Posted: Jun 29, 2016 updated June 30, 2016
The CUPW expects that Canada Post management will lock its members out.
Here is what you need to know about the contract dispute between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal workers.
Hamilton Fire Department issues safety guidelines for Canada Day celebrations.
Seller’s market continues as prices rise and listings fall in the city.
I recently joined the team of Young PR Pros, a Canadian podcast for young professionals looking for advice, guidance, tips and tricks when starting their careers.
As a young professional myself, I’m happy to be a part of a team where I can learn a lot while still showing off my skills.
I’ve taken on the role of Audio Producer, making every episode sound as good as the advice it gives, and helping to develop the podcast to the next level of sound quality. On top of that, I’ve come in as the sort of ‘audience placebo’, taking part in each episode to help ensure that the advice and answers are answering the questions of listeners.
I’m incredibly excited to be a part of an internationally syndicated podcast, part of the FIR Podcast Network, with an established audience and a great message.
Yoga for First Responders now a crucial part of Superior North EMS mental wellness strategy, paramedic says
Paramedics in Thunder Bay, Ont. are the first in Canada to take part in a wellness program that aims to help them reduce their stress load.
Called “Yoga for First Responders“, the city-sponsored program was introduced in December of last year, said Marika Listenmaa, acting superintendent of professional standards at Superior North EMS.
Each week, two classes offer breathing and stress relief exercises to help paramedics deal with stress on the job — and in the office.
“[It’s] helping us to deal with a lot of the traumas that come with the workplace, as well as the political problems that we’re having with call volume, labour disputes, and issues like that,” Listenmaa said, adding it’s proving to be “a wellness program that’s well rounded.”
Paramedics in Thunder Bay will be in a legal strike position as of April 28. They recently voted 100 per cent in favour of going on strike.
“Nobody wants to have that sort of labour dispute,” said Listenmaa.
As discussions continue, she said it’s important to have a positive space for paramedics to meet outside of work and engage in healthy activities. But for shift workers, it’s often hard to find the time to do so.
The program offers “a nice place to work together in wellness with people you don’t often see,” she added.
This is a positive step for first responders like paramedics, who are all too often associated with negative news.
Listenmaa said it’s important to recognize the positive work going on in Ontario for these crises workers.
“Paramedics are often times not in the news when there are good things happening,” she said.
“This is a good thing for paramedics. We are trying to move forward in a proactive approach, and yoga for first responders is one of those approaches.”
On May16, Superior North EMS will be kicking off EMS Appreciation Week with yoga class led by acting chief Wayne Gates.
A cheesy tradition introduces students to agriculture
Grade 3 students from Thunder Bay are learning where all the ingredients for pizza come from at the annual Pizza Project Wednesday and Thursday at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition.
It’s a tradition for Marian Benka, the honourary director of the CLE, who has been running the annual event for 24 years.
It’s an important way to educate students and bring the farm to the city, she said.
“They have to know that there are a lot of things that go into [pizza] before they can get it,” Benka said.
Benka expects more than 600 children to attend this year’s two day event.
Students go through eight stations to learn about agriculture, including dairy, sausage, vegetables, machinery and nutrition.
Along the way they plant their very own tomato plant to take home, and at the end they get to savour a hot a slice of pizza.
By Clare Bonnyman
The voices of students used in this piece were collected anonymously from a sample of 37 post-secondary students that have completed unpaid internships.
Today’s graduating students struggle.
Many earn a degree, but have little or no technical experience, and an obvious solution is an internship.
Today, unpaid internships are becoming infamous, warranting headlines and strong reactions.
“I think they are so insidiously evil,” said Bridget Eastgaard, creator of personal finance blog Money After Graduation.
“There is this mind set of the people that have completed unpaid internships. They act like it has made them a better person because they had to struggle so much,” she said.
Eastgaard calls it “The Bootstrapping Millennial Martyrdom Complex”, and has written about it in her blog. Essentially, those who suffered in the early years of their career see it as a rite of passage, and believe all others should too.
And with discussions within federal government trying to protect young workers, the limits of student suffering are up for discussion.
Today, more than ever students are paying to work, giving in to the ‘hidden costs’ of unpaid internships.
The hardest cost is deciding between paid work or an unpaid internship, but for Eastgaard, the benefits of working for free is not worth doing full time.
