Helpful Tips for the Peak Holiday Travel Season #TravelTips

 Air Canada is expecting higher volumes of customers onboard during this year’s peak holiday travel ending January 15, 2018.  Air Canada recommends six important travel tips to help all customers travel across our network of over 200 cities across six continents.

1. Save time. Check-in online at, or via the Air Canada app (be sure to download the app for iOS or Android).

  • Check-in, select/change your seat, select the number of checked baggage and pay any baggage fees in advance, within 24 hours of departure.
  • Be sure to share your contact information (email or mobile number) when checking-in (mobile‎/kiosk/web) so that we can easily contact you in case of travel disruptions such as weather or other conditions.

2. Is your flight on time? Confirm online 24/7 at

  • Stay informed of flight status for all Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express flights by signing up for Flight Notifications or calling the toll free Air Canada flight status line at 1-888-422-7533; TTY (Hearing Impaired): 1-800-361-8071.
  • See our Daily Travel Outlook for possible disruptions due to forecasted weather or other conditions.
  • Use the Self-service rebooking tool in the event of flight disruptions.

3. Arrive early. Here’s when:

  • Arrive early at the airport to be at the gate on time and avoid congestion that may occur during peak periods.

4. Review baggage rules. Here’s what to carry-on and check-in.

  • Bring all valuables including electronics, documentation, medication, car keys, money, jewelry in carry-on bags and not in checked bags.
  • Bag Tags – Place identification INSIDE bags as well as on the outsideas external baggage name tags sometimes become detached.
  • Gifts – when travelling with gifts in your carry-on, remember to keep them unwrapped to facilitate security inspection.
  • Check size and weight allowances when packing at as carry-on baggage will be screened and tagged. Information on checked baggage allowance is available at:

5. Avoid unnecessary surprises before your vacation takes off. Double check your travel documents are valid at:

Travel within Canada

  • All Domestic travel
    • Valid government-issued photo identification that includes date of birth and gender for all passengers 18 years of age and older.

Travel from Canada to an international destination

  • All international travel
    • Requires a valid passport
    • Visas may be needed to enter the country of destination and/or when connecting via certain countries. Check IATA Travel Centre search tool for country-specific passport, visa and health entry requirements.

Travel to Canada from an international destination

  • Canadian citizens
    • Canadian passport for travel to Canada.
    • Dual nationals may no longer use a non-Canadian passport to arrive in Canada.
  • Friends and family from outside Canada
    • Reminder to visiting friends and family from outside Canada that the Government of Canada has introduced a new entry requirement, known as an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) that must be obtained prior to travel. More information is here:

Parents travelling with children

    • If passports are required, all children must have their own passport.  Remember that parents/legal guardians DO NOT sign their child’s Canadian passport, as doing so invalidates it.
    • Visit IATA Travel Centre and Travel and Tourism Canada or contact the embassy high commission or consulate of all countries you and your child will be visiting to confirm all entry and exit document requirements.

6. Air Canada’s global hubs make flying to the U.S seamless. Here’s why.

Traveling to the USA

    • Air Canada customers flying to the U.S (from or via Canada) will clear US Customs at Canadian airports before their flight.  Our operations at all four Canadian hubs, Toronto (YYZ), Montreal (YUL), Vancouver (YVR) and Calgary(YYC) are all under one roof with no terminal transfers, meaning connections are easy, comfortable, seamless, and smooth.

Traveling from the USA

    • For our customers travelling from the U.S. through our hubs and onwards to any international destination, the seamless connection process and quick passport check means passengers never have to wait in customs lines, pick up bags or transfer terminals. Simply walk to the next departure gate!

What else to know:

  • United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoint lines can be longer during busy periods. The TSA recommends arriving at the airport two hours before departure if your flight is in the early morning or evening, when wait times for screening can be up to one hour. Members of Known Traveler Programs, such as Nexus or Global Entry, may experience normal wait times. Learn more.
  • The United States requires that travellers provide additional Secure Flight information at least 72 hours before their flight or at time of booking. Please note that this requirement applies to many international flights which are deemed to over-fly the US. For more information, please consult
  • Eligible Air Canada customers enjoy the benefits of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s TSA Pre✓™ program which provides accelerated security screening at most U.S. departure airports by allowing customers to keep shoes, belts and light outerwear on, and laptops and liquids in carry-on baggage. Learn more about TSA Pre✓and how it applies to Air Canada flights.

Thank you for choosing to fly with Air Canada!

