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July 2015

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New study suggests increasing provincial fuel taxes

Today, the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) published an independent research study called “Increasing Provincial Fuel Taxes” by Harry Kitchen, Professor Emeritus from the Department of Economics at Trent University. The report, which was published today, raises some important points and adequately proves why increasing fuel taxes is the easiest and most beneficial tax to raise in order to balance Ontario’s 2017-18 provincial budget.

The study makes numerous recommendations on how to do go about raising fuel taxes, including planning for the introduction of some form of road pricing within major metropolitan areas and heavily populated regions. As the report clarifies, compared to fuel taxes or other revenue sources, road and parking pricing would effectively manage congestion, improve productivity, and generate funds for urban roads and public transit.

The tax increase could generate additional provincial revenues of around $14 billion over the next seven years – revenues which Professor Kitchen adds, should be dedicated to transportation improvements across Ontario. Earmarking the revenues, he further suggests, can prevent the political abuse of funds as it increases accountability and transparency. Most importantly, it boosts public support because people know where their taxes are being spent.

Although the increase in fuel taxes may cause some controversy, those against the suggestion can be ensured that the increase is most certainly not a long term solution. As the need for dedicated transit funding becomes crucial, it is evident as to why increasing fuel taxes may just be a critical step to unlocking the gridlock.

Read the full report at:

http://www.rccao.com/news/files/RCCAO_Increasing-Provincial-Fuel-Tax_July2015_WEB.pdf

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JK Rowling Slams Serena William’s Hater

After a fellow Twitter user made a rude comment about Serena Williams, J.K. Rowling swiftly defended the tennis champion, and her response was absolutely magical.

Serena Williams on Saturday won her sixth Wimbledon championship and 21st Grand Slam title.

In celebration, Harry Potter author Rowling tweeted using the hashtag #SerenaSlam, renaming “Grand Slam” in honor of Williams’ achievements.

 

Cute, right? Well things got ugly when a critique made a not so stellar comment about the athlete’s physique.

Rowling defended Williams by tweeting a photo of the tennis player sporting a curve-hugging red dress and killer heels, with a sarcastic comment.

Here’s the response:

The tweet has been making entertainment headlines and was retweeted over 90K times. Meanwhile, @Diegtristan8 was taken in by his fellow haters to express their sentiments on being ‘bullied’ over his ‘accurate comment.’ Aww…sorry about that, man. We’ll be over here drooling over Serena if you need us.

Summer Must Have: Jumpsuits

Sometimes it can take hours trying to find the perfect shirt to go with your pants. But don’t worry, the fashion world is here to save you. The jumpsuit, which became popular a few years ago, has come back for another season. Immerse yourself in style and comfort and embrace the onesie-like feel. Because it’s trendy and we like it!

Now you just need a pair of shoes to match.

Lace sleeveless jumper

Romper with Lace Detail / Combishort avec Dentelle

It’s got lace detail, so it’s girly, but it’s polyester, so it’s comfy. Perfect for lazy days when you still want to look pretty.

Available at Jacob.

 

Jumpsuit

This interesting printed number will look great with a pair of bright strappy sandals or wedges. Grab a wide brimmed hat and step out for some fun in the sun- boho style.

Available at H&M.

Zigzag print long jumpsuit

Zigzag print long jumpsuit | MANGO

This is a great summer work outfit. Classy yet cool. Pair with a blazer for a more polished look.

Available at Mango.

 

Crochet playsuit

Okay, the name sounds like a mix of an old lady and a toddler, but the outfit is kicking fun. It would look great at a summer party.

Available at Topshop.

Hamilton: The Location For Your Daycation

Can’t take time off work to go on vacation? Plan a day-cation to Hamilton, Ontario. With only a couple of hours away from Toronto, you can go on the road trip you desired– without all the pit-stops. Whether you want to immerse yourself in the beauty of mother nature or just get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Hamilton has various peaks and creeks for you to enjoy.  The best part? It’s free! You’re welcome, folks.

