heated cabin of 12 m2 is open all year round and to everyone: access is facilitated for people with reduced mobility. "This top-of-the-range hut is secure and has been able to receive people from 3 months to 95 years old," says Olivier Robert. Le Clos du Chatelier has been rewarded several times: in 2009 as part of the talent competition for business creation (for the whole of Clos Chatelier) and in 2010 with the tourism trophy.
If the start of the season is slow, the site manager is not worried: "tourists in search of calm come from everywhere..." A guest book placed in the warm cabin suggests that customers appreciated this unusual night. “A real happiness” “A magical place” can we read there…
Practical: $100 per night in the cabin for two children and two adults with breakfast at $5/person. $199 per stay with 4 admissions to the theme park, a picnic, the night in the cabin with breakfast in the morning and then a guided tour.
Video 20: Sleeping in a tree house
Text 21: The game console: a tool to motivate yourself to play sports
Unlike many video games, the Nintendo Wii Fit physical exercise video game that requires real-world movements helps promote physical activity instead of the sedentary activity of most video games for people of all ages. , according to a study by Kansas State University in the United States. However, it does not replace actual physical activity, such as playing sports.
David Dzewaltowski, author of the article that appeared in the journal Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews last October, believes that future technologies should continue to promote physical activity, if they make exercise more fun. “In my opinion there is a lot of potential in developing ways to promote physical activity through technology. Children, by nature, like to move, and I believe there is a great future for games that use emerging technologies and require movement, because children have fun and at the same time it is healthy”. explains the researcher. “Technology affects our daily lives and our health more than ever.
The Wii Fit features games that incorporate yoga, strength training, balance and aerobics. They are interactive and require a bit of physical movement, which is better than nothing. However, real physical activity should not be replaced with that of play, when play requires less movement.” According to him, few games require enough physical movement to expend enough calories. Calorie expenditure depends on the energy required to move the body to perform the movement, and the duration of the task. “The Wii Fit could be a tool for creating or maintaining a healthy lifestyle for some people, because it follows the basic principles of adhering to an exercise program – you have to do physical exercises, you follow and you evaluate its progress.” The Wii Fit measures players' Body Mass Index, which helps adults see a doctor and encourages them to exercise more if they find themselves overweight. However, the calculation is inappropriate for children, since it “does not take into account the variations in growth of children according to age and sex”. Dr. David Dzewaltowski also has doubts about the Wii Fit Age calculation. Equipped with a Wii Fit or not, the latter recommends focusing more on regular physical activity, and the consumption of fruits and vegetables, than the calculations of the game.
Source: femmeactuelle.fr, 2010
Video 21: Retired people play Wii
Text 22: A wind turbine at home
Have a wind turbine on the roof of your building or your house, why not? A young Quebec company, UrWind, has recently offered this possibility. Its small vertical wind turbine of about six square meters makes it possible to reduce the electricity consumption of an average house by 20% to 40%, according to Jean-Christophe Mortreux, president of UrWind and a graduate in mechanical engineering from Polytechnique.
"And if the house is efficient from an energy point of view, if it is well insulated and well built, we can get up to 50% or 70% savings," he says. “The idea was to design a wind turbine that would be easy to integrate into the urban environment, low noise and low vibrations, light and easy to attach to roofs. Its compact side makes it easy to accept visually within an urban architecture. And the fact that it is vertical allows it to catch the wind from all directions.”
The electricity produced by the wind turbine is converted in an inverter which feeds the Hydro-Quebec grid. The electricity produced is credited to the customer's electricity bill. The state-owned company encourages the self-production of electricity from renewable energies for residential customers, small-power business customers and agricultural customers. It's all based on a special pricing system called the 'net metering option'.
This option allows consumers to inject their surplus electricity into the Hydro-Québec network. In exchange, they receive credits in the form of kilowatt hours which are applied to their bill balance. Apart from the wind turbine, the forms of energy eligible for the program are geothermal energy, bioenergy, hydroelectricity and photovoltaic energy, or solar energy.
