Tag

ottawa

Browsing

No, I will not forgive greedy Tim Hortons

On Friday, Tim Hortons released a press statement to counteract the complaints regarding the slashing of benefits and paid breaks for employees at an Ontario store owned by the children of the franchise’s founders.

The statement reads: “Let us be perfectly clear. These recent actions by a few Restaurant Owners, and the unauthorized statements made to the media by a “rogue group” claiming to speak on behalf of Tim Hortons®, do not reflect the values of our brand, the views of our company or the views of the overwhelming majority of our dedicated and hardworking Restaurant Owners. While our Restaurant Owners, like all small business owners, have found this sudden transition challenging, we are committed to helping them work through these changes. However, Tim Hortons® Team Members should never be used to further an agenda or be treated as just an ‘expense.’ This is completely unacceptable.”

Essentially, the actions of a few spoiled children have resulted in a public relations nightmare and head office decided they needed to respond — without actually offering any assistance, solutions, or guarantees.

Last week, I wrote an article about how the Tim Hortons franchise was being greedy. I said a company that made roughly $3 billion (US) in revenue last year shouldn’t be so quick to devalue their employees. I also said I would not be purchasing any more product from the franchise.

Cue the comments from people defending Tim Hortons, many of whom I would bet make more than minimum wage.

A common argument expressed on social media was that I shouldn’t boycott all Tim Hortons based on the response of one or two store owners. While it is true that not all stores have decided to react to the minimum wage increase in this manner, the franchise itself is partially to blame. Most people have expressed a willingness to pay an extra 10 cents for a cup of coffee or a donut to make up the costs lost to the owners. People are actually asking Tim Hortons to raise prices so that their employees can afford their rent.

These people are the heroes Ontario needs.

Tim Hortons, on the other hand, has not raised prices. They have not promised to absorb the cost of the minimum wage increase. Instead, they chastised store owners for having to make difficult (and wrong) decisions. They claim no responsibility, merely saying they were “saddened” to hear of the actions taken by a “reckless few.”

Cry me a river.

It’s not like businesses didn’t see this coming. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne made the announcement back in May 2017, saying the minimum wage will increase to $14 on Jan. 1, 2018. That was seven months ago. Did no one do the math? Did no one think: “maybe I should look at the books to figure out how I’m going to make this work?”

And it’s also not just Tim Hortons. Other big chains are dipping into their employees tips and laying off staff,. Sunset Grill is increasing their servers’ tip out by one per cent. This is part of a process called tip pooling, in which servers pay a portion of their day’s tips to support staff like bussers, cooks, and dishwashers. This tip out increase comes in addition to menu price increases at Sunset Grill. The Clocktower, a restaurant in Ottawa, is now removing dishwashers from the tip out, saying they make enough now that minimum wage has increased. They also increased their tip out by one per cent. Smaller businesses have cut store hours and even changed to commission-based wages rather than increase their hourly rate.

Unfortunately, this is how it will be for a while. Corporate head office will blame store owners. Store owners will blame the government. The government will call the store owners “bullies”, and then corporate head office will step in with a nicely worded press release. But, at the end of the day, who is actually left hurting? The employees caught between the madness.

It’s a few dollars per shift. If you can’t figure out the math and get creative, you don’t deserve to own a business.

So, to conclude — thank you for all the comments and remarks, but I’m going to keep boycotting greedy Tim Hortons. And if you had respect for the minimum wage workers in this province, you would do so too.

Justin Trudeau issues apology to the LGBTQ community

In a bold, historic and heartwarming moment, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered an apology to the LGBTQ community after decades of discrimination. Trudeau made the apology in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov 28.

The chambers held a lot of emotion, as even Trudeau wiped away tears at the end of his speech. Trudeau was able to express the regret, shame, and sorrow the Canadian government has taken responsibility for in the discriminatory treatment of LGBTQ Canadians. The rejection and treatment of the LGBTQ community was a state-sponsored and witch-hunting event to purposely exclude people from society based on their sexual orientation.

