Posts Tagged ‘Women’

If it is good for ladies, it is good for Canada’s economic system.

That is the overarching theme of Finance Minister Invoice Morneau’s 2018 federal spending plan, which goals to spice up productiveness and offset an ageing inhabitants by bringing extra girls into the workforce in sectors starting from science to expert trades.

Titled “Equality + Progress, A Robust Center Class,” the 367-page price range doc gives new money to deal with the opioid disaster, deal with a surge in asylum seekers crossing the border from the USA and enhance dwelling circumstances for Indigenous folks.

However girls are the massive winners, with cash concentrating on new parental helps, gender equality and anti-harassment initiatives, in addition to measures to advertise pay fairness.

Morneau stated the aim is not merely equity — it is also to defend Canada’s long-term development and labour market from the results of a altering demographic.

“We imagine that Canada’s future success rests on ensuring that each Canadian has a chance to work, and to earn dwelling from that work,” he stated in a speech ready for supply within the Home of Commons. “And that features Canada’s gifted, formidable and hard-working girls.”

The price range is designed to draw girls to jobs historically dominated by males, akin to high-quality, well-paid jobs within the expert trades.

Finance minister delivers federal price range speech LIVEzero:00

Robust financial development and deferred infrastructure spending have cleared room in Morneau’s price range for brand new spending — on applications, on hiring new judges, even on new jail farms.

Indigenous communities will see a $ four.1-billion funding over 5 years, along with already earmarked within the 2016 price range. That cash can be used to deal with long-standing issues with infrastructure and social providers via investments in new housing and improved youngster welfare and well being applications.

Pharmacare, parental go away and pay fairness

There’s additionally a pledge for a brand new nationwide pharmacare program — however the price range says nothing about what that may value. Eric Hoskins, who resigned as Ontario’s well being minister Monday, was formally named right this moment because the chair of a brand new council that can maintain nationwide consultations on easy methods to proceed with a nationwide program.

The price range additionally invests tens of millions extra to crack down on offshore tax havens — which, like pharmacare, is a key coverage plank being pushed by the NDP.

Opposition response to federal price range LIVEzero:00

The price range additionally unveils particulars of a proposed new five-week “use-it-or-lose-it” parental go away profit, pegged at a price of $ 1.2 billion over 5 years beginning this yr, and one other $ 345 million every year after.

Styled after a well-liked Quebec provincial program, it should give fathers or non-birth mother and father, together with adoptive and same-sex companions, 5 weeks of go away.

The inducement is to grow to be obtainable in June 2019 — simply months earlier than the following federal election.

Promised laws on pay fairness for federal and federally-regulated staff is not costed within the price range, however the doc says it is going to be included in price range implementation laws. It estimates the transfer might scale back the gender wage hole by about 2.7 cents on the greenback for the core public administration.

The price range additionally commits $ three million to implementing enhanced pay transparency necessities, geared toward shining a light-weight on public sector employers who lead in equitable pay practices — and holding these lagging behind to account.

‘Symbolic’ measures sidestep childcare

Former Saskatchewan finance minister Janice MacKinnon agrees with the idea of rising Canada’s productiveness by encouraging extra girls to hitch the office, however stated the measures included within the price range are “small and symbolic.”

She stated the price range’s measures will not be sufficient to have any affect on whether or not girls work or keep dwelling.

“The types of issues which might be going to vary that call are what occurred in Quebec —  billions of spent to make daycare inexpensive and obtainable,” she stated.

MacKinnon stated girls make selections about getting into the workforce on the idea of various standards than males observe; they’re extra probably to have a look at work-life stability than wage, for instance.

With the #metoo motion preventing sexual harassment and assault in opposition to girls constructing in power, the 2018 price range provides a further $ 86 million over 5 years to a gender-based violence prevention program. It additionally gives $ 10 million to create a brand new nationwide unit of the RCMP to overview sexual assault instances that had been deemed by investigators to be “unfounded.”

Funds to deal with opioid disaster

The price range commits $ 231.four million over 5 years to combat the opioid disaster that has claimed hundreds of lives — together with a $ 150 million emergency fund for provinces to launch remedy applications. The price range additionally has put aside cash for First Nations communities to deal with substance abuse, together with opioids.

CBC Information price range particular LIVEzero:00

The price range gives new cash to enhance the administration of justice via expanded unified household courts, and $ 17.1 million over 5 years for six new judicial positions for Ontario and one in Saskatchewan.

The price range forecasts an $ 18.1-billion deficit within the 2018-2019 fiscal yr, which regularly will decline to $ 12.three billion by 2022-2023.

