Category "Canada"

18Jan

Fine whines: Does complaining always work? – National

by BBG Hub

Complaining about something — whether it’s about an item missing from your food order or your partner’s behaviour — isn’t always easy. 

While many of us scoff at the idea of someone constantly airing their grievances, expressing dissatisfaction in a meaningful way can actually increase happiness levels, studies show


READ MORE:
Customer alleges Samsung tried to silence him after complaint

Constructively complaining can also be an indicator of high self-esteem, research out of Clemson University in South Carolina found. 

“When people complain strategically, that’s where the true benefit comes from,” said Robin Kowalski, a psychology professor at the university.

“People who are effective complainers… are the ones who do it in moderation, and are selective in the audience to their complaint.”

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When complaining is constructive

Kowalski has studied why we complain and how to do so effectively for 30 years, after she was told by a supervisor that she’s a successful complainer. 

In 2014, Kowalski and her colleagues asked more than 400 university students to write down complaints they had about current or former partners for a study






How to make an effective complaint over bad products and services


How to make an effective complaint over bad products and services

They found that those who complained with purpose, looking to achieve a result or cause change, had higher levels of happiness than those who were annoyed without a strategy.

Tactful complaints that are done with intention, with mindfulness at its core, can actually give you the results you’re looking for, Kowalski said. 

Using social media to complain

Amanda from Toronto has no problem complaining to a company or store if they don’t provide the service she’s paid for. (Global News has agreed to withhold Amanda’s last name for privacy reasons.)

She holds businesses to account on social media platforms like Twitter to solicit a response so they can fix an issue.

“It’s really about, here’s the problem I have as a consumer,” she said. “What can you do to help me?”

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Amanda recalls the time she tweeted at a home appliance store about a poor customer experience when they shipped damaged products for a kitchen renovation that were worth thousands of dollars. 


READ MORE:
Consumer complaints about wireless and internet services continue to grow

Revealing the problem on social media in a public way caused the store to leap into action and replace the products they sent, she said. 

“I’ll complain looking for a solution as opposed to complaining just to make a complaint public,” Amanda said, adding that social media adds more weight to complaints since others can see them.



It’s important to be reasonable in your complaint, as you should only complain if you have a real issue that requires a solution. But understanding your rights as a consumer can give you the confidence to actually vocalize your dissatisfaction, she said.

Know what you want — and why

Those who are able to complain only when they have a clear objective in mind — not because they are simply upset in a moment — often have a better sense of self and self-esteem, Kowalski said. 

This is especially true when it comes to complaining in public, like at a restaurant. 

Someone who is more confident in themselves will only complain if something is truly wrong with their meal, as opposed to complaining about food only so others will think their standards are high, Kowalski explained. 

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READ MORE:
The most common relationship problems and how to fix them before it’s too late

People who like to complain even when there isn’t a real problem may be participating in what psychologists call “impression management,” which is trying to control how others see you, Kowalski said. 

Her research has found this tactic is also used to elicit sympathy, like complaining that you are sick when really you are feeling fine. 

How to complain effectively 

Venting and constantly expressing anger for attention or without an objective can make you feel worse, research out of Iowa State University found. 

But holding complaints in, especially when it comes to your relationships or even your workplace, can also have negative impacts on your health.

Kowalski’s research from the mid-90s shows that some may hide their feelings if they are worried about how others will perceive them. This is particularly true if someone has a high need for approval. 

Learning how to complain in a constructive way can help to improve your relationships and have your needs met, said Amy Cooper Hakim, a psychologist based in Boca Raton, Fla., who specializes in workplace relationships. 

“If we complain in a constructive manner, we’re doing so to improve a particular situation for ourselves, or for others,” Hakim said. 

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Before you make a complaint, first decide whether it’s worth complaining at all. Ask yourself: will this bother me in the next five minutes, or five hours? 

If something is not going to be a problem for you within a few hours, it might not be worth bringing up, Hakim said. But if it’s going to be an ongoing issue, you should address the problem and figure out how to solve it. 

Picking and choosing your battles may make your complaints seem more legitimate to others, as you won’t be known as someone who constantly complains, she said. 


READ MORE:
Fighting all the time? How to know if your relationship is worth saving

She also recommends trying to take emotion out of the situation, even though that can be hard to do.

“When we are emotionally invested and angry, we come off in a certain way where we could perhaps be seen as a whiner,” she said. “But when we can specifically look at the fact of the matter… we [should] focus on that.” 

Also, consider the relationship you have to the person you are complaining to, she said. Complaints should be framed differently depending on if you are speaking with your boss, versus a close friend.

“You can appeal to someone’s soft side if they know you, if they have experienced something similar,” she said. “Think through who you’re speaking to before you just speak.”

Complaining a lot could mean that you are very effective at it, but Hakim recommends using those skills wisely. If you become known as a complainer it can weaken your arguments. 

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For Amanda, she doesn’t see complaining as a bad thing, but rather a sign of empowerment, especially for consumers.

“It’s just holding companies and people accountable for the products and services they provide,” she said. “I’m asking for something that’s reasonable.”

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.






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14Jan

British tabloids were ruthless to Meghan Markle — will Canadian media learn from their mistakes? – National

by BBG Hub

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have spoken openly about the ruthless, exploitative and dangerous nature of the British press.

The couple has even sued British tabloids over their “continual misrepresentations,” and Markle admitted she’s struggled with the intense media scrutiny since marrying into the Royal Family.

“I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair,” she said in a recent documentary.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex recently revealed their plan to step away from senior royal duties and split their time between Canada and the U.K. as they work to become financially independent.

READ MORE: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle are moving to Canada — Here’s what we know

But will Canadian reporters better respect their privacy and cover them in a different way than the U.K. press has? According to experts, the country’s media landscape is likely a factor in why the royal couple picked Canada.

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“[Canada] is a completely different environment, and that is possibly something that Meghan observed when she lived here before,” said Janice Neil, chair of the school of journalism at Ryerson University. Neil previously worked as a reporter in the U.K.

There’s a huge portion of the U.K. media industry that’s based on “salacious gossip,” Neil said, and Canada doesn’t have that to the same degree.

“[The country] has shockingly learned nothing from a couple decades of criticism … starting with how [they chased] Princess Diana,” she said.

Markle and Prince Harry’s relationship with the U.K. press

Prince Harry has a notoriously strained relationship with the press, as his mother, Princess Diana, died in a car crash after being chased by paparazzi.

The prince has said he feared “history repeating itself.”

“I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces,” he said.






Queen confirms Harry and Meghan will live part-time in Canada


Queen confirms Harry and Meghan will live part-time in Canada

What’s more, Markle has experienced racism in the U.K. as a biracial member of the Royal Family.

