, January 23, 2005  (STAR) LIVING IN CANADA By Mel Tobias -  The Philippines is now the third largest source country, after China and India, of immigrants to Canada and the fourth largest visible community in Canada. And according to Statistics Canada, about 93 percent of domestic workers/helpers under the Live-In-Caregiver Program are from the Philippines. But if Canada looks lucrative to immigrants, specially British Columbia, it does not apply to the young and hip migrants of late. Their presence dramatically slowed down because of the West Coast’s flagging environment. The decline in positive net migration at younger ages produced increases in population aging. But the rate of aging varies across the country.

Saskatchewan was listed with the highest proportion of seniors in late 2001. They accounted for 14.6 percent of the population, compared with 13.5 percent in Manitoba, 13.2 percent in B.C. and 13 percent in Quebec. The percentage in resource-rich Alberta, which remains a strong magnet for the younger set was 10.2 percent. The Canada North has the smallest proportion of seniors. It was estimated that by 2020, 20 percent, or one in five people living in Canada will be over 65, up from almost 13 percent in 2001.

Still on B.C., the province is now known as the most charitable. British Columbians have always been generous with their time and money, even before the Tsunami disaster. Last year, almost half of British Columbians donated money to charity. But British Columbians also ate, drank and were happier by a significant amount in the fall of 2004 compared to a year earlier. Total sales by the province’s restaurants, taverns and caterers were positively up from the same period in 2003.

The English/Canadian language is indeed changing and evolving and has always been different from American English (nearly). There are many distinctly Canadian words and phrases used in unique Canadian settings such as the local pub, product name, hockey arena/games.

As example, Canadians say couch instead of Chesterfield, windshield instead of windscreen and ee-ther and not eye-ther.

Canadians also would say "no interest" instead of the Yank way, zero-percent financing, soap instead of body wash, gifts instead of free gifts, having sexual relations instead of having sex, and live in poverty rather than being poor.

We are also being infected with trendy new words from the USA such as metrosexual (men who spend time and money to beautify their appearance) and retrosexuals (men who spend little or no time to improve their personal/physical appearance). Other interesting words added to our vocabulary:

• E-tailing — buying online

• Silver Surfers — oversexed retirees who will not let their pacemakers nor enlarged prostates get in the way of another sex adventure

• Pre-emptive self-defense — an attack before a possible attack

• Webinar — seminar on the web

Cherohonkees — white baby boomers who are obsessed with Native American culture and lifestyle

• Compassion club — a non-profit organization that sells marijuana for medical use

Hexpatriates — Americans who don’t travel much and when they do go abroad pretend to be Canadian.

Just like in the Philippines, there is also the case of geographical and regional differences in Canada. There are many words used by residents of Ontario and Quebec that sound strange to those in the Pacific Northwest region. With globalization, new words are contributed to the English language. The word prepone is from India which is the opposite of postpone. From the Caribbean Island comes facety which means rude and arrogant. China’s feng shui is now standing Canadian word, along with First Nation’s skookum (strong and good) and chuck (water). The global language is truly changing how we speak today.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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