Utah bans conversion therapy: ‘This measure will truly save lives’ – National

22Jan

Utah bans conversion therapy: ‘This measure will truly save lives’ – National

by BBG Hub

The discredited practice of conversion therapy for LGBTQ2 children is now banned in Utah, making it the 19th state and one of the most conservative to prohibit the practice.

Supporters navigated a winding path to passage and some dissent remains, but barring it in Utah could give a boost to similar efforts in other right-leaning states, said Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

“It’s really given people a lot of hope,” said Minter, whose group has pushed for bans around the U.S.

Virginia is considering a ban, Minter said, and the issue could also come up this year in Texas and Kentucky.

READ MORE: Calgary city committee moves forward with steps to ban conversion therapy

The change in Utah comes after the state hammered out a regulatory rule that had the support of the influential Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Leaders had opposed a previous version because it didn’t have certain exceptions for clergy.

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Republican Gov. Gary Herbert took the unusual step of calling on regulators after a proposed law was derailed by changes made by conservative lawmakers. State officials confirmed the rule became final late Tuesday.



The original sponsor of the proposal, GOP Utah Rep. Craig Hall, applauded the rule going into effect, saying in a statement that it prohibits dangerous practices while protecting health-care professionals.

“This measure will truly save lives,” he said.






Calgary city councillors lobby for ban on conversion therapy


Calgary city councillors lobby for ban on conversion therapy

Conversion therapy is a practice used to try to change sexual orientation or gender identity.

Many people who have been through it say it deepened feelings of depression and increased thoughts of suicide. The new rule bans Utah therapists from subjecting LGBTQ2 minors to the practice that the American Psychological Association has said is not based in science and is harmful to mental health.

Still, the ban has drawn pushback in Utah. Opponents argued it would prevent parents from getting help for children with “unwanted” gay feelings and keep therapists from even talking about sexuality with their kids.

The rule could become an issue during the 2020 legislative session.

READ MORE: Could Calgary ban conversion therapy?

Utah’s predominant faith, known widely as the Mormon church, opposes same-sex marriage and teaches that intimate same-sex relationships are a sin. But it also urges members to be kind and compassionate to LGBTQ2 people.

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The religion holds tremendous influence in Utah, where the majority of state lawmakers and nearly two-thirds of the state’s 3.1 million residents are members.

The faith got behind the conversion therapy ban after supporters included assurances that church leaders and members who are therapists would be allowed to provide spiritual counselling for parishioners or families.




© 2020 The Canadian Press






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21Jan

How to make healthy eating resolutions stick throughout the year – National

by BBG Hub

For many of us, January is all about giving things up: Maybe we’re going to stop eating meat and embrace a plant-based diet. Or we’re ready to kick excess sugar to the curb after a holiday season awash in sweets. Or we’re committed to avoiding fast food.

Starting the year with noble goals for eating well is a modern rite of passage. But it’s just as common to ditch those grand plans within just a few weeks.

This year, how can we do it right? If we’re pledging to make better food choices, which strategies can help us stick with them?

Start small

The consensus among experts is clear: It’s tempting to begin with dramatic gestures, but the key to achieving lasting change is setting goals that are small enough that we won’t scrap them by Valentine’s Day.

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READ MORE: Want to be happier in 2020? Make mental health a priority

Manageable, measurable goals can create long-term change, says Laila Azarbad, associate professor of psychology at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois.

When people set lofty goals, they can get discouraged after a couple weeks.

“Our self-efficacy, that belief in our own ability, tanks,” she says. “And that’s a huge predictor: If you don’t feel confident in your ability to make the change, you’re going to discontinue trying.”

Picture this, says Dana White, a sports dietitian and clinical associate professor at Quinnipiac University: You want to lose 20 pounds and you know that every afternoon you visit the office vending machine for a snack to boost your energy. So, begin packing a healthy afternoon snack — not something punitive, but something healthier that you’ll enjoy — and have that instead of a vending machine candy bar.






How good are plant-based diets for the environment?


How good are plant-based diets for the environment?

It’s a measurable, specific change that won’t be unpleasant. Once that new behaviour is in place, you can add another small but meaningful change.



The same thinking works if you’re eliminating animal products: Rather than going cold turkey (cold tofu?), begin by replacing one dinner per week with a vegetarian meal. Plan it for a night when you won’t be rushed and can make an appealing recipe, or budget for going out once a week to a vegetarian restaurant.

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Then track that change for three weeks, says Anna Baker, assistant professor of psychology at Bucknell University, who researches the connection between behavioural factors such as self-management and health outcomes.

“You hear that it takes 21 days to create habit. There’s debate about whether it’s 21 exactly, but you need a certain amount of time of continuing to do something before it becomes a habit,” Baker says.

READ MORE: Lying on your dating profile can hurt you and your chances at love

“Once you do kind of get used to that change and you’re doing it regularly, then you can add in another thing.”