Devil’s Punch Bowl 

 

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It’s easy to see where this falls gets its name from. The 37 meter waterfall has been a attraction to many tourists, and has even made a movie appearance in the 2005 horror film, Silent Hill. With many haunting stories as well as its unique details, this punch bowl will certainly quench the thirst of your inner geologist and paranormal enthusiast.

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Steps away from the Bowl is a breathtaking lookout of Hamilton, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city’s gems, including Hamilton Harbour, Lake Ontario, and Stoney Creek Castle. (Quick tip: End your day at the lookout to enjoy the sunset with your loved ones!) The beautiful scenery, the convenient benches, and the calm ambiance creates the perfect atmosphere for a little down time.

 

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Albion Falls

Looking for an adrenaline rush? Albion Falls is the place to go! Whether you choose to stand on the top of the falls and feel the current moving under your feet or you want to admire the water falling from down below, this popular tourist attraction will have you feeling on the edge of glory.

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The steps to climb up the falls is nature’s way of inviting you to come and realize the true meaning behind TLC’s “Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls.” It’s not everyday you have the opportunity to sit near a waterfall, let alone in between it. It’s a great location for bloggers, photographers, and couples looking for engagement or wedding photos. Besides, the sound of the water, the coolness of its splashes, and the overall beauty of it will make anyone forget all their worldly thoughts. Did you get finish that project you were working on? Who knows!

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Tew’s Falls

Simple and refined is one way to describe Tew’s Falls. Hamilton’s highest waterfall. Unlike Albion Falls, however, this waterfall requires a bit of a hike to reach the bottom. You can choose to skip the hike and take in the pleasure from afar but like most nature enthusiasts, a walk through some greenery never really feels like ‘exercise’.

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Not tired yet? Another 20 minute walk away is a gem called Dundas Peak. On your way to the peak, keep on the lookout for scenes such as this one. Yes, there are eagles (at least that’s what we thought they were) in Canada. Who would’ve known! Their majestic soars through the sky will leave you wanting a little bit more…

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A little bit more is exactly what you’ll get. Dundas Peak provides a stunning view of the city beneath you. Filled with lush greenery, this scenery is worth the hike. Take a seat, catch your breathe, and take in nature’s beauty. Just don’t be afraid to look down!

Have fun and don’t forget to let us know how your trip went by tweeting us @womenspost!

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5 Types of Yoga You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Bikram, Anusara, and Vinyasha are all familiar practices for those who do yoga. However, the tree pose, whether it’s in a 20 degree or 45 degree studio, may become a little mundane the 45th time around. But did you know about the other types of yoga out there?  If you’re looking to spice up your sun salutations or challenge your overall yoga routine, try out some of these less conventional classes:

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1. Doga

There’s downward facing dog. And then there’s downward facing dog – with your dog. Your furry pal gets stressed too, you know! So the next time you’re on the mat, pick up your dog. Your biceps will thank you, and so will your he/she. The practice involves simple yoga poses with variations to include your partner in the action. We’re pretty sure you can skip the walk that day. Visit dogadog.com to find out more!

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2. Nude Yoga 

You’ve probably thought about doing this in your hot yoga classes. Lululemon’s sheer yoga pants are definitely not a problem at the Bold & Naked Yoga studio in New York. They live by the not ”following the norm but rather playing outside of the box, because that’s where the fun is.” The studio offers both male only and co-ed classes (sorry, ladies!). But don’t worry, because these completely nude Vinyasa yoga classes emphasize that the classes aren’t meant to be sexual in any way. We can’t guarantee it won’t be hot in there though…

3. Aerial Yoga 

One of the more popular forms of yoga that has recently hit the fitness scene, aerial yoga is no fad. Hanging from silk hammocks suspended from the ceiling (also known as anti-gravity yoga) takes your practice off the mat and instead floating above ground. There’s something oddly comforting hanging upside down in the air. You’ll feel like an Olympian, and eventually look like one too. If getting inverted and the fear of falling out of a hammock don’t bother you, you will love this class.

