Blast from the Past

Want to know what health benefits cost in 1938? Check out this vintage benefits enrollment card, found at the back of an old filing cabinet.

And if you have any information on it, let us know! Send an email to the editor, Alyssa Hodder, at

NEWS | Pensions

Hollywood to release movie about same-sex pension rights

It isn’t too often the worlds of entertainment and pension law meet, but it happens. Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore is starring in a film about same-sex pension rights, which will be released this fall.

The Hollywood drama, Freeheld, recounts the true-life story of New Jersey police detective Laurel Hester (Moore) who’s diagnosed with terminal cancer and tries to leave her pension to her partner, Stacie Andree (Ellen Page). County officials—called Freeholders—conspire to prevent the couple from doing so. Laurel and Stacie have to navigate red tape and fight for their rights.

Freeheld is based on a 2007 Oscar-winning short documentary with the same name.


Hosting a company BBQ this summer? Take our uberhealthy BBQ challenge and impress your team! Here’s how.

Replace hot dogs and sausages with lessprocessed proteins, such as veggie burgers, seafood and tempeh (a nutty-flavoured fermented soy product that’s less processed than tofu). That way, you have options for your vegetarian and vegan employees, too.

Choose whole wheat, spelt or kamut bread for the buns. White bread is usually highly processed and full of unhealthy ingredients, including refined sugar. Also, offer gluten-free bread for employees with food sensitivities.

Provide condiments without sugar and unpronounceable ingredients.

Offer nuts, salads and raw or grilled veggies instead of chips and other junk food. Ditch the salad dressings—they’re typically full of sugar and preservatives. Instead, dress the salad with olive oil, vinegar and nutritional yeast (flakes of deactivated yeast that have a cheesy flavour and nutrients such as protein and B vitamins). Also, have healthy dips on hand, such as hummus.

Ban the pop and offer water and naturally sweetened juice instead.

Provide fresh and dried fruit for dessert. What’s sweeter than dates and cherries?


Pharmacy Solutions in Drug Plan Management

Oct. 21, 2015

International Centre, Mississauga, Ont.

This half-day conference—focused solely on pharmacy benefits—brings together pharmacists, plan sponsors, group insurers, benefits consultants, pharmaceutical companies (brand and generic) and other healthcare stakeholders.

Attendees will discuss subjects such as recommended usual and customary fees for emerging pharmacy professional services and how pharmacy services can optimize the use of employee benefits.

Find more information on this and other industry events at


“But I only snort cocaine in my spare time…”

A recent decision by the Alberta Court of Appeal confirms that employers in safety-sensitive professions can fire employees who don’t disclose their alcohol or drug addictions, regardless of whether these employees are aware of their addictions.

The case involved Ian Stewart, who worked at Elk Valley Coal Corp. as a load truck operator. He was fired after getting into a workplace road accident and testing positive for cocaine in a post-incident drug test.

Stewart admitted to using cocaine on his days off but insisted he wasn’t addicted. His union filed a human rights complaint on his behalf, claiming discrimination due to physical disability (i.e., his cocaine addiction.)

Stewart’s company had a drug and alcohol policy noting employees who voluntarily disclosed their dependency before a work-related incident would get rehabilitation help without fear of being fired or disciplined. But employees who didn’t reveal their addictions before an incident could be disciplined.

Stewart never mentioned his drug use before the accident. However, he did attend a training session on the company’s substance use policy and signed a form indicating he understood it.

Talk from our Twitter Feed

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
“Our proposals for financing our obligations [and] restructuring our debt will not burden European taxpayers.”

“Stop knocking the euro: rewards—economic and cultural—outweigh the costs.”

OMERS Ventures
“If someone cannot repeat what your business
does in 10 words or less, do they really get it?”

Robert Half Canada
“Forget fancy job titles or open offices: #GenZ will own the old-school office with (actual) face time and hard work.”

HR Professional
“#Leaders: Disrupt or be disrupted.”


If you’re going to spam people with an out-of-office message this summer, at least make it memorable. Here are our ideas.


“Thank you for your note. I’m in a remote cottage without power on a pristine lake. Every day, I wake up to the sound of birds, write my dreams in a journal so I can interpret them better, go for a swim and spend the rest of my time reading existential philosophy. I may or may not be returning to work. You can certainly send me a message, but you’re taking your chances.”


“You again? Can’t you see I’m on vacation? Please don’t contact me. Ever. Again. My inbox is full, anyway. ”


“Hey there! As you can see, I’m not in the office, but you can see everything I’m doing from my Facebook photos/Twitter/ Instagram feed anyway, so you probably have a pretty good idea what I’m up to. I’ll still be checking my work email but less obsessively than usual. If you need a diversion while you wait for my response, check out this cute cat video:

The month in numbers

68% — of Canadian employers and 59% of employees think the nine-to-five work

— 2015 survey

2.1% the expected growth of the Canadian economy in 2016

— International Monetary Fund

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