If you make that one good shift for three weeks, congratulate yourself. Then maintain that behaviour and add another small change, like drinking more water.

It’s tempting to try making a half-dozen changes all at once, White says. But by focusing on individual, small, unhealthy behaviours and “really identifying what the triggers are that lead to those behaviours,” she says, people “can have a tremendous amount of success without torturing themselves.”

Don’t be too hard on yourself

Accept that mistakes are a normal part of building a new habit. If you know an event is coming up where you’ll want to divert from your eating goals, accept that you may slip a bit.

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Study says regular exercise can help prevent certain types of cancer


Study says regular exercise can help prevent certain types of cancer

Aim for “consistency, not perfection,” says Baker. “You have to plan in advance that you’re going to screw up. We’re not perfect.”

Enlist friends

Lastly, “tell everybody you know that you’re doing this because social support is huge,” Azerbad says.

“If you’re going out to eat and they know you’re trying to change your diet, they can help choose a restaurant that will accommodate you,” she says.

READ MORE: Should you switch careers? What you need to know before taking the plunge

And the need to save face may keep you on track.

“Once you put it out there on social media and you tell everybody that ‘I’m going to do this… you feel that people are watching,” Azerbad says.

“We don’t want other people to see us fail.”




© 2020 The Canadian Press






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21Jan

The best time to buy things in 2020: You love to shop, so why not get the best deal? – National

by BBG Hub

If you’re a savvy shopper, chances are you like scoring a serious deal.

But between Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day and Travel Tuesday, it can be hard to know exactly when the best time is to make a purchase.


READ MORE:
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So when is it a good time to buy a new phone or book that vacation?

Here, experts share their shopping tips so consumers can get the best deal possible.

Laptops, cell phones and technology

It may feel as if a new cell phone model comes out every week, but knowing the product cycle of a brand can help you save money.

Sylvain Sénécal, a marketing professor at HEC Montréal, said manufacturers often have sales around the time of a new product release. These vary based on brand, but he gives the example of Apple iPhones: when a new model comes to market, older models are often slightly discounted.

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“Maybe some retailers also have [older] products left over, so they will discount those products,” he said.

New models of electronics often come out in October or early November, personal finance and travel expert Barry Choi said. If you can hold off on buying a device as soon as it’s released, you can often get a deal on Black Friday, which is in late November.






Tips for Thrift Store Wardrobe Shopping


Tips for Thrift Store Wardrobe Shopping

“I knew that Google always had a sale on Black Friday, so I didn’t buy their new Pixel phone on launch day,” Choi said. “I waited a month and a half and I was right: it was $250 off.”

Plus, most manufacturers often scale back on deals until big shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Sénécal added. This means if a TV or speaker is going to go on sale, your best bet outside of old-model sales is on these days.

“We won’t see many big discounts from brands because they’re waiting for that moment; they know that people will shop seriously during these specific days,” he said.

“There’s no need to put out discounts just before.”

Appliances

Sénécal said new appliances are often brought to the market in the fall.

This means manufacturers will often mark down existing models to make room for new ones during this time, resulting in discounts for consumers who are happy with an older make.

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READ MORE:
4 financial resolutions to really get a handle on your money in 2020

Choi said you can often still score deals from brands like LG in January and February.

“If you want a discount on older models you can get a deal because a lot of merchants are trying to push out their inventory,” he explained.

Gym memberships

Gyms and workout studios will often offer new clients deals before the new year, but Choi suggests waiting until January or February before taking advantage of deals.

The reason? Many people pay for memberships in early January before discovering how often they will actually use the gym, which can be a bad financial decision.

Instead of signing up for a year-long membership on Jan. 1, try the gym or workout studio for a month to see if you like it, Choi said. Come February, you’ll know if the purchase is worth it.








How to understand your money and get a grip on your finances


How to understand your money and get a grip on your finances

“If you give it that month, six weeks, then you really get a good idea and know if you’re committed,” Choi said.

Flights and travel packages

You don’t need to book a vacation a year in advance in order to get a discount. Choi says if you’re looking for a tour, booking a season ahead is often enough for a better rate.

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For a summer tour, start searching in the spring. Likewise, any fall tours should be booked in the summer.

When it comes to airfares, Choi says airlines have sales throughout the year. By subscribing to airline newsletters, you can be notified as soon as a seat sale is happening.

“Airlines always have different deals, like Boxing Day, Blue Monday — but those are one-day events,” he said.


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Travel companies like G Adventures, however, often have sales during specific times of the year, including in January.

“Companies such as Air Canada Vacations, Sunwing [packages], they both frequently have discounts at this time of the year where you can save anywhere from 20 to 50 per cent off depending on where you want to go and what type of property you’re looking for,” Choi said.

The more flexible you are with your travel dates and location, the better. Choi said if you have a specific date in mind, like March break, you’re less likely to score a deal.

