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When will the minimum wage reflect reality?

Earlier this month, the Ontario government announced an increase to the minimum wage from $11.25 to $11.40.

In a statement, Kevin Flynn, Ontario Minister of Labour, said that “our government understands that cost(s) of living increases every year. In order to help families keep up, we’ve tied the minimum wage to increases in inflation, putting more money into the pockets of Ontario workers each year.”

And man, have they ever helped! An extra 15 cents! Ontario residents should be pleased, over the moon even. Ever dreamed of owning a car, being able to take your family on trip, or even just splurging on a movie once a week? Well, now you still won’t be able to do it, but you are closer to to the dream, right?

Let’s do some simple math.

Assuming you are a full-time worker (40 hours a week) living off of minimum wage, this will increase your bi-weekly salary to $912 — before taxes of course. That means your annual income prior to taxes is about $23,712.

The average cost of an apartment in a city like Toronto is approximately $1,500, which means that over $17,000 of that money will be spent on rent, not including amenities like hydro or Internet. Groceries are an extra one to two thousand dollars a year depending on how big your family is and how hungry you plan on being.

Of course, then there are medical bills, transportation costs, and cell phone charges. But hey, you got a raise, so not to worry.

The problem with these minimum wage hikes is that it is tied to inflation, as was explained by the honourable minister of labour. Canada’s workforce is expected to be grateful with this small pay increase, but in reality, it’s not going to help. And pretending it will is extremely dangerous.

While the price of labour increases with inflation, so does the cost of goods. This means that a minimum wage rises at a similar interval as the cost of bread and will do nothing to alleviate the poverty rate.

If the government really wants to make a difference, it will work towards raising the minimum wage to a level that allows families to live in a sustainable way.  Society needs workers who perform these minimum wage jobs, and they should be paid accordingly. Minimum wager earners work hard, with no benefits or security. And yet they are rewarded with a dismal pay cheque.

No one should have to choose between a roof over their head or groceries for the month. Ontario CAN do better and it’s time the government seriously and actively considers a higher minimum wage.

 

Minimum Wage in Canada*

  • Ontario: $11.40
  • Alberta: $12.20
  • British Columbia: $10.85
  • Manitoba: $11.00
  • New Brunswick: $10.65
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: $10.50
  • Northwest Territories: $12.50
  • Nova Scotia: $10.70
  • Nunavut: $13.00
  • Prince Edward Island: $11.00
  • Quebec: $10.75
  • Saskatchewan: $10.72
  • Yukon: $11.07

 

*According to the Government of Canada.

Fall fashion #trending: oversized clothing is in!

I love the fall — pumpkin spice lattes, the changing of the leaves, and of course the return of cute boots. It is the one season you don’t have to worry about pouring rain, watery sludge, or below-freezing storms. Not to mention the sweltering heat wave this summer has brought us.

This changing of the seasons also signifies the end of shorts, tank tops, and bathing suits — all of the nice, but tight, fashion styles. Am I the only one ready for the return of jeans, light overcoats, and scarves? But, to my incredible delight, the biggest trend this fall is oversized clothing. That’s right, you can now flatter your body under comfortable, yet fashionable, layers.

Here are a few examples of top trending oversized outfits for this fall:

The Poncho: No, these ponchos are not water proof, but they are fashionable! These ponchos act like a blazer or overcoat, and can be worn with tank tops, t-shirts, and long-sleeve tops. They can add style, texture, and colour to your outfit. Depending on the style, they can also be appropriate for work as well as a casual outing with friends. The best part? Ponchos have the added benefit of being incredibly comfortable and flattering for all body types.

Le Chateau, $89.95
Le Chateau, $89.95

 

The Sweater: Who doesn’t love an oversized sweater? These items usually fall well below the hip and can be worn with pants or leggings depending on the length. If these sweaters are light and a bit short, try to layer it with a blouse or a tank top of a different colour. If it is long, try to wear it with your hair up and a chunky necklace. These sweaters are great for long-hour work days, outings with friends, or a casual walk on a cool fall evening.