In a recent Washington Post op-ed, author Yomi Adegoke wrote that British tabloids were “committed not to news but the distortion of [Markle’s] image” in their coverage.

“British racism is often coy and coded, but when it comes to Meghan there was no need to read between the lines,” Adegoke wrote.

“The hate was in the headlines, which referred to the Los Angeles neighbourhood where she grew up as ‘gang-scarred‘ and her role editing a racially diverse edition of Vogue as ‘divisive.’”



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The Daily Show host Trevor Noah even pointed out the racism Markle endured in the British press on Monday, comparing headlines about Kate Middleton and Markle.

READ MORE: Queen says she’s ‘supportive’ of Prince Harry, Meghan Markle after meeting

Noah gave the example of when Middleton was reportedly “gifted” avocados during pregnancy to “cure” morning sickness, while Markle’s avocado habit was linked to “human rights abuse and drought.”

Canada is more progressive than the U.K. when it comes to race, said journalist and human rights advocate Amira Elghawaby, but the country still has some work to do.

Elghawaby said there is still potential for racist coverage of Markle, as many Canadian newsrooms do not reflect the diversity of the country.

“They won’t be fully immune from that here in Canada, but it certainly won’t be as toxic as the culture in the U.K.,” she said.

A chance for Canadian media to prove itself

With Markle and Prince Harry living in Canada, it will take time to see how local outlets cover their day-to-day lives.

Neil believes “tight news budgets” at major Canadian news organizations could allow Markle and Harry to live a more private life.

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Private security expert says protection for Prince Harry, Meghan Markle ‘could cost millions’


Private security expert says protection for Prince Harry, Meghan Markle ‘could cost millions’

“If you start having people covering the royals … what are they not going to cover [instead]?” she said.

“Already, many provinces in this country don’t have reporters at the provincial legislature — and many cities don’t have city reporters.”

Elghawaby said it is tough to predict how people will treat the couple — especially Markle — on social media. She pointed to other women of colour in public positions, including former governors general of Canada Michaelle Jean and Adrienne Clarkson.

“They were not exposed to such racism as Meghan has been experiencing, and they were representatives of the Crown,” Elghawaby said. “But those women were there before social media, and things are evolving. It’s not like it can’t become toxic on social media.”

READ MORE: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle want to make their own money. How will it work?

Elghawaby also wonders if the couple’s move could prompt the creation of new Canadian tabloids.

She said that because media is a business, a growing interest in Markle and Prince Harry could open up new revenue opportunities.

“If it becomes apparent that doing stories about the couple brings more clicks… the question becomes will media in Canada start shifting? Or will we see the emergence of new media businesses emerging to cover the couple?” she said.

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Still, it is important Canadian media treats Markle with respect and does not engage in racist coverage.

“Many people are in denial in this country about how racism plays a daily role in many communities,” Elghawaby said.

“There is a little bit of blindness to the reality of racism here.”


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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.






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22Dec

Sex workers say Canada’s laws put them in danger — and demand the new government fix them – National

by BBG Hub

She starts by screening them.

Whenever Mari receives online booking requests from new clients, the dominatrix and sex worker asks them to email her their government identification or a piece of work ID.

She also accepts references clients may have from other sex workers. If a client is known to others as a bad date, she won’t see them.

But Mari, who asked Global News to identify her by first name only, says not all sex workers have the “privilege” of screening clients in this way.

Those who work on the street may not have the ability to screen at all, or have to negotiate services in unsafe environments since aspects of communicating about sex work are criminalized.

“It makes our work less safe,” Mari says.

WATCH BELOW: (April 18, 2018) Backpage shutdown has B.C. sex trade workers concerned





Sex workers and legal experts argue that Canada’s sex work laws are prohibitive and doing the opposite of what they’re supposed to do — instead of protecting “human dignity,” the laws push sex workers into dangerous situations by criminalizing nearly every aspect of their job.

Built into Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA), is a commitment to review the laws by the end of 2019. That time is now, and advocates say nothing has happened.

The Canadian Alliance of Sex Work Law Reform is calling on the Liberals to start that review process and act on decriminalization. The group also wants to see provincial and territorial employment laws regulate the sex industry as a form of labour.

The organization, which is made up of sex workers’ rights groups from across the country, also says sex workers need to be part of legal reform. They are the ones who know how to best protect their rights, the alliance argues.

READ MORE: Sex worker advocacy group says police violated their privacy

“Despite the stated commitment in 2015 to replace the PCEPA and to reform prostitution laws, the Liberal Party of Canada has yet to take meaningful steps,” the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network recently wrote to the government.

In a statement to Global News, a spokesperson for the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada said it is a governmental priority to ensure that “our laws are effective in meeting their objectives, promoting public safety and security, and are consistent with our constitutionally protected rights.”

“With regard to the five-year review, the Act provides that it is Parliament’s responsibility to establish or designate a committee to study the matter,” the spokesperson said.

“As Parliament has just opened, the House is currently in the process of forming Committees. In the interim, we continue to engage with those involved.”

Sex work laws in Canada

Bill C-36 criminalizes the purchasing of sex but decriminalizes its sale. Known as an “end-demand” model, it also forbids negotiating sexual services in certain public places, such as near schools, financially benefitting off the sale of someone’s sexual services or knowingly advertising sexual services.

Bill C-36 came into effect in 2014 under a Conservative government after the Supreme Court struck down Canada’s previous laws in 2013 for being unconstitutional.

The court found the old laws imposed “dangerous conditions on prostitution” and prevented people engaged in a “risky, but legal, activity from taking steps to protect themselves.”

The Conservatives’ solution was PCEPA, which “treats prostitution as a form of sexual exploitation that disproportionately impacts on women and girls.”

In 2014, then-Liberal MP Justin Trudeau voted against Bill C-36, and the Liberals promised to reform sex work laws throughout the 2015 campaign. Despite this, the Liberal government made no changes to the law during Trudeau’s first mandate.

At the 2018 Liberal Party convention, the Young Liberals of Canada called for the decriminalization of consensual sex work. The organization argued the “current prohibition of buying consensual sex work does not address the underlying issues that make sex work dangerous, but rather creates a climate that makes sex workers unlikely to work with the police and be involved with more serious crimes.”

WATCH BELOW: Young people with disabilities aren’t being taught sex-ed






But sex work wasn’t a much-debated topic during the recent 2019 federal election campaign, despite efforts from more than 150 human rights groups that called on the winning party to decriminalize sex work. Sex work law reform was also not a part of the Liberals’ 2019 campaign platform.