“If you’ve got some flexibility, you’ll be able to save money in some way.”

Winter clothing

Winter clothing can go on sale as early as Black Friday, but nearly every retailer clears out cold-weather gear starting on Boxing Day.

Choi said these deals often extend into February and March, meaning you can still get discounts well into the new year.

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Money123: How to build credit from scratch


Money123: How to build credit from scratch

The problem with waiting until January, however, is that stock is typically low. This means your clothing size may sell out in December, so waiting to save a bit more money on a further markdown will be useless.

Choi said it’s best to buy winter clothing as soon as it’s reduced so you get what you need.

Late December and early January is also a great time to buy any winter sporting equipment, he said. This can include skis, snowboards and skates.

“A lot of merchants are again trying to clear them out as they’re trying to bring in bikes for the spring,” he said. “They want to get rid of the excess stock, and of course, that means big discounts.”

Holiday decorations

Come Dec. 26, Christmas-related items typically go on sale. These include wrapping paper, decor and holiday-themed gift sets.


READ MORE:
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The same goes for other holidays, like Valentine’s Day or Easter, when retailers clear out candy, gifts and cards.

Choi previously told Global News that anything a store has overstocked for the holidays is a good option as well, which could include clothing, toys, video games or electronics from big box stores.

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“Quite often, you see big sales on those items because they’re just trying to clear everything out that they didn’t sell for over the holidays.”

Pro tips

For online shopping, Choi suggests using a browser extension like Honey or Dealhack. These tools scan the internet for deals and promo codes and automatically apply relevant discounts to your purchase.






Money123: Retail tactics that get you spending


Money123: Retail tactics that get you spending

You can also sign up for retailers’ newsletters to get notifications when they are having sales, Choi said. Sometimes brands will even send out discount codes to subscribers or special offers.

Sénécal warns, however, not to get too spend-happy on days like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. While you can certainly score some great deals, many items won’t be marked down as significantly as the select, promoted products are.

“The idea is to attract consumers with a couple of these big deals, but obviously there’s a limited quantity of these items,” Sénécal said.

“People go and visit the store or the website to look for that specific product, but then if it’s not available anymore, they still see all these exciting deals. So maybe they’ll settle for the second-best option that’s 30 per cent off, not 60.”

This year, we’re hoping to take the focus away from making resolutions and put it towards resetting some of the most important parts of our lifestyle: everything from our finances to parenting and more. Each day this week, we will tackle a new topic with the help of the Global News’ ‘The Morning Show.’ Read them all here.  

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






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20Jan

The biggest lawsuits filed by the royal family — from planted cameras to leaked nudes

by BBG Hub

In October, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle launched a lawsuit against U.K. newspaper the Mail on Sunday and its parent company, Associated Newspapers.

The royals claim the paper committed a misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018 when it printed a private letter reportedly written by Meghan to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.

Shortly after, Prince Harry launched another formal legal claim against two other U.K. tabloids over alleged phone hacking.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle’s estranged father accuses her of ‘cheapening’ royal family

“Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences — a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son,” Prince Harry said in an official statement published to the Sussexes’ website in 2019.

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It continues: “There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behaviour, because it destroys people and destroys lives. Put simply, it is bullying, which scares and silences people. We all know this isn’t acceptable, at any level. We won’t and can’t believe in a world where there is no accountability for this.”






Prince Harry breaks silence on decision by him and Meghan step back from Royal roles


Prince Harry breaks silence on decision by him and Meghan step back from Royal roles

The question in these lawsuits, said Vancouver lawyer Rose Keith, is whether Meghan Markle had a “reasonable expectation of privacy” when she wrote that letter to her father.

“Our understanding of privacy and our experience of privacy has changed from 20 years ago, [because of platfirns like] social media,” said Keith.

What could happen in Harry and Meghan’s lawsuit

Keith admits the U.K. processes are different than those in Canada, but she predicts a number of factors would affect the outcome of the suit, regardless of location.

“One of them is whether the person [Meghan was communicating with] is in a position of trust,” she said. “If I were communicating with my parents, I would have an expectation of privacy in that situation.”

READ MORE: Prince Harry speaks out about decision to step back from royal roles with ‘great sadness’

Were this the argument made by Harry and Meghan’s legal counsel, the defense may argue that “[Meghan] would have no expectation of privacy in those circumstances because she’s estranged from her father,” said Keith.

Meghan Markle’s status as a public figure of interest could also come into play.

In law, there are two different standards: an objective standard and a subjective standard. The former is the reasonable person in that person’s circumstances, and the latter is the person’s personal feelings on things.

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Prince Harry and Meghan drop royal duties and HRH titles


Prince Harry and Meghan drop royal duties and HRH titles

“If you’re a public figure, what objectively do you think a reasonable person would expect in terms of privacy?” said Keith. “I still think that Meghan, in writing to her father, would have an expectation of privacy, but I don’t know all the factors.”


