Founder's Blog

Why you should forget everything you learned about medical appointments!

I was thinking in the shower today about medical appointments. I have previously written on this topic.

Many, or most, hospitals in Toronto now offer diagnostic tests 24/7 by appointment. My own father has had several at Princess Margaret Hospital to follow cancer treatment he had a few years ago. These include CT scans, MRI, x-rays, etc.

Nurses, as you well know, work eight or twelve-hour shifts. So why can’t doctors?

Let’s say we have two oncologists. Why can’t Oncologist A work days Weeks 1 and 3, and nights Weeks 2 and 4. With Oncologist B working days Weeks 2 and 4, and nights weeks 1 and 3. And when I say nights, I mean 8 pm to 3 am to accommodate those who work evenings and nights.

The funny thig is, I’m certain you won’t have a problem finding people who want this!

So why aren’t we doing it already? So many professionals work shift work. Emergency Department doctors work shift work. So why can’t the doctors who run our oncology clinics, or renal clinics work shift work?

I think we need to have a conversation on how our healthcare providers work with our professors/school, employers, landlords, etc. Everyone probably tells you that “your health comes first.” That’s total BS. Without money to pay the rent, and purchase groceries, the treatment means nothing.

It’s time we put patients first. It’s time for us to stand up and ask for better services.

Case in point – Here in Barrie we didn’t have in-centre dialysis. That meant if you were admitted to the hospital, you had to be transported to another hospital for dialysis. Almost 2 years ago I started writing letters to the CEO of the local hospital, and this past April I cut the ribbon for the new dialysis unit.

So let’s have the conversation and improve patient health by offering clinical appointments 24/7.

Founder's Blog

Blog and article submissions welcome!!

Blogger invitation

Journey to Diversity Workplaces is both an experiment and a project.

Haven’t you ever wished you could work somewhere better? Somewhere where they went out of their way to not only appreciate you, but treat you right, and pay you fairly?

Our single biggest program that we have right now is our website & educational program. Volunteers submit articles for our blog and library section. These articles help promote change in the workplace and support our ongoing mission.

We invite you to join us in making regular blog and article submissions on topics of interest to you. Check out our submission guidelines to get an idea what we are looking for.

We welcome any and all submissions and appreciate the time our volunteers put into this effort.

Writing not your forte? We also need editors and other volunteers! Volunteers can get involved in a wide range of services.

Founder's Blog

Why I am hopeful this holiday

[themify_quote]If everyday was Christmas
If we could make believe
If everyone would care a little more
There’d be harmoney

~ Hey Santa! by Carnie & Wendy Wilson

So our world leaders have come to an accord in Paris, France during COP21 – United Nations Conference on Climate Change. This gives me hope, though George Monbiot seems to disagree about that, with him thinking the politicians undermined the deal’s potential. Here in Barrie the temperature averages anywhere from 0 – 10 degrees celsius, and we still have no snow on the ground. Global warming, anyone?

I always enjoy a Christmas day with snow, it’s just a classic holiday for me. Not everyone celebrates Christmas. Some celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Winter Solstice, Festivus, and many other festivals this time of year. (Airing of Grievances, anyone?)

I am thankful for my friend Shawn who helped with the transition from our previous web host to this one, and for his help in installing our SSL certificate! (See the green lock in the left corner of your browser address bar? That’s new!)

I am thankful for Susan, Lucas, Stephen, Caitlin, and Craig, who are our board members! I am also thankful to Silvia, she knows who she is, and she’s super smart!

I am hopeful for good food, friends, and company. That’s what Christmas means to me. It’s a time to reflect, be thankful for what we have, and spend time with loved ones, and friends. To take the time out of our busy lives to play that board game, or enjoy a cup of hot coco (or if you’re my parents, hot apple cider.)

Finally, I am thankful each day for those who have chosen to support Journey to Diversity Workplaces. Without you, none of this would be possible.

On behalf of the board, I’d like to wish you Happy Holidays, and all the best for 2016.

Peter V. Tretter
President & CEO
Journey to Diversity Workplaces



Founder's Blog

10 Surprising Reasons to join a Volunteer Board

Whether be our own board, or another I serve on, I have come to realize there are lots of worthwhile non-profits in our community, and many of them need good, quality volunteers to join their boards of directors.

Perhaps you might consider joining such a board. Or you know something else who may be interested. Here I present 10 surprising reasons to join a volunteer board.

