Posts Tagged "day"


Prince Harry, Ed Sheeran co-star in World Mental Health Day video – National

by BBG Hub

Prince Harry and Ed Sheeran suffered a slight miscommunication in their World Mental Health Day video — but it was all in good fun, of course.

In a video shared to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s Instagram account, Sheeran joins the prince to discuss what he believes to be a pressing issue: their red hair.

“I’ve been trying to write a song about this to get it out to more people,” the singer-songwriter tells the duke. “People just don’t understand what it’s like for people like us — with the jokes and the snide comments. I just feel like it’s time we stood up and said, ‘We are ginger and we are going to fight.’”

READ MORE: Prince Harry to sue more U.K. tabloids over alleged voicemail hacking

This stops Prince Harry, who had invited Sheeran over to discuss World Mental Health Day, in his tracks.

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“Um, OK. This is slightly awkward,” the prince says. “There may have been a miscommunication — this is about World Mental Health Day?”

Sheeran backtracks as the camera pans to a view of his laptop screen. He slowly deletes the words “gingers unite,” with the rest of the page outlining a proposal titled “HRH Prince Harry and the king of ging Ed Sheeran get together to change the perception of people with Moroccan sunset hair.”

London lawyer says Prince Harry, Meghan Markle have ‘credible grounds’ to bring lawsuit against U.K. tabloid

London lawyer says Prince Harry, Meghan Markle have ‘credible grounds’ to bring lawsuit against U.K. tabloid

The duo then switches gears to a more serious note, to bring awareness to the importance of World Mental Health Day. They call on everyone to “reach out” to others who may be “suffering in silence.”

The Instagram post featuring the video tagged a variety of mental health-focused organizations, including Heads Together — an organization in which Prince William and Kate Middleton are also heavily involved — the Mental Health Foundation, YoungMinds U.K. and many more.

“Both Prince Harry and Ed Sheeran want to ensure that not just today but every day, you look after yourself, your friends and those around you,” the post’s caption reads. “Be willing to ask for help when you need it and know that we are all in this together.”

READ MORE: Prince Harry vows to ‘challenge injustice’ day after announcing tabloid lawsuit

The pair first teased the video a day prior, sharing a clip to the duke and duchess’ Instagram account that shows Sheeran ringing Prince Harry’s doorbell and saying: “It’s like looking in the mirror.”

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Princes William and Harry, Middleton and Markle have put mental health awareness at the forefront of many of their philanthropic ventures.

On the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s recent African tour, the couple stopped by various organizations focused on the mental well-being of youth.

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

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Prince Harry, Meghan Markle dance with South African surfers on Day 2 of royal tour – National

by BBG Hub

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex danced their way into Day 2 of their royal tour as they met with Cape Town non-profit organization Waves for Change.

The couple started their day off at the beach, joining a group of change-makers in a quick dance session before taking a seat in the sand.

Prince Harry, 34, and Meghan Markle, 38, could be spotted wiggling their hips and clapping their thighs, doubled over in laughter with members of the organization.

They were there to learn about the services offered by the local non-governmental organization, which gives back to the community by providing support to those struggling with their mental health.

READ MORE: Everything to know about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s African tour

The Sussexes also learned about the Lunchbox Fund, which provides a daily meal for orphaned and vulnerable school children in the area.

The Lunchbox Fund received generous public donations in the name of their baby boy, Archie Harrison, when he was born in May.

Mental health is a topic close to both Harry and Meghan’s hearts.

“It’s just getting people to talk about it and talk to each other, right?” Duchess Meghan said, speaking to tackling the stigma.

“And you see that no matter where you are in the world, if you’re a small community or a township, if you’re in a big city, it’s that everyone is dealing with a different version of the same thing.”

WATCH BELOW: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry welcomed to Cape Town in first stop of Africa royal tour

The Duke of Sussex also added to the conversation, calling on individuals to learn from the past to address future mental health stigma.

“We need to try, not eradicate it, but to learn from previous generations so there’s not a perpetual cycle,” he said.

Later on in the day, the couple stopped by Auwal Mosque, the country’s oldest mosque, in the Bo-Kaap neighbourhood.

They’ll wrap up their day by meeting young people and community leaders at the city’s residence of the British High Commissioner.

READ MORE: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry give powerful speech on gender-based violence in South Africa

The new parents started off their royal tour with a visit to Nyanga Township, commonly known as the murder capital of the country. Meghan and Harry addressed the audience with an important message, speaking out against violence against women and children.

