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Posted by on in General Information

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Mosquito season is upon us, thanks to the usually mild and damp May conditions. Here are a few tips to help you:

1.Watch the clock 

Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk in Alberta, so avoid being outdoors at these times, if you can. If you are planning to be outside during those hours of the day, it is recommended to use a bug repellent spray with DEET, or diethyltoluamide.

2. Cover up

Mosquitoes are most likely to spot you if you're wearing dark colours, so dress in pale, light shades and wear long pants and long sleeves. Tuck your pant legs into your socks.

3. Attract birds

Some will be lucky enough to have natural pest control set up in their back yards. Tree swallows and barn swallows will eat up to 600 mosquitoes in a day. You may want to consider encouraging nesting if you're planning to host more than a few summer barbecues. 

4. Sunscreen first

While you can buy multi-purpose sunscreen and insect repellent wrapped into one, it is not recommended. There's sort of an interference, so both will work but not as well. Instead,  apply your sunscreen first, let it dry, and then apply your mosquito repellent.

5. Natural immunity

If you're one of the unlucky few who seems to be getting bitten all the time, take heart. You could benefit from it in the end, The itching and redness that accompanies a mosquito bite is typically the result of an allergic reaction to the saliva of that particular breed of mosquito. The more you're bitten by that species ... you sort of build up an immunity to it. 

 

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Posted by on in General Information

 

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THOMAS has been in business since 2004, with offices in Calgary and St Albert in Alberta. Furthermore, the company has maintenance crews located in Crossfield and Rocky Mountain House Alberta as well as in southwestern Saskatchewan. There is also THOMAS crew’s presence in British Columbia, working in the Dawson Creek Area. 

With over 400 field employees in the year’s first quarter, THOMAS is heading in the right direction, with more work to come in all areas in Western Alberta. 

We invite you to explore the difference THOMAS can make for you. 

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Every year, Canadians lose millions of dollars to scams that result in identity and financial theft. 

You as a taxpayer should be vigilant when you receive communication that claims to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requesting personal information such as a social insurance number, credit card number, bank account number, or passport number. This could be either by telephone, mail, text message or email. 

These scams may insist to collect personal information so that you can receive a refund or a benefit payment. Communication could also involve threatening or coercive language to scare you into paying fictitious debt to the CRA. 

A most common way of communication in recent years is urging taxpayers to visit a fake CRA website and click on any of the links provided.

When you receive any communication regarding your tax return, you can always phone CRA or check My Account to be sure. 

Click here to find our more on how to identify communications not from the CRA and their guidelines. 

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Posted by on in General Information

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Heat-Related Emergencies: Staying Cool and Hydrated in Canadian Summers

Heat-related emergencies occur when the body becomes dehydrated, which may result in an increased body temperature. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke, can happen to anyone who stays in the summer heat and sun for too long.

It is important for everyone outdoors to know how to prevent heat emergencies, recognize when someone has been in the heat for too long, and be able to provide help when needed.

The Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Emergencies

·         Cramps or muscle tightening, usually in the legs and abdomen but they can be in other parts of the body

·         Headache

·         Nausea

·         Dizziness, weakness, and feeling faint

·         Skin that is redder or paler than usual, or moist skin

·         Rapid shallow breathing

·         Irritable, bizarre, or aggressive behavior

How to Help

·         Move the person to a cooler location

·         Give the person cool water to drink in sips

·         Have the person loosen any tight clothing

·         Fan the person

·         Put cool water on the person’s skin

·         If the person’s condition is severe, put covered ice packs in each armpit and on the back of the person’s neck

·         Call for help (EMS/9-1-1)

When you’re hot you sweat more than normal, so you need to drink more to replace the water your body is losing. Drink plenty of cool fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty, but avoid caffeine and alcohol. They can cause dehydration, which stops your body from controlling its temperature properly.

Preventing Heat-Related Emergencies

·         Drink plenty of cool fluids — this is the most important step you can take.

·         Avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day.

·         Know the humidex rating — it combines the temperature and humidity to indicate how hot, humid weather feels to the average person.

·         Wear light, loose clothing to let air circulate and heat escape and always wear a hat.

·         Apply sunscreen (with SPF 15 or higher) as sunburned skin reduces the body’s ability to cool itself.

Take breaks in a cool or shady area to let your body cool off.

 

Source: www.redcross.ca 

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When an hourly or field employee commences employment with a Merit member company, an Hour Bank “account” is opened. The employer must report all hours worked by the employee. Each month, 150 hours are deducted to pay for a month of benefit coverage. If there are more hours in the account than are needed to pay for coverage, the excess hours accumulate.

Beginning with January 2015 hours, the maximum number of hours that can be held in an individual’s Hour Bank account has been increased from 800 to 1,200. Those hours can be used to pay for up to eight months of benefits if no further hours are reported. The accumulation of excess hours enables unemployed individuals to maintain coverage between jobs, and assists seasonal workers in maintaining coverage during periods of lay-off.

Once an employee’s Hour Bank account has reached the 1,200-hour maximum, employers must continue to report all hours worked. When hours are reported for an employee whose account balance is 1,200 (after the deduction of 150 hours to pay for benefits), those hours are “forfeited”. It is important to note that forfeited hours are not lost. Instead, they are credited to the Hour Bank Plan itself rather than to the individual employee’s Hour Bank account. As a result, forfeited hours benefit all employers and employees participating in the Hour Bank Plan by reducing required premiums.

Source: News of Merit

For more information, please go to https://www.merconbenefits.com/benefitsplan/ or call 1-877-263-7266

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