The marketing of the product has just begun and the SME, born two years ago, intends to tackle the North American market.
“There is a lot of interest in wind turbines in North America and, in certain regions, there are incentives offered for the purchase of the product, says Jean-Christophe Mortreux. Some municipalities, outside Quebec, fund their citizens to implement energy efficiency measures. With the electricity savings they achieve, they repay interest-free loans and after 10 years, the purchase of the wind turbine is completely profitable.”
In Quebec, you must obtain a permit from your municipality to be able to install a wind turbine on your house. "Since it's new, some municipalities have regulations, but many don't and will have to give a first opinion on how to proceed," says the entrepreneur. We have already obtained a permit to install one in Montreal, and several municipalities have shown themselves to be open, particularly in Mirabel and Montérégie. The important thing is to bring as much information as possible to the managers to show them how the installations are made, and what is the visual impact, so that they can make an informed decision.
The company also works with a team that will make sure to make the visual integration as harmonious as possible in relation to the neighborhood. As for the price, it varies depending on the site and the ease of installation.
“Our wind turbine is the most affordable on the market, we have emphasized that,” says Jean-Christophe Mortreux, who prefers not to reveal the exact price to La Presse. The cost depends on the site, and the profitability of the purchase can be made over 10 years. Having a wind turbine at home also offers the advantage of no longer being dependent on grid fluctuations and benefiting from a free form of energy, the wind, which will always be available.
Source: La Presse, April 2010
Video 22: Wind energy
Text 23: Urban dog sledding at Parc Jean Drapeau
Rides behind sled dogs near the metro. Snowshoe hikes with breathtaking views of downtown Montreal. Who said you needed a car to practice outdoor sports? In fact, since 2011, Éco-Récréo has been offering several outdoor activities on Île Sainte-Hélène, at Parc Jean-Drapeau. In particular, dog sledding tours on the trails that criss-cross the island.
Until February 23, from Friday to Sunday, a pack of nearly 50 dogs – purebred or mixed huskies – nest a few meters from the Jean-Drapeau metro station. Sitting behind a team of six dogs, you quickly feel the pleasure of sliding on the snow, towed by the energy of the huskies. And we are always surprised to see these magnificent winter beasts react to the driver's commands. 'Dji' for the right, 'Aw' for the left...
Children over the age of 12 can also stand on the sled skis, to experience more closely the sensation of the dog handler directing his team.
Three packages are offered. The shortest includes a five-minute ride at a cost of $12 per person. The longest outing crosses the trails of Mont Boulé, near the Lévis tower, for 20 minutes. Price: $65 for ages 12 and up, $55 for ages 2 to 11. No matter how long the ride is, an introduction to dog sledding is included.
A new one-and-a-half-hour package is being added this winter. “It is aimed at dog enthusiasts,” explains Jonathan Talbot, assistant coordinator of operations for Éco-Récréo. “The participants have a privileged contact with the pack. They help feed the animals, remove or put on harnesses. They are also entitled to an extensive presentation on dogs, as well as a five-minute walk. Admittedly, five minutes is a short time. It's even too short for anyone who has ever had the experience of dog sledding. But for neophytes, it's just enough to know if you want to push the experience further elsewhere in Quebec.
Source: lapresse.ca, January 2014
Text 24: Volunteering, another way of traveling
Do you want to make yourself useful by participating in nature protection projects or to extend your vacation at a lower cost? Volunteer work is for you.
An ecotourism destination par excellence, Costa Rica attracts many vacationers eager for sun and nature. This small Central American country has everything to please: mountains, volcanoes, beaches bathed by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific, not to mention that a quarter of its territory is made up of parks and reserves that protect flora and fauna. exceptional.
The result: countless opportunities for tourists, and at least as many for aspiring volunteers. Indeed, parks, nature reserves and animal protection organizations operate largely thanks to the work of good Samaritans who generously give their time to support a cause that is dear to them.