Alice, a sex worker who asked Global News to change her name to protect her identity, says Maggie’s, the Toronto-based sex workers’ rights organization, even tried to host a panel with local MPs to raise its concerns.

The event was cancelled by Maggie’s due to poor response from politicians.

The laws essentially criminalize “almost every facet of sex work,” says Sandra Ka Hon Chu, director of research and advocacy at the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.

“They make it incredibly difficult for sex workers to organize, to work in safety, to work together, to work with third parties who could promote their safety, and to even communicate with clients,” Chu says.

Some research shows how Canada’s end-demand model is harmful.

READ MORE: Demands grow for Canada to decriminalize sex work after the election

Research presented at the 2018 International AIDS Conference found that going after the men who buy sex does not actually help sex workers. Instead, researchers said it makes it harder for sex workers to negotiate terms of service, including condom use.

“The criminalization of sex work makes the environment of sex workers’ labour criminal by criminalizing relationships with clients and third parties and sex work income and workplaces,” another recent report by Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network found.

“While the PCEPA immunizes some sex workers from criminal prosecution, sex workers continue to experience ongoing human rights abuses perpetuated by both the presence and practice of law enforcement in the course of their work.”

New Zealand decriminalized sex work in 2003, which has lead to improved conditions for sex workers, including safer working environments and better relationships between workers and police, a 2008 study found.

Another 2009 study found New Zealand’s laws also did not lead to an increase in sex workers, as numbers in the industry stayed around the same.

This is not surprising to Mari, who says Canada’s end-demand model ignores the fact there’s always going to be people who purchase sex.

“And that’s why the model is a very bad model to be following; it restricts our movements and our rights.”

Advertising and communicating about sex work is incredibly hard

For sex workers who find clients online, laws around advertising make it very difficult to explicitly outline services. Bill C-36 criminalizes advertising the sale of sexual services, including through print media, on websites or in “locations that offer sexual services for sale,” like strip clubs.

While sex workers are protected from criminal liability for advertising their own sexual services, website administrators can be charged for hosting such ads, which means sites are less likely to host sex workers’ websites. Content in violation of Canada’s laws can be taken down at any time and seized by the authorities.

This results in sex workers having to use more vague and coded terms so their content is not reported.

WATCH BELOW: (November 9, 2017) App could offer some safety to sex trade workers






“Advertising is very important for business and for openly communicating terms of service and determining consent,” says Anne Margaret Deck, vice-chair of the board at Maggie’s.

While prohibitive for all sex workers, those who work on the street may experience even further challenges.

Canada’s laws also make it illegal to communicate “for the purposes of offering or providing sexual services for consideration” near school grounds, playgrounds or daycare centres.

Kerry Porth, a former sex worker and sex work policy consultant at the Vancouver-based Pivot Legal Society, says even though communication laws are directed at clients, they harm sex workers, too.

“Even if you only criminalize one party, that communication becomes criminalized and very difficult,” she says.

What’s more, the fact that a third-party cannot advertise on behalf of a sex worker is also harmful, she says. Porth highlights that some sex workers lack resources or the ability to work independently and prefer to work for an escort agency, for example.

READ MORE: SafeSpace London fears naming johns could increase danger for sex workers

Chu, the lawyer, says that for migrant sex workers, for whom language barriers may be a factor, the laws are especially damaging.

“The most marginalized people who do sex work, they’re probably under the most scrutiny because they don’t have access to some of the things that less marginalized people do,” she says.

Screening clients can be hard

Because it’s illegal to purchase sex, Mari says clients have a lot of fear around divulging their identity.

This makes it difficult for sex workers to screen clients in a comprehensive way, which ultimately jeopardizes their safety.

“If [clients] do not want to divulge their identity, their places of work and their reasons for coming to see us, it creates danger for the worker because you do not have any information about your client,” Mari says.

“In any other workplace or any other business, you have information about your clients.”

Those who work in rural communities may have greater difficulty getting clients to offer their personal information ahead of a meeting, especially in places where sex work is heavily policed.

Porth echoes this and says sex workers who work online — who are generally independent indoor workers — are also concerned they might be communicating with a police officer masked as a client.

WATCH BELOW: Canada’s failure to end violence against women






“There’s been a number of sting operations online and so those concerns are valid,” she says.

Violence and sexual harassment are also a legitimate concern.

According to Statistics Canada, there were 294 homicides of sex workers between 1991 and 2014. A third of those murders were unsolved as of 2016, more than 10 per cent higher than the unsolved rate for murders that do not involve sex workers.

Sex workers who are transgender, Indigenous or people of colour are even more vulnerable to violence.

Predators are aware that police are less inclined to investigate the disappearances of sex workers, the Canadian Alliance of Sex Work Law Reform says, and they also know Indigenous and migrant women often fear police detection and apprehension.

READ MORE: ‘It’s time to stop the moral panic’ — Sex worker sounds off on body politics

“Street-based sex workers or sex workers that don’t have an established business and are working independently might have to compromise their safety in order to simply get business and pay their rent,” Deck says.

“And predatory clients know this; they know what they can get away with.”

Efforts to squash stigma

Outside of legal barriers, the stigma around sex work is one of the biggest issues sex workers face. Industry experts argue the laws paint all sex workers as “victims” that need to be “saved” from sex work.

Human trafficking is also often conflated with sex work, even though they are two different things, Porth explains.

While there are instances in which women are trafficked into sex work, that is not the reality for many sex workers who simply want to be able to work safely and on their own terms.

READ MORE: Regina aims to restrict body rub parlours to industrial areas only

Alice says the stigma affects many aspects of her life, including the ability to secure housing and travel. Landlords don’t like renting to sex workers, and health-care providers may pass judgment, too.

Sex workers deserve the right to work in safe conditions just like any other Canadian worker, Deck says.

“Having these laws in the Criminal Code at all just continues to criminalize the industry, push it underground, further isolate sex workers and contribute to stigma.”

— With a file from Rachel Browne

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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18Dec

City of Saskatoon offers tips for how to cut down on waste over holidays – Saskatoon

by BBG Hub


People are being asked by the City of Saskatoon to keep waste reduction and recycling options in mind throughout their holiday celebrations.

Earlier this month, the city launched its new Recycle Better in your Ugly Sweater campaign, which encourages keeping waste reduction and diversion top of mind around Christmas.


READ MORE:
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Amber Weckworth, the city’s education and environmental performance manager, suggests gifting people with memories from experiences over material possessions as well as using non-fancy wrapping paper.