Morneau: ‘Ensure that we get it proper’ on competitiveness

Through the 2015 election marketing campaign the Liberals promised to get rid of the deficit by 2019. In the present day, Morneau defended the choice to run successive deficits as a technique to appreciate long-term financial positive aspects and go away lasting constructive impacts for ladies and Indigenous folks, and on innovation and the combat in opposition to local weather change.

The price range is being tabled in a local weather of deep international financial uncertainty, with North American Free Commerce negotiations nonetheless underway and the U.S. ushering in an aggressive tax discount plan.

Requested why the price range didn’t embrace any measures to reassure the home enterprise neighborhood, Morneau insisted Canada’s tax charges are comparatively low already.

“We’re in a aggressive place. It is not information to me that enterprise is asking for decrease tax charges. I used to be in enterprise, it is a fairly widespread chorus,” he advised reporters throughout a information convention.

“However what we have to do is ensure that we get it proper, that we keep aggressive.”

Former Conservative trade minister James Moore known as the price range a missed alternative to sign to the enterprise neighborhood that the federal government will step in to maintain Canada aggressive and to melt the financial blow if NAFTA talks fail.

Canada is changing into much less engaging for buyers, he stated.

“This price range would not acknowledge the fact of the Trump presidency and the shift that has occurred in fiscal and commerce coverage. Canada needs to be ready for it and this price range would not put together Canada for that new actuality,” he stated.

In his price range speech, Morneau stated Liberal insurance policies are reaping sturdy outcomes for Canada’s economic system, with 600,000 new jobs created prior to now two years and unemployment charges on the lowest degree in additional than 40 years.

Two Canadian girls who spent virtually two weeks in a Cambodian jail are anticipated to reach in Toronto on Friday night with the lawyer who helped safe their launch.

Eden Kazoleas, 19, from Drayton Valley, Alta., and Jessica Drolet, 26, from Ottawa, have been amongst seven westerners launched Wednesday.

“The understanding that I’ve is that the fees have been dismissed,” mentioned Michael Tibollo, a lawyer concerned with the Ontario agency representing Kazoleas. “They have been offered their passports, and so they have been permitted to depart the nation.”

Eden Kazoleas

Eden Kazoleas has been documenting her travels on her private Instagram account. (Eden Kazoleas/Instagram)

The ladies have been amongst 10 foreigners arrested Jan. 25 when Cambodian police raided a celebration at a rented villa.

The group had taken half in a pub crawl organized by an area lodge then ended up on the villa rented by one of many teams, mentioned Tibollo.

Three of the 10 folks arrested stay in jail, he mentioned.

The group was in Siem Reap, an space of Cambodia that pulls many younger vacationers as a result of it’s cheap, mentioned Tibollo, who likened it to Cancun, Mexico.

“What underscores the scenario right here is, what we think about to be regular behaviour is just not seen that means in every single place on the planet,” he mentioned. “This example, it sounds prefer it obtained out of hand.”

It is alleged the group took pornographic footage. However the one linked to the Canadian girls was one in all an uncovered breast, Tibollo mentioned. The picture within the image did not seem like both of the ladies, he mentioned.

“The proof that they had was circumstantial,” he mentioned. “The choose dismissed it.”

Cambodia Foreigners Arrested

On this photograph dated Jan. 27, 2018, issued by Cambodian Nationwide Police, a gaggle of foreigners stand after they have been arrested for “dancing pornographically” at a celebration in Siem Reap. (Cambodian Nationwide Police through AP)

Tibollo mentioned his daughter, Frances Tibollo, additionally a lawyer, heard in regards to the case and reached out to the Kazoleas household.

“She lived there [Cambodia] for a 12 months, she labored there and may be very conversant in the authorized system,” mentioned Tibollo.

His daughter felt compassion for the women “being within the improper place on the improper time,” he mentioned.

‘Cautionary story’

The circumstances in Cambodian jails differ significantly from Canadian jails, mentioned Tibollo.

The Canadians have been in a room with about 45 different girls and got little meals, he mentioned.

“After they obtained out, my daughter mentioned they ate sufficient meals for 5 folks. They have been very fortunate to get out.”

Tibollo mentioned the story was a cautionary story dad and mom ought to move on to their kids earlier than they journey to international nations.

“Once you go to a different nation, you have to perceive that their boundaries are completely different than our boundaries,” he mentioned. “You must be cognizant of the truth that your actions might get you into hassle when you cross these boundaries.”

The Canadian girls and Frances Tibollo are anticipated to reach in Toronto on Friday on a flight from the Philippines.

