Good news, bad news - Macleans.ca
 

Good news, bad news

Changes to sick days for federal employees and Lululemon CEO Christine Day steps down


 

Good news

Good news, bad news

Amit Dave/Reuters

The Ferris Bueller Act

It’s the kind of stat that makes so many taxpayers ill: the average federal public servant calls in sick 18.2 days per year—nearly three times the absenteeism rate in the private sector. The Harper government is hoping to slash that number, introducing sweeping, long-overdue changes to a sick-day regime that, in the words of Treasury Board President Tony Clement, is “archaic” and “simply unsustainable.” The goal, Clement says, is a civil service that Canadians deserve: “modern, high-performing and effective.” And if that doesn’t save enough money, Nigel Wright can always cut taxpayers a cheque.

Made by an adult

An increasing number of shoppers are willing to shell out more for products that are not manufactured by child labourers, according to a new poll commissioned by World Vision. On average, Canadians say they would pay 23 per cent more for something if it came with a guarantee that no child helped make it—double the amount cited in a similar poll conducted just last year. In theory, the results are encouraging. But the real question remains: if that option actually existed today, which T-shirt would you bring to the checkout?

Lockout? What lockout?

The NHL has made it easy to forget the ugliness of the lockout. Though shortened, this season has produced some of the best hockey in years, including thrilling playoffs that only promise to get better. The last four Stanley Cup champions advanced to the semi-finals (no flukey Carolina Hurricanes here) and fans are about to be treated to an “Original Six finals” that features, for the first time, Boston versus Chicago. Those who bleed Maple Leaf blue—still heartbroken after that Game 7 debacle—may disagree, but it doesn’t get much better than this.

Next stop: etiquette school

Sometimes, a friendly reminder is entirely appropriate. Hoping to weed out obnoxious behaviour on trains and buses, Calgary transit officials have launched an “etiquette” campaign. It covers everything from the annoying (“If other people can hear music through your headphones—it’s too loud”) to the smelly (“Deodorant can make all the difference”). Indeed.

Bad news

Good news, bad news

Vladimir Simicek/SME/isifa/Getty Images

History repeating itself

Turkey’s prime minister issued one final warning to protesters in Istanbul’s Taksim Square: “It’s over,” said Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Be warned, we will not tolerate it anymore.” He wasn’t bluffing. Riot police firing tear gas and water cannons descended on the square after 12 days of political unrest, filling the sky with thick smoke and screaming sirens. But the crowds did not leave quietly, as thousands reoccupied the square—only to be pushed out yet again. Erdogan insists he is the victim of a conspiracy “put in place with the collaboration of inside and outside forces,” and that he will not bow to the protesters. We’ve heard that before.

Dishonourable conduct

When it comes to treating soldiers with respect, the Canadian Forces still has some things to learn. Just ask Cpl. Glen Kirkland, an Afghanistan veteran who narrowly survived a rocket attack five years ago. Just days after telling a Senate committee about his struggle to obtain health benefits, Kirkland has been told he will be discharged in six months—despite assurances from Defence Minister Peter MacKay that he would suffer “no ramifications” for testifying. So much for Support our Troops.

Squeezed out

The surprise resignation of Lululemon CEO Christine Day has thrown one of the country’s best-known global brands into crisis. Though Day, one of Canada’s few female chief executives, called her decision “personal,” investors are concerned about inner turmoil at the yoga gear-maker following an embarrassing recall of stretch pants earlier this year. Lululemon’s decision to delist itself from the Toronto Stock Exchange is yet another blow to the made-in-Canada success story, suggesting high-profile Canadian firms no longer see value in tapping local markets to fund growth.

Impaired thinking

A Newfoundland and Labrador man was charged with impaired driving after police found him sitting in his car with an open liquor bottle—in the parking lot of the local RCMP detachment. If only spotting drunk drivers was always so easy. According to a new U.S. study, 40 per cent of pub customers who identified themselves as “designated drivers” were actually above the legal limit.


 

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