MANGO, $309.95
MANGO, $309.95

 

The Suit: Gone are the days of tight pants and blazers that push your breasts forward. This fall business style is all about comfort. Loose pants and a top to match, maybe paired with a belt or some colourful jewelry, will make a true statement in the boardroom. The outfit extremely comfortable — allowing you to move, stretch and sit — and no one will tell you “no” when you are dressed to impress.

Zara
Zara

 

The Blouse: Heading to the market or going on a walk with your beau? The long blouse or plaid shirt is making yet another come back. Simple, comfortable, and stylish, you can’t really go wrong with this choice. Pair it with a single-coloured jacket, some skinny jeans or leggings, and a pair of boots within the same colour scheme and you have the perfect fall date outfit.

Aritzia, $110
Aritzia, $110

The Trousers: I’m in love with these trousers! Sleek and stylish, they take comfortable business style to a whole new level. They generally flare out at the thigh, creating a straight edge look that really works with either heels or flats. A lot of boutiques now carry these trousers — in multiple colours and styles. Just remember not to pair patterns with patterns when choosing a top.

Zara, $69.90
Zara, $69.90

The Wrap: Wear whatever you want, and then cover yourself in these beautiful bohemian wraps. Part poncho, part blanket, these wraps are perfect for evenings. Twist it to create a scarf, wrap it around your shoulder like a pashmina. The possibilities are truly endless. Something like this would be great for cold offices. Leave it at work and remain stylish while warm!

Three Bird Nest, $56 + shipping
Three Bird Nest, $56 + shipping

 

What are you wearing this fall? Let us know in the comments below!

5 reasons to put down your phone

A true test of patience is when you’re telling someone an intense story and their nodding and smiling – while looking at their phone. Suddenly, instead of focusing on the details of the story, you’re trying your best to keep your hands at your sides, and away from said person’s face.

Fear not, fellow humans. There is a small but very effective way to decrease our dependency towards these addictive pieces of technology. Next time you’re out to lunch or dinner with your friends or family, take responsibility and confiscate everyone’s phones, putting them where everyone can see it. If anyone checks their phone during your time together (that includes the torturous wait for our food), they’ll have to pay for everyone’s meals. That’s one very expensive text to check. But is it effective?

I was at a friend’s dinner party where I had just got acquainted with her guests; people I hadn’t had the chance to meet before. I didn’t think they would feel comfortable giving me their phones and frankly, as an extroverted introvert, meeting so many new people made me forget as well. It was only after everyone started browsing their newsfeeds and instagramming their food, that I realized the effect turning off your phone had during mealtime. Conversations went from profound topics about our thoughts on current events to bantering about the latest viral video. You know, the one where that guy falls off that thing – again? Candid opinions and comments were downgraded to snorts and laughter driven by a 30 second video clip with essentially no real substance.

In order to avoid these moments and have conversations without the help of your screens, here are 5 reasons to put down your phone – now!

1. Ignorance is Bliss 

When you’re constantly tweeting and updating your status, the only thing on your mind is usually how many people are liking your status, or reading your tweets. Without a certain number of likes or retweets, it’s easy to feel neglected and lesser than the rest of your followers, whose network is 10% larger than yours is. Disconnecting yourself from social media, even for just or a few hours, allows you to forget about your statistics and focus on more important things. Perhaps getting your family to like you more?

 

 2. My Eyes Are Up Here   

You’re missing out on a lot when you’re spending so much time behind your screen. Emoticons might express your feelings well, but the expressions on people’s faces just cannot be captured into a yellow face. Put your phone down and have a face-to-face conversation instead. Or go on a date with yourself. It gives you a chance to spend some alone time, build your oral skills, make some memories, and have more candid moments with your friends. Chances are, the person you spend time talking online with for many hours is actually a lot different in person. (And they respond a lot faster, too.)