Four women filed civil lawsuits Wednesday against Albert Schultz, accusing the Canadian actor and artistic director of the Soulpepper Theatre Company of sexual battery and harassment of a sexual nature over a 13-year period.

Toronto-based Soulpepper has also been named in the statements of claim of each lawsuit, which detail allegations of unwanted groping, harassment and sexual remarks in the workplace from 2000 to 2013.

“Albert is a serial sexual predator who…had well-developed methods for targeting actresses and luring them into situations that he considered optimal for sexually harassing and assaulting them,” the lawsuits allege, adding that the methods were “facilitated by Soulpepper.”

Sexual battery is a term used in civil lawsuits to describe unwanted touching of a sexual nature.

In all, the women in the four statements of claim allege 30 separate incidents, many of them with specific locations and dates.

None of the allegations have been proven in court. Schultz and the Soulpepper board were served notice of the claim, but they have not yet issued a response or made a statement to the media.

For some of the allegations, there were no witnesses and the women didn’t tell anyone. In other instances, CBC News spoke with friends and family members who said they’d been told about the incidents at the time.

THEATRE Soulpepper Off Broadway 20170627

Soulpepper director Albert Schultz, centre, speaks to cast members during rehearsals for the production of Spoon River in Toronto in March 2017. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

CBC News has also spoken with some of Schultz’s colleagues at Soulpepper, who said they had never witnessed the director behave inappropriately. They said he is passionate and a maverick who “experiments” with actors to get the best performances out of them.

However, two of the theatre company’s founding members, Ted Dykstra and Stuart Hughes, along with actor Michelle Monteith, released a statement saying they believe the plaintiffs and hope their support will send “a message to organizations everywhere: sexual harassment in the workplace cannot be tolerated. By anyone.”

CBC has learned that four actors at Soulpepper intend to resign Thursday if Schultz does not leave his role as the company’s artistic director. A fifth person, a director, plans to do the same.

In addition to the four women who have launched the civil suit, as part of a joint investigation by The National and The Fifth Estate, CBC journalists have spoken with four other women who said they were disturbed by interactions of a sexualized nature with him.

Schultz, 54, is a member of the Order of Canada and may be best known to television audiences for his work on the CBC drama Street Legal, which aired between 1987 and 1994.

He’s a founding member of Soulpepper, one of Canada’s most successful theatre companies, which recently completed a critically acclaimed run off-Broadway in New York.

‘I felt him push his penis against me.’ – Patricia Fagan

Schultz is also an executive producer on Kim’s Convenience, the play-turned-hit TV show that airs on CBC. The show is independently produced by Thunderbird Productions.

“In light of the serious allegations made public today, we expect Thunderbird will take the necessary actions to ensure a safe and respectful workplace and we have conveyed that to them,” said Emma Bedard, a spokeswoman for CBC.

The four women are individually asking for damages of up to $ 1.25 million from Schultz, as well as separate damages from the theatre company, to compensate for what they claim has been mental suffering, lost wages and injury to dignity and self-respect.   

They only agreed to speak on record with the CBC once they had the protection that comes from filing a lawsuit in court.

These are women [who] have been harassed at work,” said Alexi Wood, the lawyer who filed the claim.

“There’s a power imbalance that exists. Albert was their boss,” she said. “He wields a huge amount of power, not just in Soulpepper, but in the theatre world in general.”

Allegations of bullying, lewd comments

The four women who filed lawsuits alleging they were harassed by Schultz are actors Kristin Booth, Diana Bentley, Hannah Miller and Patricia Fagan.

In her lawsuit’s statement of claim, Fagan alleges Schultz fostered a climate of “mocking, belittling and bullying” at Soulpepper, often leaving her feeling “vulnerable and hunted.”

During rehearsals for a Soulpepper production of Twelfth Night in 2000, when Fagan was 23, she claims Schultz, as director, inserted himself into a scene to demonstrate what he wanted his lead actor to do.

Patricia Fagan

Actor Patricia Fagan joined Soulpepper at the age of 23. Now 41, she stopped working with Soulpepper in 2013. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

It was at that point, Fagan alleges, that “I felt him push his penis against me.” She says she didn’t react, assuming the contact was called for in the scene, although she felt “violated” by the “gratuitous demonstration.”

Fagan claims that Schultz once slid his hand under her skirt and rubbed the underside of her thigh during a rehearsal. She also alleges Schultz flashed his penis at her seconds before she was getting ready to make her entrance on stage for a live performance. CBC spoke with that play’s director, who said while he doesn’t recall the incident, he believes Fagan’s account, adding that Schultz was a joker who sometimes crossed the line.