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4. Laughter Yoga 

If you haven’t heard of the above, you’ve heard of this. Especially popular in South Asia and amoung senior citizens, a laughter yoga session “strives to cultivate childlike playfulness.” Exercises include clapping while reciting a chant similar to laughing, speaking gibberish, deep breathing exercises, and/or playful pantomime exercises. You can finally have an excuse to practice your “milkshake laughter,” which is laughing while you pretend to mix and drink a milkshake. Because why not? Some classes even include laughter meditation, light physical exercises, and dancing. The idea of a laughter yoga class might make have you laughing already, but believe it or not – laughter can lower stress hormone levels. Haha!

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5. Stand Up Paddle Yoga

It’s a class that combines yoga and stand up paddle surfing. Popular among yogis on social media due to its scenic photography opportunities, paddle yoga allows you to really become one with nature by paddling out onto the water on a paddle board to do poses like the the bow pose, the downward-facing dog, and the camel pose. Core strength is key doing this type of yoga. You get more of a workout because the motion of the water makes you engage your core as you try to stay stable. And with summer here, a yoga session afloat a surfboard feels like a pretty ”narly” option.

Not so calm now, are we? Get zen in a way you’ve never gotten before with these yoga classes. Chances are, your friends and family will never look at the fitness regime as ‘boring’ again!

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Thank You, Mr. Cosby: An Open Letter

Dear Mr. Cosby,

Thank you. If it wasn’t for your bravery in admitting that you did, in fact, drug the women you wanted to have sex with, our souls would still be in denial. In a pure, sacred society where only women can do wrong, you, Mr. Cosby, have effectively demonstrated your worth in our hearts. As a respected comedian, actor, and author, it was only natural to think that all 39 women who came forward and accused you of rape did so in hopes of garnering media attention.  Today, you’ve proved us wrong. Thank you for coming forward and proving they are not liars.

Thank you for – once again – demonstrating the existence of rape culture in our society.

The lessons you have taught us through the course of these allegations  have been more valuable than any lesson you ever taught us during your years on the Cosby Show. And although you did an excellent job in teaching us the importance of family bonding and breaking African American stereotypes through your portrayal as Dr. Cliff Huxtable, you conveniently forgot to mention a few things. How come you never told us how easy it is to get away with our crimes and misdemeanors?

But I now understand you’ve been subtly demonstrating this through your life outside the TV screen. It’s rather a shame that I, and many others, didn’t understand this sooner. If more men got the message that their fame and fortune would be a deciding factor on whether or not they can be considered above the law, I’m sure they would work harder to earn said fame and fortune. Thank you, Mr. Cosby, for teaching us this is possible and that some of our actions have no consequences. It’s comforting to know that you’ve passed on such an accurate life lesson; fame and fortune can help you get away with rape.

Yes Mr. Cosby — it’s still rape even if they’re too unaware to say no.

Whether you like it or not, that is essentially what you did; you raped a number of unsuspecting women. I know that may make you a little uncomfortable but it’s something you’re going to have to become accustomed to admitting. Chances are, if you did it in 2005, you can do it again. Although the statute of limitations has passed, preventing prosecution, just the fact that it took your words for people like singer Jill Scott to finally believe your victims, means a lot.

So thanks in advance, Mr. Cosby, for providing some closure for these 39 women.

 

 

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5 Fruit Smoothies To Quench Your Thirst

Summer is here! With the warm weather tickling our fancy for a cold, summer drink, we couldn’t resist putting together these smoothie recipes for you to try. The colours will excite you, the taste will please you, and the satisfaction will complete you. What are you waiting for? Grab your blender and try out these 5 smoothie recipes now!

 

watermelon-frosty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watermelon Frosty
serves 2

2 1/4 cups frozen watermelon cubes
1/2+ cup water
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 large lemon, squeezed
1 fresh banana

Directions: Add all ingredients to the blender – plus 1/4 cup of water. Start blending. Add more water as needed to blend. Add as little liquid as possible to keep your frosty thick and “frosty!”