Who are these volunteers? Young and old who, as part of their studies, or simply out of passion, take advantage of this unique opportunity to approach and get to know better animals as exceptional as leatherback turtles or sloths.
In fact, most projects do not require any particular experience, but exploit the specific skills of each. Speaking Spanish is not a requirement. Moreover, many volunteers take advantage of the opportunity to perfect or learn the basics of the language of Cervantes.
For still others, it's a different way to travel. Marc and Marie-Ève, both Montrealers, carve their way through Central America by going from project to project. Met in the region of the Arenal volcano, they worked at Rancho Margot, an organic, ecological and self-sufficient farm-inn, and then had to go back to Nicaragua to give English lessons to children. Another philosophy of travel, far from consumerism and mass tourism.
But we must not forget that, despite the heavenly landscapes and the good-natured atmosphere, the volunteers are there to work. And often hard. Depending on the organization, five to six days a week, six to eight hours a day, as explained by Luis Matarrita, president of ASVO (Asociación de Voluntarios para el Servicio en Áreas Protegidas), an association that manages volunteers from all Costa Rican national parks.
Flexibility and good humor are essential qualities. Because, according to the periods and the needs, we can as much maintain the hiking trails as participate in the construction of a building, serve as a guide, survey the beaches at night to watch the turtles laying eggs or prepare food for animals. recovering.
Pay to work?
Most organizations ask for a contribution to cover accommodation and food costs. Homestay accommodation is often offered, which also allows you to share the daily life of a Costa Rican family. You have to pay around $10 to $20 a day. Of course, travel costs are the responsibility of the traveler, as well as good insurance (often mandatory).
You can commit for one or two weeks. But to participate in the most interesting tasks, it is better to bet on the long term. Alexander Hare of Winnipeg spent three months on the Caribbean coast in Tortuguero National Park as a research assistant with the Caribbean Conservation Corporation. After a two-week training to learn how to approach sea turtles, he actively participated in the collection of scientific data. An experience that he considers fascinating and enriching.
Rare are the volunteers who do not come back enthusiastic about their stay. In any case, it is a unique opportunity to get to know and understand the country more deeply. In short, another way to travel.
Source: lapresse.ca, May 2010
Video 24: The humanitarian journey
Text 25: Ten trips under the stars
The skies of Mégantic are one of the best for stargazing in Quebec.
The park offers a 4 km hike by torchlight , coupled with an evening of astronomy at the ASTROlab. A healthy dinner package is also offered. Every Saturday until March 27. Departure at 7 p.m. >Duration: two hours of snowshoeing and two hours of astronomy.
>Rates: $40.92 per adult for the package with dinner;
$7.97 for the racquet only. >Info:
www.sepaq.com/pq/mme Parc de la Gatineau
legends and chocolate evening in Gatineau Park. Every evening (minimum of two participants), Outaouais Tourism offers this package that combines sport and gastronomy. The night hike, using a headlamp flashlight (provided), begins at 5:45 p.m. and includes a choco-porto break on the mountain, animated by some local legends. In Chelsea, the evening continues with a meal at the Orée du Bois restaurant. The package is also offered with accommodation and breakfast. Duration: one hour and a half.
>Rates: $119 (without accommodation), from $180 with accommodation.
www.votreforfait.com Parc des Îles-de-Boucherville
On January 30 and February 13 and 27, the park offers night hikes by torchlight, on foot or on snowshoes.
marked route awaits walkers. The evening ends by the fire, with marshmallows , coffee and hot chocolate. The activity is offered from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The last visitors are admitted at 6:30 p.m. >Rate: $10 per person;
$15 with snowshoe rental. >Info:
www.sepaq.com/pq/bou Parc de la Jacques-Cartier
Porto, choco and cub.