“You are professionals. You are patriots, and above all, you are innocent. And for all your suffering, you deserve justice and you deserve peace. He said  ” It is our collective shame that you were so mistreated. And it is our collective shame that this apology took so long— many who suffered are no longer alive to hear these words. And for that we are truly sorry.”

Many LGBTQ Canadians faced such discrimination and harsh treatment from others that were not willing to understand nor accept people with non-conforming sexual orientation and desire. Between the 1950’s to the 1990’s thousands of federal workers were fired based on their sexual orientation. This was part of  a “national security’ purge. In the 1960’s alone, there was a database collected by the RCMP of over 9000 suspected gay and lesbian federal workers and suggestions of demotion and denial of promotion.

In June of 2016, members of the advocacy group Egale Canada released a report on the systematic discrimination members of the LGBT community has faced over the years. This prompted them to issue ways in which the treatment and viewpoint of the LGBTQ community can be changed in Canada. One of the recommendations was a formal apology issued by Ottawa. In May of 2017, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that he will issue a formal apology on Nov 28, and as he promised this was delivered to a packed house.

However, there are still some people who thought the apology was not enough to make up for years of hurt and damage caused in many communities. The fact is, this ‘purge’ was a systematic event that lasted longer than necessary and changed many lives.

In 1969 the House of Commons voted to pass a bill that decriminalized homosexuality and in 1967 the bill was first introduced by the acting Justice Minister at that time, and future Prime Minister, the late Pierre Trudeau, who said, “The view we take here is that there’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.”

Now 50 years later, his son has taken the opportunity to offer an apology for government actions that were truly vile, invasive, discriminatory and un-Canadian.

This is yet another historic moment in the LGBTQ community in Canada. Comment below.

Canada named T&L destination of the year

Canada has been named Travel & Leisure Magazine’s destination of the year!

The recognition centres around Canada’s tolerance, openness, natural reserves, and the country’s 150th anniversary, which brought forward thousands of community events.

“The country welcomed refugees and immigrants with open arms, and encouraged travellers to experience its one-of- a-kind cultural institutions, emerging neighbourhoods, and top culinary talents,” the publication says. “On the international stage, it’s become a source of stability and hope in a time when the news is mostly dominated by crisis and political rhetoric.”

Past winners of this title were Portugal and Cuba.

So, Americans, if you are looking to come visit Canada over the next year, here are the top six places you should check out:

Toronto

Toronto is full of tourist attractions like the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, Fort York, the Science Centre, and of course, Canada’s Exhibition Centre. But, it also has a number of quaint neighbourhoods with their own history and culture that are worth exploring. Check out Kensington Market for some unique shopping finds or hit the Waterfront for a lovely walk along a number of beautiful beaches. Sports fans can watch a game at the Air Canada Centre or the Rogers Centre or hit the Hockey Hall of Fame on Front St. At the end of the day, find one of our local breweries and enjoy a pint!

Ottawa

As the country’s capital, Ottawa is very tourist friendly. Hit the Byward market on a Saturday morning for some croissants and fresh fruit, wander the parks behind Parliament Hill, or even rent a bike to cycle along the canal. The city is an art-lovers dream, with multiple small galleries, museums, and theatres. Ottawa may seem like a big city, but it’s also got a small town feel, which makes it an ideal place to get away to if you need a break from the hectic downtown lifestyle.

Montreal

If you want to get a sense of the French Canadian culture, visit Montreal. The city is bursting with art and culture, but it also makes room for modern tourist attractions. Visit Notre Dame Basilica, the Museum of Modern Art, the Montreal Biodome, or the Tower Observatory, but make sure to spend some time wandering the historic university campuses or taking a walking tour of Old Montreal. Eat some real poutine, maple taffy, and enjoy the multiple bars available to you. The best time of year to go to Montreal is during a weekend with a street festival — no one parties quite like Montreal.

Halifax

I don’t think any place is as Canadian as the Maritimes. The beer, the food, the music — it’s something that can’t be found elsewhere. Check out one of the city’s gorgeous public gardens, the pier, the seaport farmer’s market, as well as the many other historic sites that can be found stretched across Halifax. Enjoy the fresh sea air and take photos be the Angus Macdonald Bridge, which is any architect’s dream. The pubs and breweries in Halifax are renowned — don’t forget to try the lobster!