The Sussexes, alongside Prince William and Kate Middleton, are patrons to The Royal Foundation, an organization that operates as a vehicle for all their philanthropic work.

The foundation includes Heads Together, an initiative that aims to eradicate mental health stigma.

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

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Student bullied for wearing same clothes every day, so two classmates donated theirs – National

by BBG Hub

Part of “fitting in” at school often means wearing the latest trends, an expectation that Tennessee student Michael Todd knows all too well.

Unfortunately, his mother couldn’t afford to continue buying new clothes because of how fast he was growing.

Sadly still, students at MLK College Preparatory High School bullied him for wearing the same clothes every day.

“I really don’t have clothes at home. My mom can’t buy clothes for me because I’m growing too fast,” Todd explained to Fox 19. “I’ve been bullied my entire life.”

READ MORE: Batman walks bullied three-year-old girl to school so she feels safe

But it wasn’t just Todd who was feeling the effects of this unfair treatment from his bullies.

When peers and high school football players Kristopher Graham and Antwan Garrett saw what was happening, they just knew they had to step in and help.

“When I saw people laugh and bully him, I felt like I needed to do something,” Graham told the local broadcast station.

Instead of going out and buying new clothes, the athletes took to their own closets, picking out items just for their down-and-out friend.

WATCH: Back to school⁠ — How to protect your kids from bullies

In a touching video, Graham and Garrett can be seen giving Todd bags of clothes — new shoes, shirts, shorts and more.

“He wasn’t smiling or anything and I was like, ‘I think this is going to make you smile,’” Graham explained of the moment they surprised him during third period. “I told him, ‘We’re in the same third period and I apologize for laughing at you and I want to give something to you to make it up.’”

According to Fox, Todd had been bullied for three weeks straight before the good deed happened.

“The best day of my entire life basically,” Todd said. “I was very happy. Shocked completely.”

“You guys are the best guys of my entire life,” the high school student can be heard saying to his two new friends.

READ MORE: Bullied for homemade shirt, Florida boy’s design becomes official merch

The act of kindness isn’t going unnoticed, either.

Graham and Garrett’s big hearts have inspired other people in the U.S. to give back to Todd.

The college prep school has been accepting clothing and monetary donations that will go on to help other students in need, including Todd.

One person took to Twitter to express how important these acts of kindness are, writing: “Best thing is, they all will pay it forward! When the time comes to help someone else, none of them will second guess their ability to uplift another human with a small act of kindness!”

“Being kind to someone costs us nothing,” another wrote, while one Twitter user responded: “Our world is better for having them. That’s what America is all about.”

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

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Princess Charlotte joins Prince George, Kate Middleton and Prince William for first day of school – National

by BBG Hub

It’s back-to-school time again, even for the British royal children.

This year was especially sweet as Princess Charlotte joined big brother Prince George at Thomas’s Battersea for the first time.

With parents Prince William and Kate Middleton, the royal quad made an exciting appearance at the school Thursday morning.

READ MORE: Kate Middleton shows off newly designed garden with Prince William and kids [photos]

The Cambridge siblings wore matching uniforms, with George donning the traditional navy blue short and blue-and-red cardigan, while Charlotte paired her own identical sweater with a navy skirt.

In video footage of the quad approaching the lower school’s headmaster, Helen Haslem, the Duke of Cambridge can be heard saying, “First day, very excited,” as a cheeky Charlotte, 4, grins and fiddles with her ponytail beside her mother.

Just as George did in 2017 on his own first day, Charlotte adorably shook hands with Haslem.

Princess Charlotte shook hands with the lower school’s headmaster, Helen Haslem.

Aaron Chown/CP

For the occasion, the Duchess of Cambridge sported a floral pink Michael Kors dress and a glowing tan while shaking hands with the headmaster.

“How are you? Did you have a nice summer?” she can be heard asking.

Kensington Palace shared an adorable photo of the sibling duo on the steps of their home just before leaving for school.

“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to share a photograph of Prince George and Princess Charlotte at Kensington Palace this morning,” they wrote on Twitter. “The photo was taken shortly before Their Royal Highnesses left for Thomas’s Battersea.”

There’s no doubt Charlotte is thrilled to be starting a new school year after a summer of vacationing at the family’s country home of Anmer Hall in Norfolk, where they go every summer season.

She’s set to learn subjects like French, computing, art, music, drama and ballet, just as her brother did when he started at the London school for kids ages four to 14.

READ MORE: Royal Family celebrates Prince Louis’ 1st birthday with adorable new photos

This time was a little different, however, as Duchess Kate was able to tag along. Last year, the then-five-year-old Prince George was only joined by dad Prince William.