In a rehearsal of a flirtatious scene in another play, Fagan alleges Schultz congratulated her performance by pretending to have an orgasm.

‘I was so humiliated. I didn’t have a name for it at the time, but I did fall into a depression. I can see that now.’ – Patricia Fagan

“He…starts ripping Kleenex out of the box to show that he was having an orgasm, with the Kleenex being his ejaculate,” she told CBC News. “That was to say, like, ‘Well done, you were sexy in that scene.'”  

Fagan started with Soulpepper fresh out of theatre school at 23, and worked on and off with the company until 2013. Now 41, she called her early days at the theatre company “devastating.”

“I was so humiliated,” Fagan said. “I didn’t have a name for it at the time, but I did fall into a depression. I can see that now.”

‘I could feel his genitals against my body’

Award-winning actor Kristin Booth, 43, alleges she endured similar conduct in her work with Soulpepper. She said it started when she was 25 and, like Fagan, performing in the production of Twelfth Night in 2000.

During rehearsals for that play and another directed by Schultz five years later, Booth claims she endured unwanted hugs, kisses and touching, as well as sexually suggestive language.

Albert’s hugs were different,” Booth said in an interview. “There were times in some of the hugs where I could feel his genitals against my body.”

Kristin Booth

Kristin Booth started at Soulpepper in 2000. Her breakthrough was a performance in a production of Twelfth Night. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

She claims he would also kiss her on the lips and talk about enjoying “how soft and full they were,” as well as comment on her “milky white breasts in front of the other cast members.”

During a 2005 production of Olympia, Booth alleges Schultz took advantage of his position as director to touch her inappropriately as she and the lead actor rehearsed an intimate scene. She claims Schultz pushed the actor aside and the director “proceeded to run his hands up my body.”

Booth added that no other director has done that to her, not even on the set of the highly sexualized 2007 film Young People F–king, a performance for which she won a Genie Award.

Soulpepper turns to outside experts

The lawsuits filed in Ontario Superior Court allege Soulpepper either knew or was “willfully blind to the fact Albert was a sexual predator” and created a “poisonous work environment by not acting to curb the alleged behaviour.”

There have been allegations in the past. Soulpepper revealed in October 2017 that it had severed ties with longtime guest artist and director Laszlo Marton over allegations of sexual harassment reported to the theatre company two years ago.

The company said at the time it was “dedicated to creating a safe place of belonging for artists, audiences, and aspirants.”

In the wake of Marton’s dismissal, Soulpepper sent an internal email to staff obtained by CBC, which vowed to “improve on the workplace dynamics” and promised that management’s “doors continue to be open” to anyone wishing to speak with them.

In the memo, Soulpepper said an outside expert hired to review the company’s anti-harassment policies had submitted her report and that she “did not have any significant concerns.” The email also said managers were “not aware of any allegations of sexual harassment at Soulpepper” aside from those against Marton.

Soulpepper Albert Schultz

Schultz presided over the celebrations of Soulpepper’s 20th season at the Pershing Square Signature Theatre in New York City on Canada Day 2017. (Henry McGee/Soulpepper)

The email was co-signed by the theatre company’s head of human resources, Sarah Farrell, and executive director Leslie Lester, who is also married to Schultz.

The statements of claim allege Soulpepper’s harassment policy, instituted in March 2016, is flawed since it requires allegations of harassment be reported to the head of HR and/or Lester, “to whom cast members could not expect to report harassment, particularly sexual harassment” about her husband.

‘He was the boss’

For years, the four women said that they did not speak out about the alleged harassment out of fear of reprisals or losing work since, as one of the statements said, Schultz had “such power and reach in the Canadian theatre world.”

“There are so many actors and so few jobs. And so we just put up with it,” Fagan said, a worry echoed by her colleague.

“You didn’t want to displease Albert. You didn’t want to get in his line of sight because you would pay for it,” Booth told CBC. “I knew it was wrong. But I also wanted to keep my job.”

‘I’ve had a few people say, “You’re so brave,” and I don’t see it that way, because I’m terrified.’ – Kristin Booth

Booth said it was a difficult decision for her to move forward with a lawsuit against Schultz, even though she hasn’t worked with Soulpepper in 12 years and now concentrates on film and TV.

“I’ve had a few people say, ‘You’re so brave,’ and I don’t see it that way, because I’m terrified,” Booth told CBC.

“For me, it’s a necessity,” she added. “I don’t have a choice anymore.”

Do you work in the entertainment industry and have a story to share? Contact Salimah Shivji at or (416) 205-2287 or Saman Malik at or (416) 205-6017.