3. Two Can’t Keep A Secret   

No matter how good you think your breakfast, lunch, and dinner looked on Saturday, not everyone cares. (sorry!) Sometimes, it’s rewarding to enjoy your meal without the constant need to update your virtual friends about it. Spark conversation with the person you’re sharing the meal with, or take yourself out to lunch. Time with yourself is not only refreshing, but also it helps you connect with your thoughts and boosts your confidence.

 

 4. Cure Your Writer’s Block 

Sure, exposing yourself to the comedians and makeup gurus of the World Wide Web can spark some creativity, but original work comes at the most unexpected moments. It may come during a walk in the park, or even in the shower (stand back, Beyoncé!). Real life experiences drive our creativity. It encourages us to think about the events that occur during the day and avoid distractions caused by the latest updates on our phones. Distract yourself off your phone by trying a new activity. Whether you’re burning calories at a fitness class or taking a walk down the streets of downtown, turning off your phone is sometimes all it takes to turn on your creativity.

 

5. Sleep longer, feel better 

If you can’t put your phone down during the day, try putting it down an hour before you go to bed. If you’re anything like me, going to bed with your phone in hand can end up with you browsing your feeds, attempting to beat your Tetris score, or spark late night conversations with that insomniac we all know on our friend’s list. Thus, bed times fail and circadian rhythms are skewed, resulting in the distaste of mornings to begin with. Scientifically, the brightness of your screen tampers with your sleep (and beauty- gasp!) as well. And well, you can’t argue with science.

Whether you’re telling the world about your day, or sending your best friend a SnapChat that cannot be processed by the human eye, it seems we’re all about about our screens today. When we’re not updating, we’re thinking about ways we can be updating. Small changes can make a big impact on our daily lives. It is only after you start disconnecting every once in awhile that we start to realize about everything else that the world has to offer. Whether it’s for half an hour or an entire day, it’s important to take some time for ourselves.

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Inforgraphic: Best & Worst Cities to Be A Woman in Canada

It’s visible in the media. It’s visible at work. It’s visible at City Hall. It’s visible that women and men are treated differently in Canada, despite being a first world country.

With this visibility comes a recent report from the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) on how women are faring in 25 of Canada’s largest cities. The infographic released shows Victoria, BC as the best city for women to live while the Kitchener, Waterloo area in Ontario, ranked the worst. The rankings for based on the gaps that exist between men and women in these communities.

While we congratulate Victoria for their efforts in decreasing the gender gap, CCPA says the study isn’t about winning a title, but about identifying what works in one community and bringing it home to another—so that every city in Canada is a good place to be a woman.

Although the feminism movement is becoming more powerful than ever before, it’s evident that there’s still some significant work that needs to be done. What can we do to help progress this movement? Comment below!

See the full report at: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/best-worst2015

This restaurant owner with Down syndrome is winning at life and giving out hugs along the way

Tim Harris is a lot of things. He’s a restaurant owner, a Special Olympic athlete, a lover of hugs, and a person with Down Syndrome.

His approach to running his restaurant is simple, give people good food and lots of hugs. Learn more about Tim and Tim’s Place on his website here. We can learn a lot from Tim’s go-getter approach to living and never letting anything hold him back.

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

HAPPY FRIDAY: Here is a blog dedicated to cute boys with cats

Another week come and gone. What better way to sail off into the weekend than with a collection of photos of cute boys with their cats?

Thankfully there is a blog for that. CuteBoysWithCats.net is chock full of photos of handsome dudes showing their softer side with their furry companions.

Here is a sampling. Warning, your heart might melt.

 

For more cuteness check out Cute Boys With Cats.

 

 

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

 

Check out:

HAPPY FRIDAY: Here is a video of some Russian guys helping a baby fox with his head stuck in a jar

HAPPY FRIDAY: Here is a blog dedicated to photos of sloths

HAPPY FRIDAY: Cats that look like male models

HAPPY FRIDAY: Here is a pile of baby sloths