The future Queen Consort wasn’t able to be there on George’s first day, as she was suffering from severe morning sickness while pregnant with Prince Louis, 1.

Princess Charlotte, the Cambridges’ only daughter, has been attending Willcocks Nursery in Kensington since January 2018 and will start off with half days at her new school.

Though the family’s last name is technically Mountbatten-Windsor — a combination of the Queen and Prince Philip‘s surnames — the princess will be known as Charlotte Cambridge at school, just as her brother is known as George Cambridge.

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

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New York dad throws adorable weekly spa day for his baby daughter – National

by BBG Hub

Jimmy Howell is a hardworking firefighter by day, and puts just as much effort into his at-home job as a father — weekly spa days and all.

Howell melted hearts worldwide after sharing his and nine-month-old daughter Kensley’s weekly spa day, which included nail cutting and filing.

In the video, the New York native chats adorably with his miniature-bathrobe-clad daughter, joking that she must have been crawling a lot given the state of her toenails.

READ MORE: Saskatoon kids take part in first-ever technology summer camp

“She got a little crazy with me today due to the fact that I was filing her nails a little too rough, y’all see why I can’t do anything for free, I’m charging her next week, just watch,” he wrote in the caption.

At one point, he kisses her tiny feet and makes dog barking noises, eliciting an adorable laugh.

In the second part of the video, Howell jokingly negotiates with his daughter who seems to be bothered by his nail-filing job.

“Listen, this is free. You can’t complain about something that’s free,” he can be heard saying.

“I’m sorry if I’m rubbing too hard, but it’s free. Beggars cannot be choosers.”

As it turns out, Howell and Kensley have already become quite the Instagram stars.

WATCH BELOW: New Zealand parliamentary speaker babysits during House debate

His social media page is full of sweet videos starring his little girl, from doing push-ups together to getting her ears pierced and enjoying her first swim in a pool.

Kensley even has her own Instagram account, which already boasts nearly 3,000 admirers.

The Internet understandably lost their minds for the daddy-daughter duo, taking to the comments to share love for their sweet bond.

READ MORE: Controversial U.K. animal expert wants parents to ‘train’ babies like dogs

“You’re an amazing dad,” one person wrote. “I loved seeing this video. Keep up the good work and keep making her feel special.”

Another Instagram user commented: “So freaking adorable. This video made my heart smile,” while another said: “So cute… need more dads like this.”

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

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You can drink up to 25 cups of coffee a day without harming your heart: study – National

by BBG Hub

Coffee lovers rejoice.

You can drink up to 25 cups of java without upping your chances of a heart attack or stroke, according to a new study.

Researchers out of the U.K. studied more than 8,000 people and their coffee-drinking habits and found that drinking up to 25 cups a day was no worse for the arteries than drinking less than a cup a day.

READ MORE: Caffeine withdrawal — What happens when you don’t get your coffee fix

The study says that despite previous beliefs that drinking coffee increases arterial stiffness (which can lead to a heart attack or stroke), having over 20 cups of daily joe was not associated with stiffer arteries.

The research was partially funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and is being presented at the British Cardiovascular Society conference in Manchester, the Guardian reports.

To determine how coffee affects the heart, researchers divided participants into three groups: those who drink less than one cup a day, those who drink between one and three cups a day and those who drink more than three.

(People who drink over 25 cups were excluded.)

WATCH: Scientists warn world’s coffee species at risk of extinction

The participants underwent MRI heart scans and infrared pulse wave tests.

“The associations between drinking coffee and artery stiffness measures were corrected for contributing factors like age, gender, ethnicity, smoking status, height, weight, how much alcohol someone drank, what they ate and high blood pressure,” the BHF wrote.

According to the study’s findings, moderate and heavy coffee drinkers were “most likely to be male, smoke and consume alcohol regularly.”

READ MORE: Does your morning coffee need a boost? ‘Superfoods’ could be the answer

In a statement, Metin Avkiran, associate medical director at the BHF, said this research will hopefully lead to more discoveries about coffee and its effects.

“There are several conflicting studies saying different things about coffee, and it can be difficult to filter what we should believe and what we shouldn’t,” Avkiran said.

“This research will hopefully put some of the media reports in perspective as it rules out one of the potential detrimental effects of coffee on our arteries.”

While the report says large amounts of coffee are fine for the heart, a researcher from the study told CNN that their findings do not mean it’s a good idea to drink 25 cups a day.