Vancouver

This city has a little bit of everything — access to the water, a bustling downtown core, and a number of day trip excursions. If you enjoy hiking, Vancouver has a number of unique trails that take you along cliffs, waterfalls, and harbourfronts. Whale watching is one of the most popular tourist attractions, but make sure to check out Stanley Park and the botanical gardens. If you want to get out of Vancouver, try stopping in on Victoria. It’s got beautiful bookshops, pubs that look like libraries, and plenty of high tea available for those who enjoy that kind of thing.

The North

While Toronto may have claimed “We The North” for our basketball team, no trip to Canada is complete without a trip to our REAL north – The Northwest Territories or Nunavut. While the weather may be a bit nippy, the view is incomparable to anything else you will see in your lifetime. Watch the northern lights, visit one of the beautifully serene national parks, and check out one of the many art galleries featuring Indigenous masterpieces. You can also travel along the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway, which officially opened last week!

What’s your favourite place to visit in Canada?

Ontario proposes a bill to have safe access zones near abortion clinics

The government of Ontario is proposing legislation that would ensure all women can make their own decision safely and freely.

The Safe Access to Abortion Services Act, 2017 was introduced on Oct.4 by Minister for the Status of Women, Indira Naidoo-Harris and the Attorney General, Yasir Naqri. If the bill is passed, women can access abortion services without fear of intimidation or harassment. ‘Safe Zones’ will be located around clinics and other abortion service centres. These zones will protect the privacy of women as well as the safety and security of proper health care services.

In safe zones, anti-abortion protests or intimidating individuals would be prohibited from lurking or giving out anti-abortion information. If the bills is passed it would also mean it would be illegal for clinic staff or other health professionals to harass women about their abortion choices.

“Our governments proposed safe access zones would protect a woman’s fundamental right to fair and equal access to safe abortion,” Harris said in a statement. “It an important step forward, and one that strengthens the rights of all women in Ontario. Women in our province should be able to access health care free form the threat or fear of violence or harassment.”

There are eight abortion clinics in Ontario and the safe access zones will extend from 50 to 150 meters around the clinic. Similar safe access zones have been functioning in other provinces such as British Columbia, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson warmly welcomes this move as the city has had to deal with various protestors and anti-abortion activists who harass women as they leave the Morgentaler Clinic along Bank Street in downtown Ottawa. Watson is calling on the government to consider the legislation so police can now deal with the activists.


The safety zone will also automatically apply to the homes for abortion clinic staff, hospitals and pharmacies that offer abortion services. People who violate the zones can face a fine with a range of $5000-$10,000 and from six months to a year in jail. Anti-abortion groups such as the Campaign Life Coalition think the proposed legislation is drastic and far-reaching. Jim Hughes,the president of the organization, said this form of ‘bubble zone legislation’ is not about protecting women from violence that doesn’t exist, instead he said it a form of silencing pro-life campaigns.

The safe access safety zones will also be able to increase or decrease in size based on regulation, if this bill is passed. This proposition is completely different to a bill that has been recently passed by the United States House of Representatives, legislating that all abortions after 20 weeks will be criminalized and punishable by up to five years in prison. This bill is a direct hit to women’s rights. This move has been supported by the Trump administration and is gathering a lot of criticism in the U.S. Planned Parenthood Action Fund says this move is just a way to slowly end all abortions. They say that 99 per cent of abortions take place before 20 weeks.

What are your thoughts on this proposed legislation? Comment below!

Look out for the new Canada 150 glow-in-the-dark toonie

The toonie has always been an emblem of Canadian pride, from its odd nickname to the polar bear that is crested on the heavy coin.

To celebrate Canada’s 150 year festivities, the Royal Canadian Mint hosted a competition where Canadians across the country were invited to submit designs for the toonie that would celebrate the historic occasion. The winner shocked all.

A glow-in-the-dark toonie featuring the northern lights. That’s right, glow-in-the-dark. Keep your eyes peeled because the coin is already in circulation. 