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Life in a ‘fishbowl’: Former Manitoba chief of protocol on Prince Harry, Meghan Markle’s step back

Although the subject matter of these lawsuits is certainly unique, this isn’t the first time members of the royal family have made legal claims against media and other corporations.

“There is a history of members of royal families around the world being involved in court actions against certain parts of the media, said Edward J.T. Wang, a Vancouver-based lawyer and royal commentator.

Other lawsuits filed by royalty

In 1993, the U.K. tabloid the Daily Mirror published photographs of the late Princess Diana exercising at a gym, taken on a hidden camera.

“The Daily Mirror apologized, paid £200,000 to charity and £1,000,000 towards the Princess’s legal fees,” said Wang. “The gym owner refused to settle but finally did a week before the trial was going to begin [in 1995].”

In 2004, Her Royal Highness the Princess of Hanover (born Her Serene Highness Princess Caroline of Monaco) obtained a judgement from the European Court of Human Rights condemning the German Constitutional Court for allowing publication of certain pictures.






Prince Harry, Meghan won’t use HRH titles, will no longer be working members of royal family


Prince Harry, Meghan won’t use HRH titles, will no longer be working members of royal family

“The European Court said there had been no ‘legitimate interest’ in the princess’s private life and that there was a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights,” said Wang.

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In 2012, the French magazine Closer and the Italian magazine Chi published photographs of Kate Middleton sun-bathing topless while on vacation in France at a chateau privately owned by then-Viscount Linley (now the Earl of Snowdon).

“In September [of the same year], the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge filed criminal complaints in France for invasion of privacy,” Wang said. “This led to a trial and the conviction of six people related to the magazines, as well as fines of €100,000 against the magazine Closer, and €45,000 each against the owner of the magazine and the editor.”

The royal family’s evolving relationship with the media

For a long time, before the advent of social media and the 24/7 news cycle, the royal family was able to make “quiet arrangements” with the press, said royal historian Carolyn Harris.

The U.K. media would be willing to avoid certain topics in exchange for privileged access to royal events.

One example is the abdication crisis of 1936, when the British press kept quiet about King Edward VIII’s relationship with American socialite Wallis Simpson.

READ MORE: Prince Harry, Meghan will no longer be working members of the royal family

“That is, until it became a constitutional crisis with the abdication,” said Harris. “In contrast, the American press was much more willing to cover the story of this growing relationship. In some ways, Canadians knew about this before the British did.”

Now, news spreads to all corners of the globe so quickly that the royal family lacks leverage, making it more difficult to keep private matters out of the hands of the media.

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“Some previous means which the royal family used to manage the press simply do not work in the modern day, as was possible in the past,” Harris said.






Who foots the bill for Harry and Meghan’s security in Canada?


Who foots the bill for Harry and Meghan’s security in Canada?

Harris wonders if it was the first ever royal family documentary — initiated by Prince Philip and filmed in 1969 — that was a turning point for the monarchy.

“The question now is whether the 1969 royal family documentary was simply in keeping with the times, making the royal family more relevant, or whether they opened the door to further invasive press coverage in the future,” she said.

“The documentary is now seen as rather embarrassing; it’s not shown in public.”

READ MORE: The Swedish, Spanish and more: Getting to know royalty around the world

Now, Harris thinks it will be very difficult for members of the royal family to maintain their privacy, “simply by how quickly news stories and photographs travel once they appear on the internet,” she said.

“It can be very difficult to ensure that they could get photos to disappear [once they’re on the internet], a challenge that William and Catherine faced in their lawsuit relating to events in the south of France early in their marriage.”

It will be much more difficult for new generations of the royal family to control what’s printed about them, said Harris — something Harry and Meghan know all too well.

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— With files from Global News’ Meaghan Wray

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






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20Jan

Want to be happier in 2020? Make mental health a priority – National

by BBG Hub

Three weeks ago, you may have written down a list of new year’s resolutions with goals like “save $20 a week” or “meditate for 20 minutes each day.”

It’s also highly likely that you’ve already abandoned your resolutions — according to one 2017 survey, 80 per cent of people drop their resolutions by February.

That’s why, this year, we’re hoping to take the focus away from making resolutions and, instead, put it towards resetting the most important parts of our lives.

READ MORE: Forget making resolutions — here’s how to reset the new year

When it comes to your mental health, happiness expert Gillian Mandich says it’s all about starting the new year at a slow, gentle pace.

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“When we get busy at the holidays, things get so hectic that we’re just rushing from one thing to the next and we aren’t able to put as much intention into what we’re doing,” Mandich told Global News.

“When we talk about resetting, it means stopping for a moment to take stock, take inventory of where you are, how you’re feeling, if you’re feeling the way you want to feel or if you’d like it to change.”