WATCH: Never get between a Canadian and their coffee

“We’re not telling people to drink 25 cups a day, per se,” Kenneth Fung, who led the data analysis, told the outlet.

“If anything, if you drink within recommended guidelines, then we don’t expect to see an increase in arterial stiffness compared with those who drink one cup or less a day.”

Other reports have also said caffeine isn’t harmful.

Coffee may be good for health

A 2017 study conducted by researchers from the universities of Southampton and Edinburgh found that drinking three or four cups of coffee per day was more likely to benefit your health than harm it. In fact, they suggest drinking this amount decreased your risk of death by 17 per cent.

And while there have been countless studies about the benefits and risks of drinking coffee, researchers note that for some, more can be even better.

READ MORE: 8 unhealthy ways to start your morning

According to a 2014 study, coffee may also help to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Researchers out of Harvard found that people who “increased the amount of coffee they drank each day by more than one cup over a four-year period had an 11 per cent lower risk for Type 2 diabetes than those who made no changes to their coffee consumption.”

How much is too much caffeine?

Health Canada recommends adults should limit their caffeine intake to no more than 400 milligrams per day, registered dietitian Andy De Santis previously told Global News. That’s about three cups of coffee, eight ounces each — or three short cups of coffee from Starbucks. Tim Hortons’ smallest size is 10 ounces.

READ MORE: Health Canada warns about dangers of mixing caffeine and alcohol

De Santis adds there is no evidence that suggests caffeine intake at this level will cause any harm to a healthy adult.

“In some people who are sensitive to it, caffeine may lead to anxiety, insomnia and stomach issues. These people need to be mindful of their caffeinated coffee intake,” he said.

Coffee contains caffeine — a well-known stimulant and performance enhancer — and a variety of other potentially healthful compounds, he adds, which may partially explain why people who drink coffee tend to live longer.

WATCH: Are you drinking too much coffee?

It’s important to note that pregnant women and people who are negatively affected by caffeine should limit their intake.

Nanci Guest, a registered dietitian, PhD candidate and caffeine and genetics researcher at the University of Toronto, previously told Global News that if your body doesn’t handle coffee well, you shouldn’t feel pressured to drink it.

She adds that people who have trouble sleeping or insomnia should not be consuming this much coffee during the day, especially later into the evening. She says people who have jitters may also have negative reactions to upping their caffeine dose.

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—With files from Arti Patel 

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

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Mother’s Day gifts: 20 gift ideas $50 and under – National

by BBG Hub

Mother’s Day is just around the corner — May 12 to be exact — and if you’re still trying to figure out what to get Mom, we’re here to help you narrow down the options.

Shopping for the woman who seems to have it all can be tricky and over the years, probably repetitive. While there are the classic treats for Mother’s Day like brunch, spas and some type of jewelry, some polls suggests moms want to keep things simple.

READ MORE: Mother’s Day gifts ideas — 15 gifts under $50

According to a recent poll by Amazon Canada, 60 per cent of mothers want to spend quality time with their loved ones and 83 per cent would prefer a gift homemade.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t spoil her. Her are 20 gift ideas for $50 and under for Mother’s Day.

For the mom on the go

Moms are busy, that’s nothing new. Whether she is travelling to her next business meeting, hitting her favourite fitness class or trying to find ways to make her day-to-day more efficient, these gifts are for the mom on the go. From smart water bottles that send reminders on when to take a sip to a hydrating mask for those long days, these practical gifts will put a smile on her face.

Golden Tropics Travel Bag, $19, available at Winners

Under Armour Cinch Printed Gym Bag, $50, available at Under Armour

LED Digital Smart Water Bottle, $40.32, available at eBay

Dr. Jart Dermak Water Jet Viral Hydra Solution Mask, $7.50, available at Sephora

For the mom who needs more ‘me time’

Sometimes, Mom just needs to find time to relax. Between balancing a busy job, her family and everything else packed in between, give her some much-deserved alone time with a light therapy lamp or even a whole spa in a (conveniently-sized) box.

READ MORE: Mother’s Day in Hollywood — The biggest mama’s boys (and girls)

White Salt Lamp, $40, available at Indigo 

Echo Dot, $49.99, available at Amazon

Balancing Spa in a Box, $49.00, available at Giving Gifts

The Happy Light, LED Light Therapy Lamp, $44.95, available at Verilux

For the mom who has it all

Many moms will tell you they want nothing — in fact, it may feel like she has it all. For these moms on your list, surprise them with a gift that gives back or an experience she can do on her own. From organizations donating books to Canadian homes to local paint nights, check out our top picks.