Named “Dance of the Spirits”, the design was created by Dr. Timothy Hsia, a family doctor and his brother Stephen Hsia, a lawyer who are both from Richmond B.C. The two business professionals are both artists are the side and have been working on art projects together since they were children. Timothy came up with the northern lights design and Stephen helped translate it to the computer to make it a piece of digital art.

The Royal Canadian Mint will be releasing three million of these special edition coins and is excited to get to use new and never-used-before technology that will create the world’s first glow-in-the-dark coin. The coin uses a pad-printed process and ink that creates a luminescent coin. In the factory, each toonie is painted with glow-in-the-dark purple and blue paint to imitate the Aurora Borealis, one of Canada’s proudest natural wonders.

The two brothers received $2000 prize money, two tickets to Ottawa for the big reveal, and a special edition of the coins. The two artists are dedicating their win to their grandfather who was a coin collector and often gave them special edition coins as they were growing up. It is also giving the brothers further incentive to go see the Northern Lights, one of the majestic wonders of Canadian nature.

Whether you find out you have one of these deluxe coins in a bar when it suddenly glows-in-the-dark, or you seek out a special edition set, definitely hang on to this toonie to give to your own grandchildren one day — it’s bound to inspire a sense of nostalgic tradition and Canadian pride. 

Have you seen the toonie? Let us know in the comments below!

National Housing Strategy has a long road ahead to fix housing crisis

Housing should be a universal right? It shouldn’t be an expensive commodity that leaves many people who can’t afford it suffering on the street.

Canada’s federal government has launched a campaign called ‘Let’s Talk Housing’ to engage Canadians in a dialogue about the state of affordable housing in the country. The goal of the campaign is to begin the process of creating a National Housing Strategy.

Canada is the only developed country in the world that does not currently have a National Housing Strategy. To add salt to the wound, it is estimated there are currently 226,000 homeless people in Canada and over three million living in poverty. People who do have a place to call their own spend a substantial amount of their income on their housing, leaving them strained to afford other essential needs.

The campaign reaches out to Canadians in three ways; a survey, sharing your ideas, and submitting a written statement. The survey lacks detail, but does emphasize the core principles that the federal government intends to include in the National Housing Strategy. The strategy focuses on housing as environmentally sustainable, fiscally responsible, community-centered, and inclusive, among other things.

Across the country, there are affordable housing shortages. In Ontario, there are 171, 360 households (individuals or families) waiting for housing, with an average wait time of four years, according to a report by the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association. A substantial portion of the Ontario waitlist is based in Toronto, with 93,515 in need of affordable homes. Montreal is next in line, with a waitlist sitting at 24,639 people, a result of a lack of adequate budgeting being put into housing since 2009. Vancouver’s and Ottawa’s housing waitlist both have about 9,500 on it and they are continually growing. The high need for affordable housing in the coastal city is due to the astronomical housing and rental costs, leaving many without anywhere to live. With a much smaller population, Alberta still has a long waitlist with 10,000 waiting for housing in both Calgary and Edmonton, according to the CHRA. This list continues to grow due to the declining economy and the Fort McMurray wildfires, destroying many homes.

The announcement of the National Housing Strategy has been met with criticism because of the associated costs of providing housing for everyone who needs it. The current federal budget can simply not withstand the costs associated with the housing crisis and the federal government has quite the challenge ahead. From housing costs skyrocketing in major urban centres to a severe lack of social housing nation-wide, it is difficult to know where to even start on the housing agenda. Needless to say, Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos will have to perform miracles to get the housing agenda moving after the results of the campaign are published.

The ‘Let’s Talk Housing’ campaign closes on October 21 and the results will be released on National Housing Day on November 22. There will also be several housing roundtables throughout the month of September and keep updated on twitter through #letstalkhousing.

What is your opinion of the housing crisis in Canada? Let Women’s Post know in the comments below.

Everyone loves chicken wings

By Marcia Barhydt

How could there be a football game on TV without chicken wings? Or a poker night for the guys? Or any impromptu party for either guys or girls?

This year, however, this culinary treat was severely threatened for the Super Bowl, possibly the ultimate wing event of the year.