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Alberta documentary sheds light on men in the oilpatch and mental health


Alberta documentary sheds light on men in the oilpatch and mental health

Once you do that, you can look forward to the future and determine what you want your life to look like at the end of the year.

“You can determine what type of life you want to create and work towards that, as opposed to being reactive and just taking things as they come,” said Mandich.

“Being proactive [means] deliberately choosing where you want to go and how you want to feel this year as much as possible.”

Here, Mandich and other mental health professionals offer some tips and tricks for resetting your approach in 2020.

Take the good with the bad

All your emotions and feelings are important — even the bad ones.

“If you’re feeling sad, angry, frustrated, anxious … all of those feelings are totally OK and part of the human experience,” said Mandich.

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The next time you inevitably have a bad day, focus not on closing yourself off from the world but investigating what made you feel that way.

READ MORE: Postpartum euphoria is more than just feeling happy — experts say it can be a ‘lethal condition’

“Get clear on where those feelings are coming from and then you can go from there,” she said.

“The first step is really that awareness piece: what is in your life or your environment, and who are you surrounding yourself with? [Who and what] are contributing to the feelings that you’re having?”

Once you know the answers to these questions, you can make decisions about who and what you want to keep in your life for the new year.

Write things down



You can use anything from an app to a journal to a document on your computer. The important part is that you’re documenting your plans for the future.

“When we talk about resetting our mental health, part of it is planning for how you want to feel,” said Mandich.

“Research shows that when we write things down, we’re more likely to follow through with it.”

READ MORE: How to talk to your kids about the death of a loved one

Another way you hold yourself accountable is to share your plans with a trusted friend or family member.

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“That can really help to make your goals more realistic,” she said.

“Write it down, plug things into your calendar and then … every week or every month, check back in. Create a habit where you start to regularly check in with your feelings and course-correct throughout the year.”

Keep this simple mood-booster in your back pocket

Caring for your mental health doesn’t mean trying to be happy all the time, but boosting your mood can make the difference between a bad day and a good day.

Christine Korol, a registered psychologist at the Vancouver Anxiety Centre, recommends something called “behavioural activation,” which is when you “track what you are doing and how it makes you feel.”






Lack of friendships impacts men’s mental health — here’s how to deal with it


Lack of friendships impacts men’s mental health — here’s how to deal with it

In addition to tracking your actions, try to add “ACE activities” to your day-to-day life:

  1. Achievement: An example of this would be doing the dishes or finishing your taxes.
  2. Closeness: You could call a friend or go get a coffee with someone you love.
  3. Enjoyment: This could be as simple as listening to your favourite music. “Enjoyment is really important for busy people who cut out all fun to stay on top of their to-do list,” said Korol.

Korol believes this is one of the “most effective treatments” for depression and low mood.

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Consider seeing a therapist

“Mental health is the accumulation of your thoughts, feelings and actions,” said Rana Khan, a registered psychotherapist at Couple Therapy Toronto. “Now let’s break that apart, and you can see where you stand.”

Once you do that, you’ll be able to determine more clearly whether 2020 is the year you should see a therapist.

  1. Thoughts. Are you having too many thoughts? Are you have too few thoughts? Are your thoughts really dark and negative? Do you think that whatever you think never happens? If so, you might need to talk to someone about those concerns.
  2. Feelings. Do you find that your feelings match the situation that you’re in? Are you able to be happy when others around you are happy? Are you able to be sad when others around you are sad? Do you get angry when the situation doesn’t call for anger? If you find that feelings don’t match the setting, you might need to talk to someone about those concerns.
  3. Actions. Do you know why you do the things you do? Do you have reasons for acting the way you act? If you don’t know why you do the things you do and struggle with that, you might need to talk to someone about those concerns.

READ MORE: Vast majority of workers with mental health issues keep it secret from their boss: study

If you’re uncomfortable seeking professional help, there are some tools — Khan recommends exercise or journalling — you can try on your own.

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“See if they help you cross the finish line. If you aren’t able to, that is completely OK,” he said.

“There are people who can help you cross that finish line, and that’s when you can seek that extra support.”

This year, we’re hoping to take the focus away from making resolutions and put it towards resetting some of the most important parts of our lifestyle: everything from our finances to parenting and more. Each day this week, we will tackle a new topic with the help of the Global News’ ‘The Morning Show.’ Read them all here

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






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19Jan

Drinking tonight? Here’s how alcohol could affect your sleep – National

by BBG Hub

If you’re dying for a good night’s sleep, you might want to rethink the glass (or two) of wine you have with dinner.

In a recent survey by Mattress Advisor, 25 per cent of people reported feeling restless and waking up often throughout the night after drinking, 23 per cent reported feeling hot while they slept and 19 per cent reported nausea and vomiting.

What’s more, 55 per cent of respondents said they thought they got a good night’s sleep after drinking, but Susan Bondy, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Toronto, said this is likely because of alcohol’s drowsy effect.