First Book Canada (a charity that distributes books and educational resources to programs and schools with Canadian children from low-income families), $50 Donate here

Donation of medicine for moms and babies (malaria medications, antibiotics and other important medicines), $10, available at Plan Canada

Photo: Getty
Paint Night (local-based events available across Canada, starting at $40, check out more information here

Cherry Blossom Travel Bag (every dollar spent goes towards helping women and men in Ghana for find employment, education and financial stability), $24, available at Della

For the mom who loves food

For the mom who loves to entertain, cook up a storm or just eat, treat her to a food-inspired gift this Mother’s Day. From a DIY truffle kit to fancy food-inspired wall art, these gifts will fill any foodie’s appetite.

Make Your Own Chocolate Truffles Kit, $46.92, available at Uncommon Goods

Viski Belmont Gold Plated Knife Set, $23, available at Amazon

Queen Bee Stemless Wine Glass, $27, available at Williams-Sonoma

READ MORE: ‘Her love for me never died’: How to celebrate the moms no longer with us

Canadian Pastries Fine Art Print, $20, available at Brika

For the mom who loves a personal touch

We can all agree a gift with a personal touch is a nice feature. If your mom likes the simple things in life, surprise her this year with a personalized necklace, Mother’s Day card or even her very own swanky phone case.

Personalized name necklace, starting at $33, available at Etsy 

Personalized Phone Case, starting at $35, available at May Designs

Personalized Small Folding Wallet, $44, available at Fossil

Personalized Mother’s Day Card, starting at $4.95, available at Moonpig

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

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U.S. high school celebrates grads going straight into the workforce with ‘signing day’ – National

by BBG Hub

It’s known as “signing day,” a popular rite of passage for some student athletes in the United States. Come spring, seniors celebrate getting accepted into the university of college of their choice by posing for photos and sharing them on social media.

But for students who don’t go to college or university, they can often feel left out.

On Thursday, Virginia-based Henrico County Public Schools celebrated seniors heading to the workforce after high school, with an unofficial “Henrico Career and Technical Education Letter-of-Intent Signing Day.”

READ MORE: Canadians who didn’t finish university or college degrees — and have zero regrets

For the second year in a row, students were recognized in front of family and media for landing a job after high school.

“The concept mimics ceremonies that honour high school athletes as they gather in gyms to sign letters-of-intent to play for NCAA athletic programs,” the school district said in a Facebook post.

“Students and representatives of their future employers both signed letters-of-intent outlining what students must do before and during employment, what the employer will provide in pay and training, and an estimate of the position’s value.”

Students posed with their new employers on Thursday, some of them heading to local fire departments, electrical contractor businesses and car dealerships. And instead of being handed jerseys from sports teams, students were given work uniforms or company swag.

Speaking with in 2018, Mac Beaton, director of the region’s certified and technical education program, told the site the idea came to life after schools struggled to show the value of training-based education.

READ MORE: Province to study why post-secondary students aren’t finishing programs

“We’re always trying to figure out how to address the skills gap when the general mentality of parents is, ‘I want my child to go to college,’” Beaton said in 2018.

“One way to do this is to help them see the value of career and technical education. When you start talking data that affects parents’ pocketbooks, that gets their attention.”

The program is meant to teach students several types of hands-on training, so by the time they graduate, they already have the skills to become employees.

“I wanted the students to see how the skills that they had been learning at school apply to the workforce and how they were going to use them,” Beaton said.

Supporting children who take this route

Dr. Jillian Roberts, a child psychologist at FamilySparks, told Global News parents should support children who want to explore a range of post-secondary options.

“I’m excited to see that there is recognition and support for all of the different paths a student can take upon graduating from high school,” she said. “I believe that it is, though, important that high school students graduate with a plan.”

She said while the plan doesn’t have to include college or university, parents should allow students to explore their career options and come up with a concrete route.

READ MORE: One university’s secret list to judge applicants by their high schools – not just their marks

“Consider getting your child a career assessment in grade 11 or 12 to help narrow the options. Encourage your child to reach out to members of the community in different fields to see if they have time to meet for a coffee to discuss their career,” she continued.

WATCH: Fashion strategist speaks to Oshawa students about career journey.

Parents can also encourage students to check out job fairs or even take them to different technical skills-based workplaces to see how these roles work.

“Pick up brochures, make time to chat and have good, deep conversations after such events to help your child create their unique post-secondary plan.”

What this means for students

Early childhood consultant Julie Romanowski of Miss Behaviour said for some students, even graduating high school is a big accomplishment.