According to WSB-TV, “Two storage workers in Georgia are accused of stealing $65,000 worth of frozen chicken wings amid a high nationwide demand for the delicious Super Bowl snack. Dewayne Patterson, 35, and Renaldo Jackson, 26, allegedly used a rental truck on Jan. 12 to steal 10 warehouse pallets of frozen wings from Nordic Cold Storage.”

Ten pallets? I have no idea how many wings a pallet holds, but 10 pallets certainly seems to be a plethora of wings to me.

Don’t you have to wonder just how these two stored those 10 pallets to keep them frozen and in top black market condition? I think this may have been more wings than would fit into my little kitchen freezer. Did they borrow freezers from their pals? Maybe they rented freezers the way you can rent tables and chairs for a banquet. I just think that 10 pallets of wings would be a hefty amount to secretly store and I’m not sure that DeWayne and Renaldo would have been up to the task.

And there’s another question here. Wings come, of course, coated with various sauces: zesty, hot, super-hot, blow-your-head-off hot. Were the stolen wings pre-coated in their pallets of storage boxes? That just seems unlikely to me. So did these two bright bulb thieves also steal the sauces? How did they decide which strength of sauce would be the most popular for their…clients? Do purchasers of stolen wings even have a preference or are they just delighted to have a huge stash of these chicken delights?

How much would you pay for a box of heisted wings? Or a pallet of them, for that matter? Would you buy wings out of the trunk of someone’s car parked at the side of the road advertising “Wings – Cheap”?

Maybe I need to stop laughing at this ridiculous heist, because the brazen theft took place on January 12 and the date of the news article is January 28, so there was some wiggle time there for the sticky-fingered thieves to dispose of their wings in the most profitable manner before this year’s Super Bowl Sunday.

These two innovative thieves did the nasty deed in broad daylight with little concern of being caught – so caught they were. They were later released on $2,950 bond.

The wings, however, were never found. Pass the napkins please.

 

Anniversaries

Last weekend Boyfriend and I went out for brunch because that’s what Toronto couples do on Sundays. I made a joke about neither of us knowing our actual anniversary, which I thought was funny until he told me that he actually did know when it was. I assumed that he was teasing but then he passed me his phone which has a reminder on September 20th that it is our anniversary.

It’s really the little things that matter and the fact that he not only remembered our first date but bothered to include it in his calendar blew me away.

The last anniversary I can remember was with the Big Ex and by that point he was already cheating – when I texted to say “happy anniversary” I didn’t even receive a response. We broke up a couple weeks later. So to find out that Boyfriend is already assuming that we’ll make it through this anniversary and the next makes me smile in that dorky I’m-so-in-love kind of way.

When you’re happy you don’t need to rush; if things are going to work out then you can take your time getting there and enjoy all the little milestones. We have an anniversary coming up in September and there’s a lot to enjoy between now and then: summer cottages, BBQs with friends, concerts, beach days and road trips.

In Toronto couples have a tendency to move too quickly. They move in together before they’re ready to because rent is high, they let their relationships move at the pace of the city and lose each other in the rush. I just want to keep getting to know Boyfriend, keep falling in love and keep finding out new things about each other.

But as much as I love taking things somewhat slowly, because there’s no need to rush when you know things are right, I also love that he knows when our anniversary is. It makes me blush, it makes me feel like a total girl for enjoying it and it makes me smile.

I’ve said this before (and I’m probably going to keep saying it) but I’ve never had a relationship that wasn’t plagued with one problem or another. I’ve never had a boy care enough about me to put me in a calendar. I’ve always been the one who cares the most in a relationship and it’s amazing to feel like a real partner rather than a girl with a crush begging for attention from someone you’re supposed to be dating.

I didn’t remember our anniversary but I do remember our first kiss, I remember the first time he held my hand, I remember the first time he made me dinner, I remember that when I was waiting for a job offer he was the one who told me a million times that I didn’t need to worry. It’s the moments that I remember because it’s the moments that make us work. I can’t wait to see what happens next, and because it’s finally summer I kind of hope it involves a patio or a beach.