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You might fall asleep quickly, she said, but alcohol can hurt your rest in several ways throughout the night, leaving you grumpy in the morning.

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The actual science behind how alcohol affects your brain is difficult to understand, but Bondy describes alcohol as “one of the messiest psychoactive substances.”

“Some drugs interact with very specific neurotransmitter receptor sites and very specific systems,” she said. “Alcohol actually interacts with a ton of them, so it’s very difficult to … predict exactly what the effects will be in a specific person.”






Dry January trend sparks nationwide discussions around effects of harmful alcohol consumption


Dry January trend sparks nationwide discussions around effects of harmful alcohol consumption

How drinking affects your sleep will also depend on your tolerance and the dosage. Alcohol could have a stimulating effect on one person, and a sedating effect on another, Bondy said.

Here are all the ways alcohol can negatively impact your trip to dreamland tonight.

Drinking will make your sleep worse

Drinking in large quantities before bed will undoubtedly cause you issues later in the night.

It will affect your “sleep architecture,” which is what Bondy calls the time you spend in deep sleep versus the time you spend in light or dreaming sleep.



“The proportions of time change,” she said. “You spend a lot more time in light sleep and then you slightly wake up and you’re aware of being awake. It’s related to insomnia.”

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It will also reduce the quality of your sleep.

“At the end of the night, you haven’t had a deep sleep, which restores brain function, solidifies your memory [and more],” said Bondy.

Alcohol has also been proven to affect different hormones, like melatonin, which is “well understood to be related to constituting the circadian rhythm, and alcohol has an adverse effect on melatonin levels,” she said.

“People are not well advised to use alcohol as a remedy for mood, for sleep or for anything else, because it’s probably going to have counter-intuitive effects.”

How it affects your body

Ashley Little is a sleep content specialist at Mattress Advisor and one of the lead authors of the survey.

In her research, she found that there are lots of physiological ways alcohol can contribute to a worse sleep.

In a normal sleep cycle, over the night, you’re going into rapid eye movement (REM) sleep about every 90 minutes and you’re cycling through all the sleep stages naturally, in a healthy way,” she said.


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“When you drink alcohol, you’re getting less REM sleep in the first few sleep cycles, so it’s actually suppressing the amount of time you’re spending in REM.”

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Then, later in the night, your body tries to compensate for that, which can cause a lot of disruption.

“Another thing is people have to pee more when they drink before they go to bed, so you’re waking up having to make a bathroom run,” she said.

There are no ‘quick fixes’

Whether you’re bracing for a hangover or hoping to cancel out the beer you had while watching the game, no amount of water or greasy food will reverse the damage done.

“There really is no quick fix,” said Bondy.

It doesn’t even matter if you try to space out your drinks over the night — it’s your blood alcohol level that matters.


READ MORE:
Restless leg syndrome linked to higher risk of self-harm, suicide

“It goes away gradually, and during that time, you have very severe irritant chemicals in your system,” she said.

“Adding water lightly dilutes the alcohol content, but it doesn’t actually remove [or] reduce the number of molecules of alcohol in systems that have to be dealt with.”

Some people take pain relievers in anticipation of a midnight headache, but Bondy advises against this.

“Many of those interact very badly with alcohol.”

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18Jan

The most ‘out-there’ Oscars red carpet fashion of all time – National

by BBG Hub

You may have forgotten who took home the Academy Award for best actor in 2001, but you probably remember Björk’s swan dress.

The Oscars have had no shortage of out-there looks over the years, from Cher’s bedazzled two-piece ensembles to Geena Davis’ ruffled mini dress.

Ahead of the 92nd Academy Awards on Feb. 9, we took a trip down red carpet memory lane. Here are some of the most memorable — and outrageous — Oscars outfits of all time.

Demi Moore, 1989

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Arriving at the awards show with then-husband Bruce Willis, Moore wore black spandex bicycle shorts and a textured corset that she styled herself.

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To add an element of formality to the look, Moore attached a half-skirt made out of metallic floral fabric. Despite it being the ’80s when workout shorts were all the rage, the actor’s outfit made many worst-dressed lists.

READ MORE: Oscar nominations slammed over lack of diversity

Vogue, however, fondly looked back on Moore’s DIY ensemble in 2018, calling it “enticing in many ways.”

Cher, 1986

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Whoever sat behind Cher at the Oscars in 1986 likely had an obstructed view, but this sequin outfit and feathered headdress is one of the star’s most iconic looks.

Designed by renowned fashion and costume designer Bob Mackie, the performer wore the one-of-a-kind outfit to present the award for Best Supporting Actor.

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Cher often wore Mackie’s creations to the Academy Awards; in 1973 she wore a yellow embellished two-piece and continued to sport his designs throughout the ’80s, including in 1988 when she won an Oscar for Moonstruck.

Faith Hill, 2002

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The country singer brought a lot of colour to the red carpet at the 74th Academy Awards.