“Being able to enter the workforce is still a high privilege and deserves a celebration,” Romanowski told Global News. “Also, giving the opportunity for teens to practice life skills to be able to use to get a job is a huge victory, too.”

And recognition like this can do wonders for a child’s self-esteem.

“Celebrating anything helps an individual understand that they have a place in life, that they have importance and that they matter [is important],” she said.

“No one should feel shame because they aren’t able to or don’t want to go to college or university. Celebrations are a positive message that is understood both intellectually and emotionally.”

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

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Equal Pay Day: Not making as much as your male coworker? Here’s what you can do – National

by BBG Hub

Brianne Cail wasn’t meant to find out that her male colleague was earning more money than she was.

Working as a content writer at an online publication, Toronto-based Cail found out that her company wasn’t paying employees equally after a few months of being on the job.

“I was actually trying to sort some banking on my phone app and [my male colleague] was helping me,” she told Global News. “[He] was certain I got paid incorrectly because of how low [my pay] was compared to his.”

WATCH BELOW: Gender pay gap persists in Canada

Once they realized it was not a mistake, Cail said her coworker offered to go to HR with her.

“He didn’t feel it was fair at all,” she explained.

“We had the same role, with him having no previous experience as a content writer, and he started a few weeks before me. Whereas I had both the schooling and the experience from freelance [writing].”

READ MORE: Want a raise? Here’s how to ask your boss for more money

Cail decided to bring up the pay difference with her manager, and said the experience wasn’t positive.

“I was told that I shouldn’t have been discussing my salary with anyone, and that my experience didn’t count,” Cail said. “I was told I would be able to receive a raise three months from that time — around my six months — but after a year, and discussing it with two other managers, nothing changed.”

The realities of the gender pay gap

Cail’s experience highlights many Canadians’ realities: the gender pay gap.

The gender pay gap is the difference in earnings between women and men in the workplace. This pay inequality means that women, on average, make less than men.

The gender pay gap disproportionately affects low-income women, racialized women, Indigenous women, women with disabilities and newcomers, the Canadian Women’s Foundation says.

WATCH BELOW: Salaries of women CEOs are double-pane glass ceiling

A recent study by job search giant Glassdoor found that women in Canada earn just 84 cents for every $1 earned by men, a gap similar to the one reported in official statistics. In 2017, Statistics Canada said Canadian women were making 87 cents for every $1 earned by men.

“The gender wage gap is one of the most challenging and pervasive manifestations of workplace discrimination in Canada,” said Aaron Rosenberg, an employment lawyer and partner at RE-LAW LLP in Toronto.

READ MORE: Women in Canada earn less than men — even for the same job: Glassdoor

“Although… laws recognize each worker as having a right to equal treatment and equal pay for equal work/value, the significant disparity in earnings between women and men endures.”

Is it legal to pay people differently?

Kathryn Marshall, a lawyer at Toronto employment law firm MacDonald & Associates, says that it’s illegal for employers to pay employees differently on the basis of sex.

“According to the [Ontario] Employment Standards Act, an employer cannot pay one employee at a rate of pay less than another employee on the basis of sex when they perform substantially the same kind of work in the same establishment,” Marshall told Global News.

WATCH BELOW: Empowering women in the workplace

This means if you do the same kind of work that requires the same skills, responsibilities, and are in the same or similar working conditions, you should be getting paid equally.

While each province or territory has their own laws, there’s federal legislation that says employees have the right to equal pay for equal work, too. Under the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canada Labour Code, it is discriminatory for employers to pay workers on the basis of their gender.

There are exceptions, however, meaning there are instances in which employers can pay employees differently based on a variety of factors.

READ MORE: ‘It’s not one size fits all’: Why open office plans don’t work for everyone

In Ontario, the equal pay for equal work standard may not apply when the difference in pay is made on the basis of a seniority system, a merit system, a system that measures earnings by production quantity or quality, or any other factor other than sex, Marshall said.

Federally, she says there’s even more exceptions in the country’s Pay Equity Act. “The federal act seems far more onerous on employers to keep records and establish plans,” she added.

What should you do if you think you’re being paid unfairly?

If you do think you’re being paid less because of your gender, Marshall says your first best bet is to talk to your boss or HR department and ask why you’re making less than other employees.

“Compensation, of course, is usually based on a whole bunch of criteria and factors,” she explained. “An employee should find out [if] there’s a legitimate reason why another person is making more [money].”