This is what this park, located 30 minutes from Quebec, offers. After a snowshoe outing of about 2 km by torchlight, visitors taste port and chocolate while a naturalist guide presents an animation on the wolf and its environment. Every Saturday, at 6.30 p.m., until March 13. >Duration of the activity: three hours.
>Rates: $27.91 per person.
www.sepaq.com/pq/jac Parc du Mont-Royal
Snowshoeing “by the light of the city”, in the footsteps of a guide, is an unusual way to discover the mountain in a new light.
Departures are from Smith House; snowshoes and hot chocolate are provided. Every Saturday, at 6:15 p.m., until March 13. Special evening with chocolate and mulled wine on February 13, for Valentine's Day. >Rates: $15 ($20 for Valentine's Day).
>Duration: one hour and a quarter.
www.lemontroyal.qc.ca Mont Blanc ski resort
On January 30 and February 27, the Laurentians ski resort offers an excursion under the stars.
The guided ascent begins at 6 p.m. at the bottom of the slopes and ends at Le Chamonix restaurant with a cheese fondue. Equipment is provided. >Duration: 40 minutes of ascent.
www.skimontblanc.com Parc du Mont-Tremblant
outing , the park offers snowshoe outings in the evening to demystify the world of the wolf. The 6 km guided hike ends by a fireplace, with hot chocolate and a snack. A naturalist park warden pack of wolves. Bring a flashlight. Departures take place from the Lac-Monroe service center (every Saturday, at 7 p.m., until March 13) and from the La Pimbina reception center (Saturdays, from January 30 to February 27, at 7 p.m.). >Duration: three and a half hours.
$7/child from 10 to 17 years old (minimum age required: 10 years old). >Rental of snowshoes: $5.
www.sepaq.com/pq/mot/ Parc d'Oka
The Calvaire d'Oka trail is very popular with snowshoe enthusiasts, but how many have seen it under the stars?
Every Friday and Saturday until March 6, take the route with a guide. Departures at 7:30 p.m. Snowshoes are provided. >Duration: two hours.
$7.09/child from 7 to 17 years old. >Info:
www.sepaq.com/pq/oka Mont Gleason Station
Two "moonlight snowshoe" evenings for Valentine's Day weekend in this friendly little ski resort in the Centre-du-Québec region.
On the menu: nocturnal expedition on the trails in the forest, port break by the fire at the summit chalet, cheese fondue dinner at the foot of the slopes and musical show. February 12 and 13. Departure at 6 p.m.; dinner at 9 p.m. >Rates: $45 for the snowshoe/port/fondue rental package
www.montgleason.qc.ca Station Mont-Sainte-Anne
The ski resort in the Quebec region offers groups of 15 people or more a package snowshoes and raclette.
The guided hike runs along the canine at the foot of the mountain and passes by the golf course. >Price: $40 per person.
Source: La Presse, January 2010
Video 25: A night hike in the Alps
Text 26: The hidden face of the wild zoo of Saint-Félicien
“The real survey has just begun for us.
Throughout the summer season, we will listen to the constructive comments of our visitors. We want to give them an experience. We are more than a zoo. The fact of not having bars and of having offered natural habitats to our animals and of offering our visitors a walk in the forest in order to observe the animals on board the nature trail train is our strength. Visitors are looking for authenticity,” says Lauraine Gagnon, General Manager of the Zoo sauvage de Saint-Félicien. By bringing together passionate employees, an enchanting and family-friendly site and animals in their natural context, we obtain much more than a zoo, but an experience.
This is what the Zoo sauvage of Saint-Félicien offers to its visitors from the region, but also from outside. In a world where everything goes very fast, the Zoo Sauvage wants visitors to take their time: “We tend to go fast sometimes.
We want to see many things, but we also miss many. Our baby macaque and its mother provided some wonderful scenes for our visitors this week. If we take the time to observe the animal, we can also observe its behavior. See how he interacts with his peers and witness certain magical moments,” says Ms. Gagnon. The Zoo sauvage wishes to put forward infrastructures in order to allow these moments of relaxation to the families.