Here are some of the tips that the city is promoting during the campaign:

  • make homemade gifts out of old reusable material;
  • re-gift old or unused items that might still bring joy to others;
  • reuse or pass down old decorations;
  • skip the fancy wrapping and reuse paper, ribbons, bows and bags;
  • wrap gifts with newsprint and other unique material;
  • reduce food waste by planning meals efficiently;
  • take large or excess recycling to a city recycling depot; and
  • recycle live Christmas trees at a city drop-off site from Dec. 26 to Jan. 31.

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Saskatoon company rolls out furnace rebate program


Saskatoon company rolls out furnace rebate program

People are reminded that Dec. 25 garbage and recycling collections will happen on Dec. 28, and Jan. 1 collection will happen on Jan. 4. The city landfill will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

More information and tips on holiday waste reduction and diversion can be found on the city’s website.




© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.







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15Nov

Broadway star, 13, dies from ‘massive’ asthma attack. What are the warning signs? – National

by BBG Hub

Laurel Griggs, a young Broadway actor, died earlier this month after suffering a “massive asthma attack.”

The 13-year-old’s grandfather confirmed the news to the New York Times. The star’s sudden death has shocked friends, family and those work worked with her.

Laurel, who was featured in productions like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Once, was rushed to hospital in New York City after she was found struggling to breathe.

READ MORE: Canadian children at greater risk of asthma, Lyme disease due to climate change, OPHA says

Her father Andy Griggs told Page Six his daughter was born with asthma and took medication for the illness throughout her life.

“She said, ‘I don’t feel so good,’ which immediately set off all the alarms in my head,” Griggs told the publication. “She would never normally say something like that.”

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He said his daughter went through a serious asthma attack three years ago, and the family had been monitoring her closely ever since.

The actor’s death is tragic and an indication no one should become complacent just because asthma is considered to be common, said Dr. Dhenuka Radhakrishnan, a pediatric respirologist who runs the asthma program at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa.

More than 3.8 million people in Canada live with asthma, and 850,000 of them are children under the age of 14, according to Asthma Canada. Every year, about 250 Canadians die from the inflammatory disease.






Asthmatic children aren’t using inhalers properly


Asthmatic children aren’t using inhalers properly

In 2017, data from the Ontario Asthma Surveillance Information System, a population-based asthma registry, found the rate of asthma in children 17 and under was about 18.8 per cent.

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“In some cases, it can be a fatal disease,” Radhakrishnan explained.



“It really takes a concerted effort to keep our children as healthy as possible… teamwork between the health care provider, family, school and even public policy.”

What is asthma, and what causes it?

Doctors don’t know what causes asthma, says Radhakrishnan, but it’s likely a combination of genetic factors that create a tendency towards the illness.

Asthma Canada defines the condition as a chronic disease caused by swelling, inflammation and tightening of the muscles around the airways, blocking the flow of air to the lungs.

READ MORE: Back to school season sees spike in asthma hospitalizations, Asthma Canada says

If your child has the likelihood of developing asthma and is exposed to triggers that irritate them, this could lead to symptoms, Radhakrishnan said. Often, asthma episodes occur for the first time after a child has a cold.

“[Colds] are a part of growing up and developing normally, but unfortunately for some children, that can trigger an asthma flare-up.”

How do we treat children with asthma?

The first step is to recognize signs and symptoms and know when to take your child to a doctor, Radhakrishnan said. If your child has wheezing, shortness of breath with colds or with exercise, or exposure to tobacco smoke, pets or pollen, it may be time to make an appointment.

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Once a child is diagnosed, health-care providers focus on preventing episodes. A typical prescription involves an inhaled steroid medication, she said.






Vehicle-produced air pollution connected to childhood asthma: study


Vehicle-produced air pollution connected to childhood asthma: study

If your child has been using asthma medication but continues to have episodes throughout the day, their treatment may need to change, she said.

“In the vast majority of children we have, we have really good treatments for asthma,” Radhakrishnan said. “As long as children are followed regularly by knowledgeable health-care providers and are using treatments as prescribed…. [they] should be able to live a completely full, active, healthy life with no limitations.”

Signs and symptoms of an asthma attack

Typically, if children have been taken to the doctors and a plan has been communicated and implemented, parents will already have instructions on how to use a “reliever” medication. That medication is meant for a flare-up or an attack, said Radhakrishnan.

“But if that medication is not working well, if the child’s symptoms are getting worse … that child needs to be seen in the closest emergency department as soon as possible.”

READ MORE: The September asthma peak is approaching. Here’s what parents need to know

Children may not always express how severe their asthma symptoms are to their parents, said Susan Balkovec, a respiratory therapist and asthma educator at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

“They can be very stoic and they don’t like to bother their parents,” said Balkovec. “But it’s actually really important that there’s that feedback to the parents when they’re starting not to feel well.”

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Lung function decline can happen slowly, and parents may not realize it’s happening in the moment.

What about more severe cases?

About 150,000 to 250,000 Canadians have what Asthma Canada calls “severe asthma.” This is a more severe case of the illness that impacts about one per cent of children diagnosed, Radhakrishnan explained.

“That’s much more difficult to manage,” she said. “But even among those children, in almost all cases, we can achieve very good control such that…. [they] can do everything that they should as a kid.”

Whether your child has severe asthma or mild symptoms, it’s important to create a strict plan of action in conjunction with a health-care provider, said Balkovec.

READ MORE: Blame ‘sexism’ and climate change for making your asthma and allergies worse

“[The plan] is something written and personalized so that the patient can have better awareness and self-management,” she said, adding that the plan should be consistently updated and worked on. It should outline what the triggers are, when to use medication, when the child should be taken to the hospital, and how to express that something’s wrong.

“Everybody needs to understand, the caregivers, the children, the parents…. just really understanding what it means to be out of control,” she said. “It’s about early recognition of signs and symptoms.”

[email protected]




© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.






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9Nov

What it’s like living with the BRCA gene mutation: ‘It’s just so hard’ – National

by BBG Hub

Jackie O’Grady was 54 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in one breast. But she had a plan to fight it: a double mastectomy and radiation, to lessen the chances of it coming back.

Then, in the midst of her treatment, she received more bad news: she had tested positive for the BRCA2 gene mutation.

“I was way, way more upset than I was about having the cancer diagnosis.”


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“Because I have children. I have a granddaughter, and I can pass it on.”

Jackie O’Grady has had numerous health concerns after multiple surgeries because of her BRCA2 gene mutation.

Jackie O’Grady has had numerous health concerns after multiple surgeries because of her BRCA2 gene mutation.


Photo by Ima Ortega, art by Laura Whelan

The BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations are a change in chromosomes that make your chances of getting cancer higher. Canadians can have their blood tested at the recommendation of a genetic counselor or family doctor if they have a history of breast or ovarian cancer in the family.