WATCH BELOW: Taking compliments at work

Marshall said by asking your employer about a pay discrepancy instead of accusing them of sexism or discrimination, you’re allowing them to explain themselves to you.

“You want it to be a professional conversation where you’re actually just asking the questions, like, ‘Why is this person making more than me? We have the same job,’” she said. “Put it in their zone and have the employer explain what’s going on.”

Based on what your employer says, Marshall suggests trying to rectify the pay discrepancy with them directly. Marshall said employers do not want to be accused of sexism or pay discrimination, so they may work with you to resolve the issue right away.

“See if you can negotiate a higher salary for yourself on that basis,” she said.

READ MORE: Who do Canadians trust most? Their employers, apparently

Rosenberg echoes this approach, and says that sometimes this conversation is all you need to have.

“In some circumstances, efforts to raise and remedy the issue directly with your employer (or human resources department) may be sufficient to resolve the matter,” Rosenberg said.

What are your legal options?

If talking to management does not resolve your pay issues, you can take legal action. You can take your employer to court on the basis of gender discrimination.

The problem, however, is that it can be very challenging to prove that you are being paid less based on your gender, says Marshall. She said that in order to win a discrimination case, you need evidence that your gender is playing a role in determining your salary — which employers can argue against.

WATCH BELOW: Iceland becomes first country in the world to legalize equal pay between men and women

“Employers are not going to readily admit this, and so unfortunately, if you are going to go to a human rights court for discrimination, it’s not enough just to say, ‘I am making less than my male colleague and we have the same job; I’m being discriminated against,’” she said.

“You need to have something more to produce as evidence to show that your gender somehow factors into all of this.”

Rosenberg says evidence can include payroll data, job descriptions, pay equity plans and other company records. “Since this information is typically unavailable to employees, the various adjudicative bodies can order the company to produce this evidence,” he added.

READ MORE: Working moms 40% more stressed than women without kids: study

Another step an employee can take is filing a complaint with the Ministry of Labour if they think their employer is not complying with equal pay laws, Marshall said.

Learning from experience

For Cail, not being offered an increased wage — even after being promised one — “zapped” her motivation at work. After her company laid off most of its writers, including her, she landed a new job.

Now, she says she is happier and loves her work. Looking back, Cail says she’s learned a lot from her past experience.

“I wish I had gone to HR first, but with the HR rep often not in office, I wasn’t quite thinking of that,” she said.

WATCH BELOW: Equal Pay, Opportunity, Harassment: Three female leaders discuss the biggest issue facing Canadian Women

“I can understand salaries being different based on previous jobs, but it was very discouraging to discover such a huge wage gap and no resolution in sight, or being able to have an honest conversation about it.”

Marshall said that even with the legal system in place, she still sees many instances of pay inequality.

“I think sometimes people assume because there are all these laws … this kind of discrimination doesn’t happen anymore — but it does,” she said.

“It just happens in a less in-your-face obvious way.”

— With a file from Erica Alini 

[email protected]

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

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‘Fertility isn’t funny’: Why you shouldn’t pretend to be pregnant on April Fools’ Day – National

by BBG Hub

It could be a picture of a positive pregnancy test or even a sonogram. On April Fools’ Day, it’s not uncommon for people to trick their friends and family into thinking they have a baby on the way.

But the joke isn’t funny for people who can’t get pregnant.

“I had two fake pregnancy announcements on my feed today. I was like, ‘Seriously?’” Vidya Ledsham told Global News. She works as a volunteer at Fertility Matters Canada, and she and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for nearly seven years.

READ MORE: Infection during pregnancy increases your baby’s risk of autism, but not by much: study

According to Statistics Canada, roughly 16 per cent of couples — or one in six couples — in Canada experience infertility, and it’s a condition that can take a serious mental toll.

“When you’re facing infertility, pregnancy announcements are difficult. Even when they’re coming from people you love and they’re true pregnancy announcements,” Ledsham told Global News.

“You’re happy for the people who get to expand their families, but you’re struggling with that happiness because you’re so sad for yourself.”

WATCH (July 3, 2018): Fertility treatment allows single woman chance to become mother

For Ledsham, seeing a pregnancy April Fools’ prank on social media sets off an emotional roller-coaster.

“When other people get to announce their pregnancy, you [wonder], ‘When will I?’ Then to have someone joke about it, you deal with all of these emotions only to find out it’s a joke,” said Ledsham.

“It’s such a flippant comment for some people, but it’s not [always] easy to get pregnant.”

READ MORE: How can couples handle infertility?

It took Ledsham and her husband two years to conceive their son, and they’ve been trying to conceive again for the past five years.