“I don’t want to see young people working 100 hours a week because they have to have two full time jobs,” she said
More than 50 per cent of the post-secondary students surveyed had part time jobs, and more than half kept those jobs while completing an unpaid internship.
Current proposed federal legislation would allow unpaid internships of four months or less. Originally proposed under the Harper Conservatives, the proposed changes to the Canada Labour Code focus on internships in federally regulated sectors that are “primarily for the benefit of the intern.”
Advocacy groups representing students pulled out of the consultations due to this proposed change.
The average part time job is 15 hours a week, and minimum wage in Ontario is $11.25 an hour; the average student taking four months off of work loses out on at least $2,700 dollars over 16 weeks.
Full time hours would earn them at least $6,300.
Internships can push students to work overtime, creating a struggle to balance budget and build a decent resume.
Quitting a paying job can make things harder.
“It’s one thing to take a job that you’re not getting a pay cheque for, but it’s quite another to leave a job to take a job that you’re not getting a pay cheque for,” said Eastgaard.
Other issues include relocating or commuting costs.
“A really good opportunity sometimes comes with those associated costs of moving,” said Eastgaard.
One student surveyed relocated to stay with family for free, while another spent $1,000 dollars on flights. When asked why they simply said, “one day I want a job.”
Another student took an opportunity abroad that also came with a costly commute. Her employer had promised a bus pass, but that never materialized, causing problems for a tight budget.
Student’s reported spending anywhere from $50 to $10,000 on relocation costs for unpaid positions, with 40 per cent of respondents spending more than $1,000.
Some costs are less obvious as well.
Unpaid internships can also force students into buying new equipment, clothing or joining networking activities.
Students reported spending up to $600 on these ‘satellite’ costs.
Tallied up, internships ranged from one week to five months, and cost anywhere from nothing to $10,000, not including lost wages.
Students keep costs low by staying close to home, living with friends or family, and keeping a tight budget for food and clothing.
In any case, internships are a serious financial burden, but a dream opportunity is hard to pass up.
Eastgaard’s advice is to evaluate the ROI— return on investment.
“When you’re considering an internship that is going to impact your finances in a negative way, make sure that it ultimately will have a positive ROI in your career,” she said.
“It can’t be just like ‘yay I’m bringing someone coffee in publishing.”
When it comes to the students, some call internships “a necessary evil,” while others feel they “should be illegal.”
For Eastgaard, it’s very simple.
“People should just be paid, period.”
Anne-Marie Roy, president of the University of Ottawa’s Student Federation (SFUO), is sending out a clear message to students:
As post-secondary students head back to school, safety becomes a top priority. A growing concern regarding safety is the ‘epidemic of rape culture’ on campus.
Roy, a leader in the SFUO since 2013, has seen the school through multiple cases of sexual assault. Roy herself was a victim of sexual harassment last year, when a leaked Facebook message revealed sexual threats from male students.
In February of 2014 two University of Ottawa men’s hockey players were accused of sexually assaulting a young woman in Thunder Bay while away for a game. The two men are set to face charges in court, and the male hockey team is suspended for the 2014-2015 school year.
The controversial suspension is a serious move on the part of the university to stand against sexual violence, but “there is more work that needs to be done,” says Roy.
“University and college campuses are a reflection of what our society actually is. I think that the University of Ottawa, and all other universities, do need to show a bit more leadership in terms of tackling this issue,” she says.
A problem with the modern response to rape culture is the tendency to ‘victim-blame’; when services and programs to prevent sexual assault focus on arming potential victims with self-defense and preventative skills.
“We all know that, despite all of our efforts,” says Roy, “unfortunately it still happens.”
Roy wants to move forward with a message of responsibility and awareness, moving away from ‘victim-blaming’ towards “teaching what I think is a very good lesson – Don’t rape,” she says.
There is no one program or service in place to fight campus rape culture across Canada. But Roy stresses the importance of working with each community.
“I think that having a uniform approach in fighting rape culture is not effective,” she says. “The challenges that we see are not the same for students engaging in different activities across campus.”
For the SFUO this resulted in the formation of a task force against rape culture on campus, established in early 2014.
The aim is to ask, “what is the culture within particular spaces on campus, to come up with a tailored approach to tackle rape culture in each of these spaces” Roy explains.
In the meantime, her message to incoming and returning students about sexual violence is very simple.
“Just don’t do it,” she says.