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They are passed from parent to child — from both the mother or the father to a child of either gender. The chances a child has the gene mutation one of their parents has is 50 per cent.






Identifying the signs of breast cancer


Identifying the signs of breast cancer

It means people carrying the gene are more likely to get breast and ovarian cancer — and other related cancers — than the average person. For women with a gene mutation, it can mean she has up to 80 per cent chance of getting breast cancer in her lifetime. The average woman has a one in eight (12.5 per cent) chance of getting breast cancer in her lifetime.

Men with the BRCA2 gene mutation are eight times more likely to get breast cancer before they are 80 years old, and men with the BRCA1 mutation have an increased chance of getting prostate cancer.

Melanoma and pancreatic cancer are also associated with the gene.

O’Grady — who also has had treatments for melanoma — is taking precautions as much as she can to mitigate her risks: she says she’s eating healthier and exercising more, as well as wearing sunscreen and using a topical CBD oil to mitigate the melanoma risks.

But there’s always a worry in the back of her mind about her health.

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“You don’t know if it’s ever gonna be gone for good, or where it’s going to turn up next,” she told Global News.

Doctors recommend more intense screening for those with the gene mutation: in Ontario, women over 30 with the gene are able to get mammograms once a year, as well as a breast MRI and ultrasounds, which isn’t part of the screening for the average woman. Each province has it’s own set of regulations, but they are similar.






The emotional toll of breast cancer


The emotional toll of breast cancer

For men, more regular prostate exams are recommended.

Since ovarian cancer is harder to diagnose, and many are late-stage diagnosis, doctors recommend women who have already had children to get an oophorectomy — where they remove the ovaries and Fallopian tubes, but not the uterus.

That comes with its own set of side-effects, including induced menopause, and along with it symptoms like hot flashes, a decreased sex drive, vaginal dryness and mood swings. While there are hormone replacement medications, the symptoms can persist.

‘I’m not just one gene’

That was a concern for Lauralyn Johnston of Toronto — who found out she had an aggressive version of the BRCA1 gene in 2017. While she didn’t have cancer, she got tested because a family member tested positive for the gene mutation.

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But since her family has a history of dementia after menopause, inducing that was something she didn’t want to start early.

“I’m not just one gene,” she said. “Explaining to my medical professional that I’m not just my (gene mutation) was kind of a recurring theme.”



She did her own research and decided to get a salpingectomy, removing the Fallopian tubes and leaving the ovaries.

Lauralyn Johnston, who has the BRCA1 gene mutation, and her daugher Eria Byrne.

Lauralyn Johnston, who has the BRCA1 gene mutation, and her daugher Eria Byrne.


Handout. Artwork by Laura Whelan

At the moment, this is not a standard,” said Dr. Christine Elser, a medical oncologist at Toronto’s Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

“We don’t know if it is as effective as removing the ovaries as well. But that is a procedure that once we learn more about, may have a role in a better quality of life.”

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Johnston said she wanted to balance her quality of life with her life expectancy — and has come to terms with the fact that her lifespan may not be as long as 84 years old, the average age of a Canadian woman according to Statistics Canada.

So while there may still be a risk of ovarian cancer because she still has her ovaries, she believes her life will be better because of it.

For Maja Adolfo-Piwek of Toronto, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 39, the side effects of her two mastectomies and oophorectomy are constant.

“You can go back to your life, but you can never really go back to your life,” Adolfo-Piwek said.

Her side effects include hair loss, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness, which she says is “quite painful.”

“They told me about the hot flashes, but they never told me about all the other stuff.”


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I think is there is a gap in the system, in the medical system where the oncologists, all they want you to do is just remove (your ovaries and breast) because they want to save your life. But they do not prepare you for what’s to come after that.

“And it’s just so hard.

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Maja Adolfo-Piwek was found out she had the BRCA2 gene at age 39.

Maja Adolfo-Piwek was found out she had the BRCA2 gene at age 39.

But in the end, Adolfo-Piwek called it a blessing in disguise, because now she’s forewarned.

“I can remove my ovaries and remove my other breast and lower my chance of having cancer. I mean, obviously, nothing is ever 100 per cent, but it will help me,” she said.

Moving forward

What’s most concerning for the women Global News spoke to is the risk to their children.

Adolfo-Piwek has a son with autism. O’Grady has two sons and a granddaughter. Johnston has a 17-year-old daughter. They all say they worry about what it means for them.


READ MORE:
What it’s like to get cancer as a parent: ‘I began planning out my next 5 years’

But we’ve known about the BRCA gene mutations for decades now, and the science is only getting clearer as we learn more about the gene mutation.

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Johnston’s daughter Erya Byrne is in her first-year university, studying biochemistry. She said she was affected by watching her mom go through the surgeries she did.

In the end, she’s hopeful for the future.

“In the next 10 years, there’s so much happening in gene therapy and so much happening in cancer treatment,” Byrne said.

READ MORE: Cancer can severely damage your mental health. Why don’t we talk about it?

While she was always interested in biochemistry, Byrne said the experience has pushed her to look into studying oncology.

What does prevention look like? 

Dr. Elser, along with geneticist Dr. Raymond Kim of the Princess Margaret Cancer centre, said there are trials into how to prevent breast cancer going currently going on — including testing of PARP inhibitors. (Read more about what a PARP inhibitor is at the U.S. National Cancer Institute here.) 

Adolfo-Piwek is currently on one of those trials, saying she just wants to help people in the future.

Dr. Kim says the increased awareness and testing for the gene means they can proactively tackle it.

“A lot of young women who are concerned about their next generation too,” he said

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“What’s been available for decades is that we can engineer embryos to not carry the genetic mutation and put those back into the women so their daughters or son don’t carry that genetic change. So what we hope, if genetic testing was very pervasive in a family then the subsequent generations wouldn’t need to worry about that.”






Author chronicles family’s legacy of hereditary cancer


Author chronicles family’s legacy of hereditary cancer

As for the women themselves? They say they won’t let the gene stop them from living their lives.

I can’t let things ruin my life like that. I need to like my life,” O’Grady said. “I had a little bit of a pity party and then moved forward to smile again and have fun again and be strong.”

For Aldofo-Piwek, she calls every day with her son a blessing.

And for Johnston, the positive mutation diagnosis offered her a chance to do some things on her to-do list: “After a long engagement, I actually got married this summer. I ran for council.” (Unfortunately, the changes to the Toronto city districts meant her campaign for council didn’t go through to a vote.)

I just wanted to do something to make [the world] better. If every single person on earth just kind of goes with ‘I’ll leave things in better shape than I started with, we’ll do a lot better in the world.”




© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.