 

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Basil- Lime Delight

Serves 4 

1 lemon peeled, sliced and seeded.

2 limes peeled and halved

1/4 cup sugar or sweetener of choice

6-7 fresh basil leaves

3 cups ice

1 cup water or apple juice

Directions: Place all ingredients in a blender and secure lid. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to high. Blend for 90 seconds. Garnish with fresh basil leaf or lemon wedge.

 

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 Very Peachy BlueBerry

Serves 3-4

1/4 cup Stewed Peaches

1/2 cup frozen Blueberries (plus extra for topping)

1 tablespoon Lemon Juice

3/4 cup unsweetened Almond Milk

handful of Ice

Stevia, Honey, Agave or Maple Syrup to taste

Fresh Mint for garnish

Directions: Stew peaches by cutting them into pieces and placing them in a saucepan with a few tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil then simmer. Mash them against the side of the pan to release juices. Simmer about 6 minutes. Let the peaches chill in the fridge.

Blend all ingredients together. Sweeten to taste if needed. Garnish with mint and frozen blueberries.

 

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Mango Tango Pineapple-o

Serves 2

1 cup chopped fresh pineapple

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen mango, peeled, cubed, and frozen

1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup cranberry-pomegranate-cherry juice

Directions: Blend all ingredients together. Sweeten to taste if needed. Garnish with mango chunks and one slice of pineapple.

 

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If you’re up for a challenge or have some extra time (and fruits) laying around, try this layered smoothie to leave a lasting impression on your friends- and their tummies! 

Dare to Layer

Serves 4

10 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed

2 tablespoons honey

12 ounces unsweetened lemon-lime sparkling water

5 kiwis, peeled

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 cup roughly chopped cantaloupe

4 kiwi slices, for garnish

 Directions:

1. In the basin of a food processor or blender, combine raspberries and honey. Pulse or blend until pureed. Strain raspberry puree through a fine mesh sieve and discard seeds. Mix in lemon-lime sparkling water and set aside.

2. Combine the peeled kiwi and lime juice in the clean basin of a food processor or blender. Pulse or blend until pureed. Set aside.

3. Add the cantaloupe in the clean basin of a food processor or blender. Pulse or blend until pureed. Set aside.

4. To layer your drink, gently spoon equal amounts of kiwi puree into each of four bowls or glasses. Repeat with cantaloupe puree and raspberry puree. Garnish with kiwi slices.

 

Happy blending!

 

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#AskELJames Tweets Turn 50 Shades of Awkward

It all started with one naive publicist and their decision to get author EL James to do a live chat on Twitter. What came next was an hour more awkward than watching 50 Shades of Grey with your grandma.

Despite being dubbed the highest earning writer back in 2013 with $58 million and counting in her bank account, it seems the EL James, author of the highly popular erotic novel 50 Shades of Grey, has as much critics as she does fans.

As the Q&A session progressed, more and more people took to Twitter to #AskELJames about her preference towards misogyny, rape culture, and below average writing skills. Although she didn’t directly answer the questions that were asked, at the end of the session, James thanked everyone ”for an interesting hour.” And an interesting hour it was.

Below are our choices for the best questions asked during the  chat. Warning: These tweets may cause feelings similar to that of engaging in BDSM. (Ouch!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yikes! At least movie night with Grandma ends in a couple of hours. These tweets will exist longer than EL James herself.

Despite the live chat session being more interesting than the novel, it was also refreshing to see the public taking a stand against the message behind the unnecessarily popular trilogy. However, with a new movie set to release in theatres soon and an additional novel in the works, it seems that 50 Shades is about to get even more popular.

Guess James still gets the last laugh because, in the end,  it’s still her that is sitting on her pile of millions. Well, at least you can celebrate your rise to Twitter fame with those favourites and retweets, folks.

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