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19% of women, 13% of men report workplace harassment in StatsCan survey

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About 19 per cent of Canadian women and 13 per cent of men reported being harassed in the workplace, with the highest level of harassment in health-care jobs, according to Statistics Canada.

Verbal abuse was the most common form of harassment for both men and women with 13 per cent of women and 10 per cent of men reporting they’d experienced abuse in the preceding year.

Sexual harassment was most likely to affect women, with four per cent saying they had experienced unwanted sexual attention in the workplace, compared to fewer than one per cent of men.

Young, unmarried women were most likely to report some form of sexual harassment.

The results, based on Statistics Canada’s General Social Survey, gathered data in 2016, the year before the #MeToo movement focused attention on sexual harassment. The report was released Monday.

“That’s why we have to follow up,” said Sébastien LaRochelle-Côté, a managing editor for Statistics Canada, who says researchers have suggested repeating the survey amid the more heightened awareness of harassment that followed #MeToo.

The survey conducted from August to December 2016 questioned 19,609 men and women aged 15 to 64, who had worked for pay in the preceding year.

Harassment from clients, customers

LaRochelle-Côté said survey questions asked people whether they had experienced verbal abuse, humiliating behaviour, threats, physical violence, and unwanted sexual attention or sexual harassment in the workplace in the past year.

“It doesn’t mean they reported the situation to their employer,” he said.

About 53 per cent of women said the harassment came from a client or a customer at work.  compared with 42 per cent of men.

Women were most likely to report sexual harassment in the workplace, with young, unmarried women most affected. (Dmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock)

“A lot of people who work with the public — and that includes, for example, people who work in health-care occupations — have higher levels of harassment because they have higher levels of interaction with the public,” LaRochelle-Côté said.

People working in the health-care related jobs experienced the highest levels of harassment, with about 23 per cent reporting they had been harassed in the past year.

In health occupations, including doctors and nurses, 27 per cent of women and 21 per cent of men reported harassment in the past year.

Part of the reason for higher levels of harassment of women is that more of them work in health-related jobs, he said.

Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, says he thinks Statistics Canada’s numbers are low. A survey the council did earlier this year found 68 per cent of hospital staff in Ontario said they have been victims of physical violence at work in the past year.

“Negative attitudes toward women are imported by family members,” he told CBC News. “Low levels of staffing and quality-of-care issues combine together to create a situation where people feel free to express the anger they have.”

He recommends an increase in staffing because too many health-care workers are on their own in both nursing homes and hospitals.

Hurley said his union is pressing for a change in the criminal code to increase sentences for people who assault health-care workers.

It’s also urging some means of flagging troublesome patients and warning nurses and doctors about patients involved with law enforcement, to help them know they must be extra cautious. Earlier this year in Kingston, Ont., a prison inmate disarmed an officer and fired two shots in the hospital.

Among men, 39 per cent of those reporting harassment in the Statistics Canada survey said they’d been harassed by a supervisor or manager, while among women, more — 34 per cent — said they’d been harassed by peers or colleagues.

The survey found that being harassed at work was associated with stress, poor mental health and lack of motivation.

“It does have implications for employers if you look at the higher proportion of workers who’ve been harassed who want to leave their jobs and even more so if they’ve been harassed by a person in a position of power,” LaRochelle-Côté said.

About 47 per cent of men and 34 per cent of women who had been harassed by a supervisor or manager reported a weak sense of belonging to their current organization, compared with 16 per cent of both women and men who said they had not been harassed at work in the past year.

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Real Estate

Montreal real-estate prices climbing much faster than Toronto or Vancouver: study

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MONTREAL — The cost of housing per square foot has skyrocketed in Montreal while other cities saw little change over the last year, according to a new national survey.

The study found that condominium prices in downtown Montreal are up 13.5 per cent from last year to, on average, $805 per square foot.

That’s not as high as other cities, but it’s catching up — and Montreal’s rate of growth is outpacing other major Canadian cities.