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24Oct

Canada’s best new restaurants of 2019

by BBG Hub

Canada’s newly named best new restaurant is in a former skate shop.



On Wednesday, Air Canada’s enRoute magazine named Arvi Canada’s best new restaurant of 2019. Located in Quebec City, the 30-seat restaurant has an open kitchen allowing guests to watch three chefs prepare their meals — a “dinner-theatre experience.”

Co-owned by French chef Julien Masia and chef François Blais, Arvi specializes in using fresh, seasonal ingredients to create plates like Gaspesian lobster and veal rib-eye.

READ MORE: These are Canada’s best new restaurants of 2018

The annual list of the country’s top 10 new restaurants is boiled down from a larger list of 35. Each year, one food critic using a fake name visits each new restaurant, recommended by a national panel of chefs, industry experts, food critics and food writers as well as previous best restaurant title holders.

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To be considered, restaurants have to have opened between late spring 2018 and June 2019.

This year’s top 30 list includes a range of restaurants from coast to coast. But once again, like the last two years, no East Coast restaurant was featured in the top 10 list.

Ready to dine? Check out this year’s top 10 list below: 

10) Ten

City: Toronto

This small restaurant offers up a 10-course tasting menu for 10 people — fitting. Run by two Toronto-based chefs, Ten offers everything from Ontario white beans to seared fiddleheads to a range of seafood.

The restaurant also has a mission to give back: it works with city organizations to find solutions for their food waste. 

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9) Dispatch

City: St. Catharines, Ont.

Run by Australian-born chef Adam Hynam-Smith and artist Tamara Jensen, this Ontario restaurant, close to Niagara’s wine country, offers guests a range of global cuisine.

Dispatch made the top 10 for its funky cocktails, fermented ingredients and a focus on North African and Middle Eastern dishes.

8) Pastel

City: Montreal

With a changing menu depending on seasonal goods, Pastel offers a 10-course gourmet experience at $140 (along with à la carte options).

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The restaurant was praised for its homemade bread, colourful dessert and even its pastel interior.

7) Wayfarer Oyster House

City: Whitehorse, Yukon 

This northern oyster house offers fresh oysters and seafood from the Yukon, British Columbia and Alaska.

And if you’re looking for something more, the restaurant’s casual dining room has everything from locally sourced meats to homemade pasta to roasted cauliflower.

6) Dreyfus 

City: Toronto

Dreyfus was the vision of two Joe Beef expats who wanted to bring new French cuisine from Montreal to Toronto.

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The restaurant has everything from garlic-infused escargot to a selected list of small-produced wine to dishes inspired by the chef’s Jewish background.

5) Nowhere * A Restaurant 

City: Victoria, B.C.

Nowhere * A Restaurant is a discreet 30-seat eatery tucked inside the courtyard of a small mall. The Victoria restaurant focuses on sustainable seafood and “plant-forward” dishes, like eggplant “meatballs” and pine mushroom pasta.

They also feature a wine list with local drops and tasting menus.

4) Pluvio Restaurant + Rooms

City: Ucluelet, B.C. 

This small restaurant creates dishes from local products of Ucluelet and elsewhere on Vancouver Island, like grilled steelhead salmon and slow-roasted duck breast.

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Attached to its intimate boutique hotel, Pluvio‘s open kitchen offers guests a personal dining experience.

3) Donna’s

City: Toronto

Donna’s is a laid-back eatery that evokes a “granny chic” vibe with colourful houseplants and vintage posters. The new Toronto restaurant serves up meat mains, like roast pork topped with shaved endive and tarragon and sprat-oil aioli, and smaller dishes like sweet corn with dried shrimp butter.

Their whole oven-baked sole bathed in a harissa and chili butter sauce is a fan favourite.

2) Como Taperia 

City: Vancouver

This restaurant is the spot for tapas and soccer lovers: soccer decor is featured throughout the place and Spanish influence is abundant.

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Como Taperia serves classic made-to-order dishes, like tortilla española, alongside kitchen-prepared dishes, like steak with padrón peppers and chorizo. Tin seafood is a menu staple, as is Spanish beer and cocktails on tap.

1) Arvi 

City: Quebec City 

This year’s winner, Arvi offers an intimate dining experience paired with quality food. Guests watch their meals get cooked, plated and served by the small staff, and can take part in seafood or meat dishes, or opt for a five-course vegetarian tasting menu.

Their celebrated bottomless plate of sourdough with truffle butter is a popular way to start, as is a selection from their wine list and local craft beers.

[email protected]

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.






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23Oct

Here’s when to change your clock for Daylight Saving Time — and why we ‘fall back’ – National

by BBG Hub

Most Canadians will likely welcome an extra hour of sleep in early November as clocks “fall back” with the end of Daylight Saving Time.

The time change will happen at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3, at which point clocks will change to 1 a.m. That means the day will last 25 hours.



The shift means it will be darker for longer in the morning, but the sun will be out “later” in the evening.


READ MORE:
Nine things you didn’t know about Daylight Saving Time around the world

Daylight Saving Time has been used in Canada for over a century despite complaints that it’s inconvenient. There are also contradictory claims about whether or not it helps save energy.

The controversial practice was widely adopted in Europe and North America during the First World War as a supposed fuel-saving measure. Modern critics argue that it doesn’t accomplish that goal anymore, because most power grids have become more efficient since the 1910s.

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It’s also just a pain to adapt to a time shift in the middle of a chilly autumn.

Various Canadian provinces and U.S. states have flirted with the notion of getting rid of Daylight Saving Time altogether, but it currently remains a part of most Canadians’ lives.






Huge majority of British Columbians want Daylight Saving Time permanent


Huge majority of British Columbians want Daylight Saving Time permanent

Some communities across the country have opted not to participate in the time-shifting practice, including most of Saskatchewan and several towns in B.C., Ontario and Quebec.


READ MORE:
New legislation coming to keep B.C.’s clocks fixed, but seasonal time changes not yet over

The European Union has also voted to scrap Daylight Saving Time by 2021.

The extra hour of sleep doesn’t come free, though: You’ll have to “give back” that time when Daylight Saving Time returns on Sunday, March 8, 2020.




© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.






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22Oct

Election hangover: How to cope with not getting the leader you wanted – National

by BBG Hub

The Liberals won the most seats in Monday’s election and Justin Trudeau was re-elected as Canada’s prime minister.

The Liberals will form a minority government — winning 157 seats — and will need to negotiate support from at least one other party in order to pass any legislation while they are in office.



The Conservatives took 121 seats, the Bloc Quebecois 32 seats and the NDP 24 seats. The Green Party won three seats and Jody Wilson-Raybould was the only independent candidate to capture a seat.