Airy spaces , comfortable custom-made furniture and versatile shelters. In short, we are going to insist that people take time. There is no longer any question of our visitors leaving the Zoo sauvage tired. breathtaking scenes ”, emphasizes the general manager. The Zoo Sauvage has always wanted to demonstrate great transparency.
With this in mind, various workshops have been created to enhance the basic experience: “We opened our doors in winter and even at night to our visitors. The possibilities are great. We also offer the possibility to our visitors to participate in the realization of animal snacks or to follow our naturalists behind the scenes. First, our decisions are made to ensure the well-being of our animals. We then develop new products that will enhance the experience,” explains Lauraine Gagnon. The freedom aspect is important for zoo managers The animals can walk around in plain sight, but also take refuge if they wish: “Our animals have their say. When we take care of our animals, we can keep them with us for a long time. We have veterinarians , animal health technicians, trainers and caretakers to take care of our animal collection. We are fortunate to have an attraction of this quality in our region that is accredited by the CAZA (Accredited Aquariums and Zoos of Canada). People have to take ownership of it and promote it,” concludes Ms. Gagnon.
Source: letoiledulac.com, July 2015
Video 26: A visit to the zoo
Text 27: Employment support services available for people with limitations
In many cases, various partner organizations come together to promote
the employment integration of people living with a limitation . “Partners work together to meet the needs of candidates and employers. We also prepare candidates for employment. What is interesting is that the employer knows the limitations, how to overcome them. And when you remove the disabling situations, it's as if there were no longer any employment disabilities More and more companies
are opening their doors to customers with limitations. “The situation is improving, but there is a long way to go. You should know that very often, the person with an integrated limitation in employment will be more motivated than a regular employee. And her motivation, she will communicate it to others. Thus, there is a positive impact in the workplace,” said Jocelyn Jutras, advisor to the subsidy program for adapted businesses at Emploi Québec. Caroline Pouliot shares this opinion.
“There are prejudices to break down. Candidates with limitations are often more present at work, they are equal or more efficient than others, because they are proud to be employed. empowers them ,” she says. The important thing for an employer, points out the representative of Emploi Québec, is the result.
“Whether it's a person with limitations or not, as long as they have the skills, hence the importance of properly assessing needs. This is what employment assistance services allow. They carry out an assessment of the person's needs and support them in their employment journey, which takes into account their abilities and limitations ,” points out Jocelyn Jutras. Then, once integrated, the person is not left to themselves.
“It doesn't stop there. If there is something along the way, if there is a necessary follow-up, the employer and the person can contact the SEMO (External Workforce Service)”, notes Mr. Jutras. This is what is happening with John Junior Brisson, struggling with limitations but recently employed in a medium-sized company.
“Once in a while, Junior needs me for a little briefing. He knows he can count on me, that I want his best. We have developed a relationship of trust,” said Josée Parenteau of SEMO des Bois-Francs, proud of the path her candidate has taken. “The journey has been long and difficult. At one point, I even had doubts about his employability. But where it is now is beyond what I expected. It's like a beautiful film with a happy ending,” she says. Jocelyn Jutras adds by saying that there is, in fact, a solution for everyone.
“Everyone has potential . It's about seeing where the person is at in their journey, he says. We can help with just about anything." “We are going to look for everyone's strengths, that's what we did with Junior,” adds Josée Parenteau. “I say I have the best job in the world, such a diverse job. I adapt to each candidate,” she concludes.
Various partners contribute to the integration of people with disabilities, these people whom the Act defines as "any person with a deficiency resulting in a significant and persistent disability and who is subject to encountering obstacles in the performance of daily activities. ".
The organization SPHERE-Québec (Support for disabled people en route to employment in Quebec) promotes the integration into long-term employment of people living with any type of limitation.
