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Monthly Archives

April 2011

It’s easy being green: 5 Tips to green your workplace

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By guest contributor, Sydney Helland, Marketing & Communications Coordinator at Career Edge Organization

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Last Friday, April 22nd Canadians across the country mobilized to celebrate Earth Day 2011 by raising awareness about the importance of going green.

Since 1970, this environmental movement has been inspiring individuals and organizations to show their commitment to environmental protection and sustainability, and Canadian employers have been no exception.

In recognition of Earth Day 2011, Canada’s Top 100 Employers released the results of its 2011 Canada’s Greenest Employers competition. The Canadian employers that received this special designation have demonstrated exceptional leadership in creating a workplace culture of environmental awareness while developing earth-friendly initiatives. Career Edge Organization would like to congratulate all those who made the cut!

If you’re wondering what you and/or your organization can do to lessen your footprint on the earth and to join this professional group of environmental stewards, check out the following Top 5 Ways to Green Your Workplace!

  1. Green your commute: Using personal motor vehicles to get to work puts an incredible strain on the environment through the consumption of billions of gallons of gas each year. We can alleviate this strain by carpooling, taking public transit, cycling or walking.
    Tip: The Shadow eBike – the world’s first wireless, electric bicycle – is certainly on the cutting edge of green commuting, plus it’s designed, developed and assembled in Canada!
  2. Go paperless: Reducing the amount of paper used in the typical office can be difficult, but any attempt to reduce, reuse, and recycle paper can have an impact. 
    Tip:
     You can help save paper quite simply by printing double-sided, purchasing paper made with post-consumer content, and reusing scrap paper from the blue bin for notes. If you use a vendor for paper shredding, contact them to find out about their recycling programs.
  3. Digitize: Although hard copies are required in particular situations, consider going digital whenever possible. 
    Tip:
     A filing cabinet full of paper archives can often be replaced by a 350GB digital hard drive.
  4. Conserve energy: There are hundreds of small energy suckers hidden around offices, and it’s easy to address them once you know where to look. The clock on the break room microwave, computer monitors, printers, photocopiers, television screens and media players all use energy even when they aren’t actively being used. 
    Tip:
     By plugging most office electronics into power bars, you can cut the power and save energy with the push of a button at the end of the day.
  5. Green your lunch: Coffee cups, plastic water bottles, Styrofoam take-away containers, and food packaging of all kinds are polluting our world constantly. 
    Tip:
     Switch to reusable or compostable food and beverage containers as much as possible. By using a personal water bottle, coffee tumbler and food containers for your daily lunches and snacks you will significantly reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.

Do you have eco-friendly ideas of your own? Please share them with us so we can all pitch in toward a greener Canadian work culture!

Do Canadians get time off work to vote? FAQs and tips for employers as polling day approaches

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On May 2, 2011, Canadians will be called to the polls to vote in a federal election. While it’s none of your business who employees vote for, it IS your business to ensure they understand their rights.

Can we encourage employees to vote?

Absolutely! While employers should not tell employees who to vote for, it is good to encourage employees to exercise their right to vote. But remember to stay completely neutral in your messaging. Even if a certain political party is favourable to your organization, it is not right for an employer to use their authority to impose their political beliefs on employees.

First-time Voters

While many working Canadians are familiar with voting and the election process, it can be a bit of a mystery to many, especially first-time voters  or people who are new to the Canadian workforce.

For  immigrants who are Canadian citizens, this upcoming election may be the first opportunity they will have to vote in Canada. These employees might come from societies where voters’ rights are not recognized in the same way as they are in Canada, or they may simply be unfamiliar with our system. Recent graduates may be familiar with voting, but less familiar with the rules of the workplace.

If there are people in your organization who are new to the Canadian workplace and may be voting for the first time, ensure they understand their rights under the Canada Elections Act, and know where to access information about where and how to vote.

Click here for more tips for first-time voters

Voters with Disabilities

For persons with disabilities, accessing polling stations might be more challenging if there are barriers along the way. For this reason, they may require additional time to get to and from polling stations. It’s important to let people with disabilities know that there are now three ways to vote: by special ballot, at an advance poll, or on polling day. The special ballot allows Canadians to vote by mail or in person at the office of their returning officer. By law, polling stations must have level access, and in the rare cases where they do not, transfer certificates are available so that electors with disabilities can use a different polling station that is accessible to them.

Click here for more information about Persons with Disabilities and Canada’s Electoral Systems

Do Canadians get time off work to vote?

This is one of the most common questions. The answer is, yes. And no.

According to the Canada Elections Act:

Every voter is entitled to have three consecutive hours in which to vote. Employers whose employees have three consecutive hours of their own time available during polling hours need not allow additional time for voting. If, however, an employee does not have this time available, it is stressed that the amount of time required:

  • must be requested by the employee,
  • is at a time convenient to the employer, and
  • once requested by the employee, must be allowed by the employer.

In other words, if polling stations are open until 8:30 pm, and your employee is finished work at 5:30 pm, then he or she would have 3 hours to vote during their own time. But, if they face a one hour commute home to their polling station after work, then they are left with two hours to vote – meaning the employee may request to leave an hour early.

For more tips and information, visit:

Elections Canada: www.elections.ca

Elections Ontario: www.elections.on.ca

Driving your business strategy: Adapting to changes in Canadian demographics

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This past week, our President and CEO, Anne Lamont was invited by the Toronto Board of Trade to participate in a Webinar aimed at employers in the GTA. The complimentary webinar, entitled Driving Your Business Strategy: Adapting to Changes in Canadian Demographics addressed the need for businesses to adapt and change with the times, identifying “new opportunities” in the form of diverse talent pools.

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