READ MORE: Live Canada election results 2019

For some, the results are welcomed. But those not happy with the outcome may be waking up with post-election stress and disappointment.

“I’ve heard people have extreme anxiety to the point of having severe panic attacks the day after the election when they realize who is going to be their new president or prime minister,” says Dr. Ingrid Söchting, a clinical psychologist and director of the University of British Columbia Psychology Clinic.

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According to Rana Khan, a Toronto-based registered psychotherapist, it is common for people to feel personally impacted by the results of an election.

“This is particularly true if the elected party has major implications for you as an individual, or it has major implications for a specific group that you belong to or interact with,” Khan says.

“Generally, people have feelings of uncertainty or a general sense of loss, defeat or hopelessness.”

Söchting says she’s seen such reactions in her clinical experience, too, and points to these types of responses south of the border following the 2016 U.S. federal election.

After Donald Trump became president, politics-induced anxiety was given the unofficial name of post-election stress disorder. Several mental health professionals also wrote a book called The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, which examines the “mental health consequences” of Trump’s presidency.






Federal Election 2019: Trudeau greets supporters at Metro station following election win


Federal Election 2019: Trudeau greets supporters at Metro station following election win

While these cases may be more extreme, Söchting says people may experience more general symptoms of depression, or feel demoralized and discouraged by election results.

So how can you cope with not getting the political outcome you desired? The first step is accepting your emotions.

Process and accept

“Absolutely pay attention to your feelings and give yourself permission to feel them,” Söchting says.

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Feelings are not permanent, Söchting says, and for people who do not have a pre-existing anxiety or mood disorder, these emotions are typically short-lasting.

READ MORE: Separatist talk renews in Alberta following Justin Trudeau Liberal victory

Still, it’s important people sit with their post-election feelings so they can process them. Ignoring them is not a helpful response.

“They may be kind of ugly feelings of anger or even despair, but don’t feel you have to rush into some kind of action mode or new belief about what people are like or our country is like,” Söchting says.

Avoid thinking traps

While dealing with disappointment or anxiety, it’s common to fall into “thinking traps,” Söchting says. These can include “black and white” thinking, catastrophizing or “fortune-telling,” which is when you think you can predict the future.

READ MORE: Trudeau won the most seats, but not a majority. What now?

“Human beings are prone to cognitive biases,” Söchting explains.

“We humans tend to catastrophize when we are feeling something intensely. So for elections, when the party we voted for doesn’t win, we may catastrophize and believe that our country will be ‘ruined’ or ‘pushed back into the dark ages’ or led ‘by immature people.’”

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It’s important for citizens to recognize these thinking traps and challenge them. These exaggerated ways of thinking are not helpful and usually not true, Söchting says.






Federal Election 2019: Justin Trudeau FULL victory speech


Federal Election 2019: Justin Trudeau FULL victory speech

“We need to de-catastrophize and remind ourselves we live in a strong democracy and we can influence, hold our politicians accountable and follow fair and responsible media outlets over the next four years before the next election,” she says.

Take a break from screens

Leading up to elections, TV and social media are flooded with political news. Once election results are revealed, it’s perfectly OK to take a break from your screens.

“When you are feeling raw and vulnerable, it’s never good to be too obsessed with media and social media,” Söchting says.

READ MORE: Full results of the 2019 federal election

“The election outcome has happened; there’s nothing you can do at this point. … The analysis and what people are saying, you don’t need to know all that on day one or two. It can wait.”

Practise self-care

It’s important to look after your well-being at all times, but especially when your mental health is suffering.

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To help cope with anxiety, sadness and feelings of disappointment, do things that make you feel good. This may be exercising, seeing friends or spending time doing something you enjoy, like baking.






Federal Election 2019: Jagmeet Singh full concession speech


Federal Election 2019: Jagmeet Singh full concession speech

“Get into your routine. Keep moving. Don’t neglect eating well [and] if you are prone to unhelpful ways of coping, maybe this is not a day to drink more,” Söchting says.

“Be really kind to your body and your mind.”

Söchting says it’s also important to spend time with people you trust, like family and friends. These people don’t need to vote the same way as you, but they should be folks whom you feel safe sharing your feelings with.

Khan echoes this, and says a sense of community can “go a long way in being able to deal with uncertainty, loss, defeat and hopelessness.”

Get involved

Once you’ve allowed yourself to process your emotions, you may want to take action.






Federal Election 2019: Andrew Scheer full concession speech


Federal Election 2019: Andrew Scheer full concession speech

If you’re unhappy with the election outcome, you can get involved in local political groups or grassroots organizations to spark change.

“What can you do on an individual or day-to-day level to contribute to the change that you want to see at the macro-level?” Khan says.

Picking a cause you care about can help ease feelings of powerlessness, Söchting adds.

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“It’s always healthy to confront and to engage,” Söchting says.

“The worst is probably just to become detached and increasingly hopeless and isolated.”

— With a file from Amanda Connolly 

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.






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20Oct

Parents feel squeezed by child-care costs. Here’s where they want help – National

by BBG Hub

Steve, 32, knows all about the struggle to find affordable, high-quality child care.



The new father lives in Ottawa with his wife and 11-month-old son. Until recently, both of them worked full time, Steve in marketing and his wife in child care. (Global News has agreed to withhold the family’s last name to protect anonymity.)

Things drastically changed when Steve’s wife had to leave her job because they couldn’t afford daycare, and the irony of the situation isn’t lost on the young parents.

READ MORE: Paid leave, tax credits, more benefits — What the parties are promising parents

“Child care in Ontario is so expensive … with how little she makes teaching 10 other kids, it made more sense for her to stay home with our son than to go back to work,” Steve told Global News.

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It would have cost the young couple more to pay for daycare while earning dual incomes than it did for Steve’s wife to remain on maternity leave.






Cameras in daycares: pros and cons


Cameras in daycares: pros and cons

Steve works a typical Monday-to-Friday workweek, but his wife had shifts that changed all the time. For this reason, he says their “ideal” child-care program would prioritize flexible hours.

“Our ideal program would have hours that reflect a typical workday [and] costs that would allow the daycare workers to earn a decent wage.”

Unfortunately, Steve’s experience isn’t the exception — for most Canadian parents, it’s the rule.

Lindsay Williams and her partner live in Toronto with their two kids, aged five and 10 months. She’s currently on maternity leave but she worries what will happen when she needs to go back to work soon.

READ MORE: 66% of pregnant women not getting major recommended vaccines — CDC

She’s started the daycare search, but it’s tough to find somewhere that checks all of her boxes.