Since 1997, more than 10,000 job seekers and employers have benefited from its services. The SEMO, on the other hand, offers employment integration or reintegration assistance services.
Its objectives are aimed at developing people's employability, promoting their integration into the workplace and improving their professional situation. Emploi-Québec also makes available programs, services and tools for people with disabilities, and can also assume the cost of equipment or services needed for certain activities.
www.lanouvelle.net – July 2015-
Text 28: Roll in frying oil
Driving 45,000 km in North America in a vehicle fueled with used frying oil, is that possible?
A young couple from British Columbia, Tyson Jerrey, 24, and Cloe Whittaker, 22, believe so. They decided to take up the challenge , just to demonstrate that there are alternatives to oil consumption. They left Victoria on October 1 for Alaska, where they first stopped in Fairbanks and Anchorage. Then they branched off to Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories, and they crossed Canada to arrive in Montreal last Thursday, where they stopped at La Presse.
It is on the theme
Driven to Sustain that the two young environmentalists went on the campaign. To complete their odyssey, Cloe and Tyson chose an unusual vehicle, a 1993 Mitsubishi Delica diesel right-hand drive minivan A little known vehicle in Canada, although there are a few on the West Coast. The van, which tows a small closed trailer in which the couple stores cans
of used vegetable oil and their equipment, attracts attention as it passes, both by its unusual shape and by the equipment it carries. The van consumes 12.5 l/100 km of used oil and smells of… frying. The young couple's favorite refueling station is the fast food chains.
Not necessarily for the food, but for the fried potato . The Delica loves it, but she finds the leftover potatoes indigestible nonetheless, which forces Cloe and Tyson to first pour the fuel through a sieve before filling the Mitsubishi's tank installed inside the van. Since vegetable oil is thicker
than diesel, it must be heated so that it can burn in the vehicle's engine. Starting is therefore done with biodiesel. This ingenious system, installed by a mechanic friend of Tyson, allows the heat released from the engine to heat the frying oil in order to bring it to the right temperature. Everything is done automatically and Tyson only has to press a button to shut off the biodiesel and start the waste oil feed when the desired temperature is reached. Replacing the oil
But why make all this journey and sleep almost every night in the "kitchen" of the van?
To raise awareness, educate and convince that there is a way to use a vehicle without necessarily having to resort to oil. “There are technologies other than using oil as a fuel source for cars, you have to perfect them and convince people to adopt them.
We owe that to our planet, says Tyson. We also want to influence young people and show them that, with determination, it is possible to carry out great projects, even with small means. The couple are aware that used frying oil is not the long-term solution to replacing petroleum.
This is why he advocates hydrogen as a fuel source for the vehicles of the future. In addition, Cloe and Tyson set out to break the Guinness record for the longest trip in a vehicle using a fuel other than gasoline. The record to be broken is currently held by Germans, who traveled 38,137 km in a natural gas-powered Volkswagen Caddy EcoFuel. The record was set on October 15, 2006. During their journey, Cloe and Tyson will stop at different schools, where they will explain their project and their desire to find a permanent substitute for oil for cars.
In Montreal, Cloe and Tyson attended Friday's bioenergy conference at the Hilton Hotel in Place Bonaventure. A native of Orangeville, Ontario, Tyson Jerry grew up on the shores of Georgian Bay.
It was there that he was made aware of the preservation of nature. During his environmental studies, the young man worked as a tree planter in British Columbia. Cloe Whittaker was born in Edmonton and raised on the Prairies. She then left to study at the University of Victoria in Anthropology and Environment, where she graduated last year. Leaving Montreal, Cloe and Tyson will head to the United States. The onset of winter and difficult road conditions made them change their route. “We are going to go down to the southern states to come back north with the spring. Once our journey is completed south of the border, we will head towards the Maritime provinces, where the weather will then be milder than at present,” explains Cloe.
Source: La Presse, December 2008
Video 28: Rolling with frying oil