SOURCE Air Canada

Canadians continue to benefit from private insurance drug pooling system

The Canadian Drug Insurance Pooling Corporation (CDIPC) advised today that, in 2016, more than 20,500 Canadians benefited from the private insurance cost-sharing framework. Further, CDIPC’s cost-sharing approach benefited over 7,000 mostly small and mid-size employers by helping maintain the affordability of drug benefit plans provided to their employees and their families.

“Canadians are increasingly benefiting from the medical advances offered through the introduction of new drugs which can sometimes be very expensive,” notes CDIPC’s Executive Director Dan Berty. “The number of these new high-cost drug treatments are continuing to expand at a rapid pace. Without CDIPC’s cost-sharing approach, there is no question that a significant number of employers would have had to make changes to their drug insurance plans, potentially leaving employees and their families without access to lifesaving treatments,” added Berty.

Through the CDIPC, Canada’s life and health insurers voluntarily share the costs of pooling highly expensive and recurring drug treatments in order to shelter fully-insured private drug plans from the full financial impact of high-cost drugs. This proactive approach is helping ensure the sustainability of supplemental benefit plans for Canadians.

Additional information on 2016 CDIPC drug pooling results has been posted to CDIPCs website in the downloadable document called 2016 CDIPC Pooling Results at a Glance.

The Canadian Drug Insurance Pooling Corporation is a not-for-profit corporation created by the supplemental health insurers in Canada to help facilitate affordable drug coverage for all fully-insured supplementary drug plans while maintaining a competitive health insurance market.

SOURCE Canadian Drug Insurance Pooling Corporation

Holiday coping skills when someone you love has dementia

During the holidays it is not only hard for the person living with this disease, but it is also hard for family and friends to journey alongside and provide the required care.

Within the next 5 years an estimated 937,000 Canadians will be living with Alzheimer’s disease or some form of dementia.

Joy Birch, COO of Highview Residences, outlines these key points to consider as you plan for family gatherings

  1. Safety is the highest consideration.
    Keep things simple. Avoid decorations that look like food or candy. Limit sugar and alcohol consumption. Designate one strong person to assist with any travelling, even for short trips from the car to the front door.
  2. Determine what your expectations are and keep them realistic. Rather than long periods together with large groups. plan for shorter amounts of quality time, each with fewer family members.
  3. Ask yourself what traditions are most important? For each activity make a list weighing the challenges, for example, stairs, too many noise distractions, blinking lights, bathroom concerns, etc.
  4. You, and any hosts whose homes you might visit, will need to know what your loved one with dementia requires. Make a list identifying strategies to overcome each.

For example, if your loved one requires a quiet area, be sure to have a space readily available for them to rest and remove themselves from a crowd.

Joy Birch is the COO of Highview Residences, a specialized, purpose built care home for people with dementia. Joy combines years of operational and hands on experience to provide coping mechanisms that will help support caregivers this holiday season.

SOURCE Highview Residences

Motorcyclist Not At Fault for Crashing in “Agony of the Moment”

Today’s guest post comes from B.C. injury claims lawyer Erik Magraken

The legal principle of “agony of collision” sometimes also called “agony of the moment” gives wide latitude to a Plaintiff who is confronted with a sudden and unexpected hazard on the roadway due to someone else’s negligence.  This principle was in action in reasons for judgement published today by the BC      Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry.

In today’s case (Biggar v. Enns) the Plaintiff was operating a motorcycle and was riding in a staggered fashion behind the Defendant who was also operating a motorcycle.  The Defendant rounded a curve and was out of sight of the plaintiff.  During this time the Defendant took his eyes off the road and drifted into the oncoming lane of traffic.   He crossed back over the centre line and re-entered his intended lane of travel roughly perpendicular to the proper direction of travel.

At this moment the plaintiff rounded the corner, saw the Defendant in his lane and braked hard losing control of his bike and crashing.

The Defendant argued the Plaintiff was partly at fault as a more prudent motorist could have avoided the hazard he posed.  The Court disagreed and in doing so relied on the agony of collision principle finding the Defendant fully at fault.  Madam Justice Sharma provided the following reasons:

[50]         In my view, the phrase “agony of the moment” aptly describes the plaintiff’s situation. The plaintiff’s first reaction was to avoid colliding with the defendant, or an oncoming vehicle.  Therefore, it was a reasonable course of action for him to brake hard which caused his bike to fall and slide. The defendant agreed that in order to avoid hitting him, the plaintiff had to brake hard, and that made the plaintiff’s bike fall.