“It was much harder before I had [my son]. I didn’t deal with it well,” said Ledsham. “It was very taxing on my marriage… Our marriage was difficult because we weren’t being totally honest about how we were feeling and it was creating disparity between us.”

Ledsham felt completely isolated during this time.

“You find yourself closing off from people,” she said. “Your [friends] are talking very candidly about… having a family, and then they do it and you’re left behind,” she said.

WATCH (Oct. 30, 2018): Women should wait a year before getting pregnant again — study

Jokes about getting pregnant can make those struggling with infertility feel abnormal and like a failure, says Erica Berman, a psychotherapist who specializes in helping clients cope with infertility and pregnancy loss.

“People will say that they feel defective, and there’s a lot of shame around it,” said Berman. “We often throw around things related to fertility, making light of it, [but] fertility isn’t funny. If you want to get pregnant and you’re able to successfully and you have a child, it’s a huge deal. It’s a miracle.”

According to Berman, infertility can be just as distressing and disruptive to people’s lives as things like a cancer diagnosis or divorce.

READ MORE: How fertility apps are changing the way women conceive

“[But] on top of being just as traumatic, it’s not recognized by the wider culture so people are often treated insensitively. It’s not life-threatening, sure, but that doesn’t mean it’s not devastating,” she added.

Everyone’s experience with infertility is different, but there are some tools you can use the next time you see a pregnancy prank on your feed.

Remember, you can only really understand infertility if you experience it yourself

If you’re getting frustrated by the pregnancy pranks popping up on your feed, try to remember that your friend probably doesn’t understand what it’s like to struggle with infertility.

“I try to remind my clients that people [usually] aren’t trying to be malicious,” said Berman.

“The unfortunate reality is that most people won’t be able to grasp the emotional implications of infertility unless they have personally been through it themselves.”

WATCH (Oct. 11, 2018): Women share experiences for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

Try to see your body in a different light

Infertility is especially difficult because it can take aim at your understanding of what it means to be human.

“It’s something that’s seen as fundamental to who we are: we’re mammals and we need to be able to reproduce,” said Berman. “It can be particularly devastating when others have either an easy time conceiving and make light of that without appreciating how fortunate they are or, even worse, when people have an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. It’s just a reminder of how unfair it is.”

Ledsham does CrossFit, an exercise program, as a means of making herself feel better about her body.

READ MORE: This mom’s ‘normal’ pregnancy symptoms were actually a sign of heart failure

“You feel like your body is failing you all the time, and exercise is a way to see your body in a more positive light so you’re looking at it for what it can do for you and not what it can’t do for you,” said Ledsham.

Talk about it

Know that any jokes about fertility are probably coming from a lack of awareness.

“It’s actually mind-boggling how little people know about infertility. There’s just this general assumption that if you want to get pregnant, you can — you just have to have unprotected sex,” Berman said.

However, you don’t need to tell people about it if you’re not comfortable — it’s really up to you.

WATCH (Jan. 18, 2018): Women are taking multiple pregnancy tests, even though they are pregnant — here’s why

For Ledsham, infertility felt like a taboo topic that no one wanted to talk about because no one around her was experiencing it.

“Unless you’ve gone through infertility treatments or faced infertility, you don’t understand it. So you’re walking around your life and nobody understands what you’re going through, and that’s really lonely and isolating,” said Ledsham.

However, Ledsham found that this wasn’t true. Once she started being open about her infertility struggles, she discovered a community of other people with the same experiences.

READ MORE: Infertility can be a ‘bedroom issue’ — here’s how to bring it up with an employer

“If it’s affecting one in six couples then there are people you know who are going through it who might not be talking about it as well. Being more open about what you’re going through, you might be surprised by the kind of support you find from people you know really well and love,” Ledsham said.

“If you don’t have people to talk to who have experienced it, reach out and find those people through support groups. Through that experience, you’ll find that you’re not alone, even though you feel alone.”

Prepare a response for if/when someone asks you about your baby plan

“It is never OK to ask a woman what’s going on in her womb or what she intends to do with her womb. It’s nobody else’s business,” said Berman.

But it is common, and, in Berman’s view, it’s better if you have a response at the ready.

“Don’t wait until you’re in the moment. Have a comeback you’re comfortable with. One of my favourite ones is to be honest so that we can start to talk about infertility more,” said Berman.

“But if [you] aren’t comfortable coming out with the truth, you could say that’s private information or… that it’s none of their business or that they should never ask a woman that. All of those are, frankly, true.”

[email protected]

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

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