Wearing Versace, Hill’s rainbow gown looked like a prom dress gone wrong. Its tablecloth-esque fabric was so form-fitting it must have been hard for Hill to just breathe.

Björk, 2001

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Who could forget the swan dress? Icelandic artist Björk turned heads at the 2001 Oscars when she arrived in a nude bodysuit under a feathered swan wrapped around her neck. She even stopped to “lay” eggs on the red carpet.

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The dress was designed by Macedonian designer Marjan Pejoski, who has since dressed other celebrities, like Katy Perry.

READ MORE: Montreal filmmaker gets Oscar nomination for ‘Brotherhood’

Björk’s look is so iconic that it was included in a MoMA exhibit and has inspired endless pop culture references. At the Emmy Awards the same year, Ellen DeGeneres wore a swan dress knock-off, and Kevin James did the same at the 2002 People’s Choice Awards.

When hosting the Oscars in 2006, Jon Stewart even joked about the dress and said Björk wasn’t in attendance because she had been shot by Dick Cheney, referencing his infamous hunting accident.

Billy Bob Thornton, 1997

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A real mix of formal and casual attire, Thornton came to the 69th annual Academy Awards dressed in a three-piece suit and ZZ Top baseball hat.



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He took home an Oscar that year for his film Sling Blade wearing a ribbon around his neck as a tie. At least it was less controversial than a blood vial.

Cher, 1974

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This list could be comprised of only Cher’s Oscars outfits, but this two-piece ensemble is one of her most revealing looks.

Designed by her go-to Bob Mackie, the superstar wore a sheer, patterned skirt with a matching barely-there halter top that exposed her midriff. In the same floral fabric, Cher sported a scarf/necklace hybrid tied around her neck.

READ MORE: Here’s your full list of 2020 Academy Award nominees

Purple and blue eyeshadow (and nails) finished the look.

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Geena Davis, 1992

Geena Davis (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Geena Davis (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)


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Even though it was the ’90s — a decade when many fashion crimes were committed — Davis’ Oscars look was just plain bad.

Nominated for her role in Thelma and Louise, Davis arrived at the awards show in a ruffled minidress complete with satin gloves that nearly reached her armpits. To highlight the dress’ train, Davis wore contrasting black sheer tights and pointed black shoes.

Created by costume designers Ruth Meyers and Bill Hargate, the dress looked like a wedding gown that had gone through a paper shredder.

Whoopi Goldberg, 1993

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Between the neon green and purple satin, Goldberg brought a lot of personality to the 1993 Academy Awards.

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The actor and comedian wore a patterned jumpsuit underneath a cape-like skirt and collared jacket. To complete the look, Goldberg sported matching shoes. At least she was committed.

Gwyneth Paltrow, 2002

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Before she was convincing women to put jade eggs inside their vaginas, Paltrow went bra-less in an Alexander McQueen sheer gown at the 2002 Academy Awards.

Between the smoky eye makeup, side braid, and overall attempt to be gothic chic, Paltrow perfectly embodied the mood of the early 2000s.

Sally Kirkland, 2007

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… an Oscars dress?

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Kirkland really failed to take off with this caped sheer getup at the 2007 Academy Awards. The actor claimed it was made by her Kabbalah teacher and called the look “a rabbi and a reverend,” whatever that means.

Celine Dion, 1999

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This outfit is tame compared to some of the others Dion has worn, but it still caused a stir back in 1990. The Canadian superstar wore a Dior satin suit jacket backwards, paired with an oversized fedora and bedazzled sunglasses.

READ MORE: 2020 Oscars confirmed to be host-free

While she wasn’t the first celebrity to play with “menswear,” Dion was an early adopter of suits over dresses on the red carpet.

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Lady Gaga, 2015

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Known for her out-there outfits (who could forget her 2010 meat dress?! Or showing up at an awards show in an egg?!), Lady Gaga looked like she went straight from scrubbing dishes to the Oscars with her red leather gloves — which became the subject of many memes. (It was later speculated that she wore the gloves to cover her new engagement ring.)

The artist paired the oversized gloves with a custom Azzedine Alaïa gown for the red carpet and changed outfits for her on-stage performance.

Gaga’s white dress took two weeks to make and required a team of 25 people, Vogue reported.

Pharrell, 2014

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Pharrell likes hats but he doesn’t like pants.

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At the 2014 Oscars, the musician wore the top half of a suit with skater shorts. Pharrell has gone on to repeat this offensive look at other award shows and public events, including the 2019 Oscars where he wore camo shorts.

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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:
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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:
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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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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:
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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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18Jan

Ontario teachers strike: Are you allowed to take your child to work with you? – National

by BBG Hub

With three teachers’ unions in Ontario holding one-day strikes next week, parents are scrambling to find last-minute childcare.