Toronto’s condo prices grew to $1083 per square foot, an increase of just under 10 per cent, according to the study. In Vancouver, where you can find some of Canada’s most expensive condo prices, rates are down 4 per cent to $1192 per square foot.

To make the comparisons, Canadian real estate giant Century 21 collected data from real estate boards across the country to calculate the home costs per square foot.

“It’s important to compare apple to apples,” said Todd Shyiak, the company’s vice president of operations.

Montreal’s rise was even more explosive for detached homes and townhouses.

Detached houses in Montreal’s downtown and southwest rose to $958 per square foot, 40 per cent up from last year.

“It’s wild,” said Century 21 broker Angela Langtry. She says the pandemic raised demand.

“People had a lot of time to figure out they don’t like the home they’re in,” she said. “They all want pools.”

There was a big spike in sales, she noted, following a pause in brokerage during the spring, at the peak of the pandemic.

Experts say the pandemic will push people into the suburbs as they search for affordable housing and home office space.

“A huge portion of our society’s housing needs changed overnight,” said Shyiak. People “no longer need to be 10 minutes from the office.”

He says that could mean less demand for condos in the future. “People want their own front door,” he said.

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Carttera buys prime downtown Montreal development site

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Carttera has acquired a prime downtown Montreal site at 1455 De La Montagne St. which will mark its third development on the thoroughfare.

“We think it’s probably one of the best, if not the best, locations in the whole city,” Carttera founding partner Jim Tadeson told RENX. “We’ve had great success on De La Montagne.”

The two earlier projects are: L’Avenue, a building with 393 residential units, 84,000 square feet of office space and 34,000 square feet of retail that was developed with Broccolini and occupied in 2017; and Arbora Residences, a two-phase development with 434 rental and condominium units in three buildings being built in partnership with Oxford Properties.

Thursday’s latest acquisition, for $48.5 million from 630745 Ontario, is a 31,750-square-foot surface parking lot with flexible mixed-use zoning on the corner of De La Montagne and De Maisonneuve Boulevard West.

The site is near the Vogue Hotel Montreal Downtown, the new Four Seasons Hotel Montreal and high-end retail.

“It’s zoned for up to 203,000 square feet of density, which we’re going to take advantage of,” said Tadeson. “Our vision for the site is a condominium project with some retail.”

Since there is no demolition required and no heritage issues to contend with, Toronto-based Carttera plans to move ahead quickly with the luxury project.

It’s in the concept design phase and Tadeson said it could take six months or more before it’s prepared to make a submission to the city.

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Real Estate

Montreal Has the Hottest Real Estate Market in Canada Right Now

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If you thought Toronto’s real estate market was on fire, it’s time for a second take, because the market in Montreal is the hottest in all of Canada right now.

A newly-released annual report from CENTURY 21 Canada reveals that, following an early-spring decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sales numbers are bouncing back and house prices across the country are maintaining their strength. The study compared the price per square foot of properties sold between January 1 and June 30 of this year, compared to the same period last year.

In Toronto and Vancouver, unsurprisingly, prices remain high. But while regions across the country are seeing varied stories when it comes to their housing market fluctuations, Montreal stands out — there, prices have increased dramatically since 2019. While the numbers remain lower than Toronto and Vancouver, that housing market is proving to be the country’s strongest right now.

In Quebec’s largest city, prices have increased significantly since last year, particularly in the downtown detached house and townhouse markets. For example, the price of a detached house in Montreal’s downtown and southwest rose 42.14% to $958 per square foot, while townhouses went up 44% to $768, and condos, 13.55% to $805. Comparatively, in Toronto and Vancouver, prices saw more modest increases or, in some cases, even declines.

“Even though real estate in Quebec was not considered an essential service, we have seen strong demand and a jump in prices in 2020,” said Mohamad Al-Hajj, owner of CENTURY 21 Immo-Plus in Montreal.

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