  1. Professional development – Serving on a board looks great on a resume. But if you want to serve on a paid corporate board in the future, it’s a great way to gain experience. Both paid and volunteer board operate in the same ways.
  2. Enhancing your own personal networks – It’s a chance to meet new people, and network with others you may not have met before.
  3. Knowledge & skills – You can develop new knowledge and skills from various tasks you take on, as well as from the shared experience of your fellow board members.
  4. Active role in decision-making – Show you can setp up and lead.
  5. To have fun – Volunteer boards provide various outlets for fun.
  6. Increase one’s profile in the community in order to advance political aspirations – When running for political office, it’s always beneficial to have volunteer experience to show off.
  7. Giving back to your community.
  8. Productive use of time – Volunteering is a great way to use downtime, and serving on a board that needs your experience.
  9. Raising of standards – Serving on a board will help you appreciate where the bar should be, instead of where it is.
  10. New friends – In addition to making new networking contacts, it’s also a great way to make new friends people!\

We are always looking for new board members, and invite you to apply!

Founder's Blog

Minimum wage is failing us


More than 60 million people in U.S. households depend on the earnings of a low-wage worker, according to a new report released on Tuesday.

The research shows that most low-wage workers are frequently the primary breadwinners in their families and they are not, as commonly thought, teenagers with few skills still living with their parents, according to the report by Oxfam America and the Economic Policy Institute.

More than 60 million households rely on low-wage workers


Is it not sad when families have to depend on minimum wage to pay their bills? That they rejoice because their wages can go no lower – it’s the law.

It used to be that our minimum wage earners were your stereotypical pimply teenager who worked at a fast-food place, or some other retail job. But with how our economy has been, more and more adults, and families are relying on minimum wage. Almost 40 per cent of minimum-wage workers are 25 or older.

Ontario’s minimum wage is $11 an hour. Imagine working 40 hours on that, and having to feed two kids.

So what is the alternative then, if minimum wage is failing us as a society?

  • Some would suggest an earned income tax credit.
  • Others suggest a basic income for every Canadian.
  • And even more suggest a negative income tax.

I think employers also have a duty, where possible, to pay their employees a fair wage. What is a fair wage? Depends on both the job, and how long the employee has been there. If someone is still making minimum wage after 5 years, something is seriously wrong. Employers can pay a livable wage, and still make a tidy profit.

Kobo Canada

Founder's Blog

Moments of Action

[themify_quote]Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Signifying nothing.

Macbeth, by William Shakespeare[/themify_quote]

This past weekend, I went to see The Hunger Games Mockingjay: Part 1. It was an exceptional movie, as the previous movies have been. It inspired me, and made me think a bit about what we are doing.

I am pleased to report that we are on the cusp of something significant. This past Thursday, the board approved two actions to move forward. The first is to start up a low cost business from scratch. The other, to investigate a business listed in the MLS database. Both are being worked on as I type this.

Coming up in just over a week is Giving Tuesday. This is your opportunity to help us reach the finish line, to move past the cusp into reality. How can you help?


  1. Become a member. Or purchase a gift membership for the holidays.
  2. Donate today, or on Giving Tuesday.
  3. Purchase donation certificates as stocking stuffers.
  4. Volunteer for us!
  5. Join the board!


There is a reality we face as a brand new non-profit, and that is we have no credit rating. That means for whichever business we start and/or purchase, we will likely need a co-signer to get a loan. If you’d like to consider becoming a co-signer, contact us!

Coming up the day after Giving Tuesday will be our one year anniversary.

During the month of December, we’ll have more blog posts from our Voice of our Nation series, plus we’ll be profiling our board members in a new series titled Profiles of Diversity.Please help us to make our upcoming goals a reality!

[themify_quote]It changed the future .. and it changed us. It taught us that we have to create the future .. or others will do it for us. It showed us that we have care for one another, because if we don’t, who will? And that true strength sometimes comes from the most unlikely places. Mostly, though, I think it gave us hope .. that there can always be new beginnings .. even for people like us.

~ General Susan Ivanova, ‘Sleeping in Ligh’t, Babylon 5[/themify_quote]

Founder's Blog

Why I am thankful

We are lucky here in Ontario, Canada to have some really nice weather – despite it being almost mid-October. Usually I expect snow by now, but instead it has held off in favour of both unseasonable high weather, and a balmy autumn.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving here in Canada, and I am more than thankful for a few things.

We are a country of enormous natural beauty and with thousands upon thousands of square kilometres of untouched wilderness. We have pockets of wild places within reach of most urban centres. ~ Elizabeth May

So what is it I am thankful for?