“We both work full time [so] we need an extended day spot for my five-year-old and an infant spot for my 10-month-old. We need care Monday to Friday,” she told Global News.

“Preferably, we’re looking for care close to our home or close to my work … [and] we’re looking for a clean, safe environment with a registered early childhood educator. We’re [also] looking for centre-based care with play-based learning.”






Do kids need preschool? Early childhood education professor weighs in


Do kids need preschool? Early childhood education professor weighs in

Williams placed her first child on daycare wait lists when she was pregnant, but she still had to wait 17 months before securing a spot.

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“I had to harass daycare [centres] by calling them non-stop,” she said. When she finally found a spot, she was forced to end her maternity leave two months early in order to qualify for the centre.

Williams took the spot because it was the only one she could find, but the service has been less than ideal.

READ MORE: How to talk to kids about climate change without scaring them

“The timing of daycare for my son has always been a struggle with my work hours … I’ve had to pay people to take him to daycare or pick him up on top of paying the daycare fees,” she said.

The “ridiculously high” cost of care has also been a struggle for Williams and her husband.

“To send both our sons to daycare — if we find a spot — we calculated that we would be paying $2,600 a month. At that point, is it even worth me going back to work?” Williams said.






HIV prenatal care home aims to keep mothers and babies together


HIV prenatal care home aims to keep mothers and babies together

“We would struggle financially on my partner’s earnings as he’s a contractor … his work is up and down and his hours vary. I would lose my career — something I worked so hard for — my paycheque, my adult interaction.”

Williams is looking for affordability and accessibility, but it’s also important that her children are well taken care of.

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“We’re leaving our sons with strangers for the majority of the day,” she said.

About 60 per cent of Canadian children under the age of six received some form of child care from January to March 2019, a recent Statistics Canada survey found. That’s nearly 1.4 million children in just three months.

According to child-care experts, the care services available aren’t good enough to handle this many children across the country. There’s a lack of options, and when care is available, it’s typically a massive monthly expense.

To improve child care for Canadian families, experts say there needs to be more of a focus on three main principles: making child care affordable, accessible and high quality.

Affordability is most important

Unfortunately, the high cost of care is a major issue for parents, and the price tag varies widely across the country.

According to Statistics Canada, the average monthly cost of full-time care in 2011 ranged from $152 in Quebec to $677 in Ontario, and that’s not even 10 years ago.

(Editor’s note: When Global News asked Twitter users if they had this problem, the response was overwhelming. Read some of their stories below.)

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Sharon Gregson, a spokesperson for the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC, joined the fight for more affordable child care when she became a single mom of four children in the early 1990s.

“I needed affordable child care to go back to university [and] to work,” she said.

She quickly realized good quality, affordable and accessible child-care centres were few and far between.

“There are a few basic tenets that are true of all quality child-care systems: they are affordable — or even free — for families, educators have good levels of education and are well-paid, and they’re publicly funded.”

High child-care costs can impact all aspects of how a family lives, Gregson said — from how they eat to the kinds of extracurricular activities they can access and everything in between.

READ MORE: Unemployment is low. The economy is growing. Why do Canadians feel like they can’t get ahead?

For Diana Sarosi, Ottawa manager of policy and advocacy for OXFAM Canada, affordable child care is actually a women’s rights issue.

“Care responsibilities are a huge barrier to women’s economic equality,” she said. “[Women] often have to make tough choices when it comes to working or caring for children … this still disproportionately falls to women.

“Women do double the amount of unpaid care work that men do.”


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For Sarosi, it’s critical to provide better child-care options so that women don’t have to make these difficult sacrifices.

Accessibility is critical

Right now, finding daycare with flexible hours close to your home or work is an extremely difficult task.

Sarosi believes making child care in Canada more universal would be one way to make this process easier.






New report looks at value of real-life friendships


New report looks at value of real-life friendships

“This doesn’t mean that in every municipality, the exact same program needs to be in place … It means that everyone who wants child care has access to child care,” she said.

“In municipalities, there are different needs. [Child care] has to be tailored to those specific needs.”

For Morna Ballantyne, executive director of Child Care Now, making child care affordable and accessible can be made possible by creating a publicly owned and operated system.

READ MORE: ‘Stretched thinner and thinner’ — Timberlea mother says no federal candidate has earned her vote

“The current situation is that child care is really left to … what we call ‘the market,’” she said. “The child care that’s available is available because individuals or organizations — it could be for-profit or not-for-profit, like a church — decide to set up a child-care service.”

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There are some government stipulations regarding how these businesses are allowed to run — like limits to how many children they’re allowed to care for at once — but the service isn’t publicly delivered or publicly funded, and that concerns Ballantyne.

“People set up shop in a variety of ways, and then parents have to go and find those services and pay money,” she said. “Some parents will get some assistance from the government, depending on where they live, but the service itself isn’t 100 per cent funded by the government.”






Voter trust low among party leaders


Voter trust low among party leaders

Ballantyne believes this can lead to widely varied costs across the country and unregulated, inconsistent services.

“We have a situation now where there are lots of communities that are being under-serviced. When there’s limited supply, it tends to be those with the highest income levels who are serviced,” she said. “With a publicly managed system, we can manage the supply and demand.”

High-quality care must be a priority

While affordability and accessibility are certainly necessary, Don Giesbrecht, CEO of the Canadian Child Care Federation, believes high-quality child care is equally as important.

“This isn’t just about throwing money at [the problem].”

High-quality child care can be “really beneficial for young children in terms of their development,” he said. “The first five years of [life] are the most important years in human development.”

Research bears this out. According to a 2010 study, good-quality child care can have a positive impact on peer socialization, and it can help prepare young kids for school.

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READ MORE: Climate change emerges as one of the top ballot-box issues among voters — Ipsos poll

Geisbrecht said high-quality childhood educators are needed to create strong curriculum and pedagogy for young children, but “recruiting and retaining” continues to be one of the long-standing issues in this sector.

This is due, in part, to low wages.

“It’s not just about compensation, but that is a primary motivator,” Giesbrecht said.

Ballantyne agrees.

“You want to make sure the caregivers are qualified … that they’ve actually had training in early childhood education,” she said. “You also want to make sure that there’s not high staff turnover because we know that really impacts the quality of care.

“For all of that, you need to pay sufficiently high wages to attract people into the sector and to keep them there.”






Will childcare costs in the GTA ever come down?


Will childcare costs in the GTA ever come down?

Ultimately, it all comes back to funding.

“We want public funding, public management and planning … so that these three things can happen simultaneously: the number of spaces can be expanded, the quality can be assured to be good and … the fees are actually affordable,” said Ballantyne.

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“You can’t do one without the other.”


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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.






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