Strikes are being held by teachers in public high schools, Catholic high schools and elementary schools across the province.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation has been holding a series of weekly one-day strikes since early December, while the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association and Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario are expected to hit the picket lines for the first time on Jan. 20 and Jan. 21, respectively.

READ MORE: How to get government child care funding during Ontario teachers strike

If you have children in any of these boards, you might be wondering where to take them next week while you go to work.

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The Ontario government has announced it will pay parents whose children are affected by striking teachers ($25 to $60 per day, depending on your circumstances), but finding last-minute childcare can be difficult.

The good news is, if you absolutely cannot find adequate care for your child, taking them to work with you will likely be allowed. However, this depends on a number of circumstances and will vary from workplace to workplace.

Your rights as a parent and employee

“There are two potential sources of rights,” said Kevin Banks, director of the Queen’s University Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace.






Union claims Ford government’s child care benefit is a ‘bribe’ ahead of school strikes


Union claims Ford government’s child care benefit is a ‘bribe’ ahead of school strikes

One would be your employment contract, and the other would be the Human Rights Code.

“[The Human Rights Code] says that the family status of parents has to be accommodated,” he said.

“The theory there is that because caregiving needs and obligations are part of family status, and family status is protected, an employer has to accommodate the employee’s caregiving needs up to the point where it would be an undue hardship on the employer.”

READ MORE: Where are Ontario teachers striking next?

Family status is a protected human right in every province and territory across Canada. It is part of the Human Rights Code, said Lior Samfiru, an employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.

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“Some provinces may call it the Human Rights Act, but every province has their own human rights legislation,” he said. “It’s very similar in every jurisdiction.”

Factors to consider

Whether you will be allowed to bring your child to work will largely depend on your workplace.

Banks says an employer’s resources and the nature of an employee’s duties are important factors.



“Most employers are not set up to be daycares,” Banks said.


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The decision by your employer will depend on a few different aspects: “Is it a big or small employer? What are the needs of the workplace? Does the employer need the employee’s undivided attention continuously? Could it be dangerous?” Banks said.

It is probably easier — and safer — for someone who works in an office, as opposed to an assembly line, to bring their child to work.






Childcare credit for Ontario families affected by education strikes could cost up to $48 million per day


Childcare credit for Ontario families affected by education strikes could cost up to $48 million per day

Instead of allowing you to bring your child to work, your employer may offer you accommodation in another form, like working from home or a day off. It’s not necessarily up to the employee to decide the best form of accommodation, Samfiru said.

“The employer gets to decide that, as long as the need — which is to care for the child — is met,” Samfiru said.

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“The employer may say ‘No, I’m not going to let you bring the child to work, but I am going to allow you to take a day off work without any penalty,’” he said.






All City of Kawartha Lakes schools to close Tuesday for teachers’ strikes


All City of Kawartha Lakes schools to close Tuesday for teachers’ strikes

If your employer still claims that it cannot make accommodations for you, it has to prove that trying to accommodate your family status has reached a point of “undue hardship.”

How the “undue hardship” part of the Human Rights Code is defined will be very context-specific.

“That could be a situation where the workplace is very dangerous [so] you can’t allow a child to be in that environment… [but] the employee must be there because they’re the only one that can operate the machinery,” Samfiru said.

READ MORE: How to get government child care funding during Ontario teachers strike

If these one-day strikes were to develop into longer job action, it would be up to parents to make their “best efforts” to find alternative childcare.

“Parents will need to prove that they’ve asked family members, they’ve looked in the private market or that they are willing to spend a not-insignificant amount of money if needed,” Banks said.

“The employee has to do what they can before they’re able to claim there’s a conflict.”


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The process of asking for accommodations

The first step to securing accommodations by your employer is to ask permission.

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“This is not the kind of issue that comes up with enough frequency … so it’s very unlikely that employees would have contract terms that speak to this question,” Banks said.

“If there’s been a practice of bringing kids into the office and the employer has been fine with it for some time, it might be safe to assume that you can continue to do this, but otherwise, it probably requires a conversation.”






Toronto, York and Ottawa elementary teachers to hold 1-day strike Monday


Toronto, York and Ottawa elementary teachers to hold 1-day strike Monday

If your employer refuses, Banks recommends that you speak with your human resources department or, if your workplace is unionized, to a union representative. In these conversations, it’s important to show you’ve done your best effort to meet caregiving obligations.

If you prove that you have no other options, your employer is not allowed to deny you accommodation.

READ MORE: Ontario’s 4 teachers’ unions are engaged in job actions. Here’s what they’re fighting for

If they do deny you, “that would be a violation of the Human Rights Code,” Samfiru said.

If you feel your employer does violate your family status, you could file a complaint with the province’s human rights tribunal. That process takes time, Samfiru said, and it’s not always an option employees choose if they’re still working for their employer.

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“In my experience, a lot of employers end up getting away with not providing accommodation for that reason,” he said.

“There’s no easy way for an employee to hold the employer accountable.”

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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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