  1. Health and safety standards in Ontario. Things like the right to refuse unsafe work. Health and safety isn’t a priority everywhere, and that is when it is or is not enforced. Some countries don’t even have such legislation.
  2. Minimum wage. Many countries have no such thing, and while I think Ontario’s could be a lot higher, at least we have one.
  3. Television. Because we all need to be able to relax. Our lives, and jobs, are stressful enough.
  4. A diverse culture here in Canada, that makes things more interesting, and more creative.
  5. The changing winds that bring us new technology, new foods, new friends, and certainly new culture.

I hope you and your family had an amazing Thanksgiving, and have a wonderful autumn!

Take the iconic LEGO MINI Cooper for a drive!

Founder's Blog

Founder’s Video Blog #1

Welcome to my first video blog!


Travel the dunes with the LEGO� Star Wars™ Ultimate Collector Series Sancrawler™

Founder's Blog

A New Year of Volunteering

Can you believe it? Today is already August 18th. In some places, kids have already gone back to school. In others, they prepare to return in the next few weeks. I can hardly believe this gorgeous summer is almost over!

With the end of summer, and the start of school, comes a new year with the opportunity to volunteer. We all do it. Girl Guides, Scouts, Hockey, etc. The fall is a great time to start volunteering, and we would love for you to take the opportunity to volunteer with us!!

Volunteering certainly is very rewarding, and most of this can be done from the comfort of your own home! It’s easy get get involved!

We need volunteers for:

  • The Board of Directors
  • Committees
  • Recruitment
  • Graphic design
  • Fundraising
  • Copy writing & editing (especially for blog posts and library articles)
  • Community outreach
  • Admin/clerical
  • Promotion and Media
  • Photography and/or Videography
  • Translation
  • Nationbuilder website design
  • And so much more!!

We would love to have you involved with J2DW this fall! We’re on an upward ascent, and we’d love to have you on board!

How can you get involved? Apply online! It’s easy!!

Thank you for reading today’s post, and I hope to see your volunteer application soon!

Be sure to join us on social media!

Founder's Blog

That term ‘for-profit’…

I am really, really curious. When did the term for-profit, become a dirty word?

There are numerous organizations in our community that are, dare I say, for-profit. They exist to make their owners money. Lots, and lots of stinking money. Honestly, there isn’t anything that should be wrong with that. Some of these businesses are large, such as TD, Wal-Mart, and Canadian Tire. Others are small such as the Barrie-based Local Foods Mart, and Angie’s Outdoor.

No sane business owner goes into business without the intention of at least making some profit, after all it’s their hard work, sweat, tears, and capital going into the business.

So when did the term for-profit become dirty?

The circles I mix with, that certainly seems to be the case. It’s one I disagree with wholeheartedly. There’s a distinct difference between being a business with a conscience, and a non-profit. They’re not mutually exclusive.

There’s no reason a company like Canadian Tire can’t earn a profit. They have shareholders to pay. Landlords to pay rent to. However, they can do that while still being socially responsible. Donating to chosen charities, paying their employees a livable wage (if they’re not already doing so, are they?) , and generally carrying on for the greater good.

Why for the greater good? Well in theory, under market economics, if the market doesn’t like what a business is doing, then they will loose money, from a lack of sales. Does this always work? Heck no. Otherwise the CRTC wouldn’t be giving the smack down to Canada’s cell phone industry. But I am so tired of people who think being a for-profit business is some sort of evil. Like it’s the worst possible sin. Then they go buy something made in China from Wal-Mart, vs buying something locally made from a small shop that might cost more, but keeps that money in the community.

Now I should make a distinction here. When I talk about profit, I mean money left over after all expenses have been covered, and all taxes legally paid. A for-profit corporation still has an ethical duty to pay their taxes. And the government has an ethical duty to change corporate taxes more than just a paltry sum. So if a for-profit corporation is paying no taxes, then they need to be re-assessed or audited.

What we are trying to do is to teach for-profit businesses to be ethical on how they treat their workforce. Their personnel. We all face barriers in life. We want to destroy barriers to employment, and even advancement from within. Companies can save money by instead of laying off employees, to moving them elsewhere within their organizations. 

Be sure to check our our statement of values.

At the end of the day, we need to remember that the word for-profit is our friend in today’s world. But let’s have it be our friend in a way that doesn’t alienate the 99%.

Travel the dunes with the LEGO� Star Wars™ Ultimate Collector Series Sancrawler™