[51]         In my view the evidence is clear that the plaintiff was riding in a prudent and careful manner. There is no evidence that his speed was inappropriate for the conditions of the road or any other circumstance.

[52]          As noted earlier, I do not accept the defendant’s argument that once he lost sight of the defendant in front of him, the plaintiff should have slowed down more than he did. Also, I have already concluded the plaintiff was driving at an appropriate rate of speed, and that he had already slowed down.

[53]         Drivers are entitled to assume that other people will be driving in a prudent and safe manner. In Bern v. Jung, 2010 BCSC 730 the plaintiff lost control of a bicycle because of a sudden and unexpected presence of the defendant’s vehicle travelling in the wrong direction. The Court noted, at paras. 13-14, that the plaintiff was forced to act quickly and apply his brakes quickly and that he should not be found contributorily negligent for doing so.

[54]         In this case the plaintiff was entitled to assume that his friend had negotiated the curve safely; coming upon the defendant situated in front of him and perpendicular to his line of traffic was unexpected and sudden. The plaintiff cannot be blamed for doing what I find to be the only reasonable thing he could do to avoid a more serious accident: applying his brakes hard. I conclude it was the defendant’s string of actions (looking to the canyon, and trying to get back in position instead of waiting on the shoulder) that caused the accident.

[55]         For all those reasons, I find the defendant 100% liable for the accident.

How long should you stand – rather than sit – at your work station?

Jack Callaghan prepping a study particpant at standing workstation.

Sitting behind your desk all day is bad for your health and experts have long been advising people to stand at their workstations for about 15 minutes an hour. But a University of Waterloo professor says his research shows that people should be standing for at least 30 minutes per hour to get health benefits.

Using advanced ergonomic and health risk calculations, Jack Callaghan, a professor in Waterloo’s Department of Kinesiology, has found that the ideal sit-stand ratio lies somewhere between 1:1 and 1:3  – a vast departure from traditional wisdom.

“Historically what has been preached is a three to one ratio, but we found the opposite will give you the benefits of not sitting as much, but not inducing problems from standing.” For an eight hour work day, the highest ratio works out to standing for a full 45 minutes every hour.

It’s all about striking the right balance according to Callaghan, a Canada Research Chair in Spine Biomechanics and Injury Prevention. In the first ever laboratory-controlled study of sit-stand workstations, Callaghan found that 50 per cent of participants developed low back pain when asked to stand at an ergonomic desk for two consecutive hours.  None of the participants were previous back pain sufferers.

“Sitting has been demonized in the media, so people’s gut reaction is to try and stand all the time instead,” said Callaghan, who helped developed a new sit-stand workstation with the ergonomic furniture company, Teknion, last year. “There is no question a sedentary lifestyle negatively impacts health, but you can’t just all of a sudden take away people’s chairs, because it’s going to cause pain. And it’s not pain that will go away.”

Study participants who developed back pain while standing were three times more likely to experience chronic back problems later.

Move early, move often

According to Callaghan, the key to avoiding back pain while still reaping the benefits of standing, is to move early and move often.

It’s the same concept as dehydration during exercise,” he says. “If you wait until you’re thirsty it’s too late. If you wait until you have pain before you change positions, it’s too late. This pain is hard to get rid of, so you have to be moving and changing positions before it starts.”

Train away the pain

Although standing-induced back pain is difficult to remedy once triggered, study participants who performed certain core exercises reported a significant decrease in pain.

Callaghan suggests some of the best core exercises to help reduce low back pain from standing include:

  • arm and leg extensions performed while quadruped (on hands and knees)
  • bridging in the prone (belly towards the floor) and supine (back towards the floor) position, commonly referred to plank and reverse planking
  • side planking with weight supported by the feet and forearm.

“I think it’s important to stand,” says Callaghan. “Even if the health risks of sitting are exaggerated in the media, the health risks associated with sitting are sobering and the mentality of sitting being bad is out there. Workers want to change, companies want to change, so something has to be done.”

Sun Life Canada president stepping into new vice president role

TORONTO _ The president of Sun Life Financial Canada is leaving his position to take a new vice-president role at the insurer focused on developing innovation and partnerships.

Kevin Dougherty will be replaced in his current role by Jacques Goulet who is currently president of health and wealth at global consulting firm Mercer Canada.

Sun Life says the leadership changes are effective Jan. 15.


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