Mount Saint Vincent University has changed a clause that forbade some students who signed a wellness agreement from telling other students in residence about their “personal issues.”
As Global News first reported in May, student Brody Stuart-Verner was asked to sign the agreement during the 2015-2016 school year, after confiding to a residence life staff member that he’d been having suicidal thoughts.
He “will not discuss or engage in conversations with residence students regarding personal issues, namely the student’s self-destructive thoughts,” the second clause read.
Breaking the agreement would result in his lease being terminated.
[email protected] @ 6: @MSVU_Halifax student discusses agreement forbidding him telling others about feeling suicidal. pic.twitter长沙桑拿/zvZGqSq6Np
— Steve Silva (@SteveCSilva) May 16, 2016
“I was in such a fragile state that I felt like they had my best interests in mind. I felt like I should sign it, go along with it, I didn’t really feel like I had any leeway, I just wanted to get better,” said Stuart-Verner in May, adding that he had major depression.
He called the agreement “absolutely absurd.”
A day after the original story, the university said it would review and modify the agreement. A spokesperson also apologized that Stuart-Verner felt isolated.
In a statement to Global News, Paula Barry Mercer, associate vice-president of student experience, said that mental health experts, the university’s students’ union, and Stuart-Verner were a few of the people who gave input on changing the agreement.
READ MORE: MSVU ‘very sorry’ student felt isolated because of wellness agreement
There is no longer a confidentiality requirement in the agreement.
The biggest change is to the second clause, which now states the student should: “utilize the appropriate supports […] to avoid causing potential distress to other residence students (the university understands that some resident students may not have the emotional maturity to assist others who are experiencing mental health issues).”
“In my view, ‘potential distress’ is very hard to define. It’s a very vague term,” said Stuart-Verner over Skype from Charlottetown, adding he’s concerned with how the university could use the clause.
He said he only told two other students, one of whom was living in residence, about feeling suicidal.
Stuart-Verner, who doesn’t plan to live in residence for the upcoming school year, said he asked the university how many people complained about him, but didn’t get that information.
“There are many people who know me at the Mount that know that I wasn’t causing distress to anyone… and that leads me to believe that there were no students,” he said.
The university did not have a spokesperson available for an interview.
“We are grateful for the input of Brody, our Students’ Union leadership and other Mount community members throughout this review process. It is our sincere commitment to ensure the best possible supports for all Mount students,” said Barry Mercer in the statement.
She also said that, of the six agreements that were signed by students at the university in the past three years, three had the same second clause Stuart-Verner took issue with.
“I do feel like this story has helped make these wellness agreements a lot more transparent and visible to everyone, and I feel like that’s very important,” said Stuart-Verner, adding that he’s grateful the university included him in changing the original clause.
Stuart-Verner says he no longer has suicidal thoughts.
Less than seven months after their wedding, actress Keshia Knight Pulliam’s husband is calling it quits.
Former NFL player Edgerton Hartwell II filed a divorce complaint Monday in Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta.
The complaint says the two married on Jan. 2 and recently separated. The three-page document offers no details or reason for the split, saying only that “the marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no possibility of reconciling.”
READ MORE: Bill Cosby’s accuser doesn’t have to testify before trial, judge rules
The news of the divorce came after The Cosby Show alum announced she was pregnant by posting a photo to Instagram with the caption, “Surprise!!! We have a new addition coming soon… Tune into #KandidlyKeshia this week for the details!!”
“Right now, the only thing I want is a paternity test for the baby,” Hartwell told TheYBF长沙桑拿 via his rep.
The Cosby Show star said she was blindsided by the divorce papers her husband filed and claims that he cheated on her, but she’d decided to give him another chance.
“I love who he pretended to be,” she said during an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “When he said he wanted our marriage, he wanted our family – I believed him. That’s why I gave him this one last chance, only for him to pull the rug from under me and blindside me.”
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Tune in tonight to @entertainmenttonight as I share my truth… "Never Let Anyone Steal Your Joy".
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Pulliam revealed that she is expecting a girl and conducted the interview without her wedding ring on, while saying that she’s not interested in staying married.
“I have no desire to continue to be married him. That’s why I’m doing this one interview and I’m done. I’m not going to continue to revisit and regurgitate, but I’m also not going to allow people to tell blatant lies about me,” she said.
READ MORE: Lindsay Lohan taking a break from Russian millionaire fiancé
Hartwell and Pulliam married New Year’s Eve and were married in the actress’s home, according to her podcast, Kandidly Keisha.
“It was my dream,” Pulliam said. “We did it literally in our living room in our home. We invited people. They had no clue they were coming to a wedding.”
The 37-year-old Pulliam played daughter Rudy Huxtable on The Cosby Show and also played Miranda Payne on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.
According to the NFL’s website, 38-year-old Hartwell was a linebacker in the NFL, including four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and two with the Atlanta Falcons.
Keshia Knight Pulliam | PrettyFamous
With files from The Associated Press
A former Pennsylvania beauty queen who faked having leukemia to benefit from fundraisers has been sentenced to two to four years in prison.
WJAC-TV reports a judge sentenced 24-year-old Brandi Weaver-Gates on Tuesday after she pleaded guilty in June to several theft-related charges. She told the judge she faked the illness to get more attention from her family.
Weaver-Gates has been jailed since her arrest in August 2015, and that time will be credited toward her sentence.
Authorities believe she conned at least 165 people into donating nearly $30,000 through a “Bingo for Brandi” event in April and other fundraisers since August 2013.
Citing court documents, the news station reported she participated in a 5 kilometre race in 2015 which led to a dramatic finish.
Apparently the cancer-faker told her family and friends that she had a bone marrow biopsy just before the start of the race and used a scooter as the crowd cheered her on to complete the “Colour Run” event.
However, just before riding across the finish line, WJAC-TV reported Weaver-Gates insisted she would walk across the finish line. A supporter, who happened to be a quadruple amputee, helped the woman across the finish line.
During a court appearance in June, the cancer-faker told the judge that “she got too scared to stop (the scam). I didn’t have the courage,” WJAC-TV reported.
Weaver-Gates is a former Miss Pennsylvania U.S. International pageant winner.
Last year, the Miss Pennsylvania U.S. International organization denounced Weaver-Gates and demanded the woman return her crown and sash “upon her release from being detained.”
“We at Butler’s Beauties are saddened to hear of the news of Miss Brandy Weaver-Gates. We were also led to believe that she was dealing with this horrible disease and stood by her as she struggled being a beauty queen and a cancer patient,” the organization said in a statement. “Butler’s Beauties believes that with a crown and sash you can accomplish many great things as a role model, spokesmodel and community leader as a beauty pageant queen.
“When you deceive the public and take people’s money that is under the pretense of fraud, we will not tolerate those actions. Our hearts go out to those affected by cancer and to those who were taken advantage of by Miss Weaver-Gates,” the organization said.
According to the Centre Daily Times, Weaver-Gates’ public defender apologized on behalf of his client through a statement issued during an August 2015 court appearance.
“Although Brandi’s incarcerated, she feels free,” the newspaper quoted the statement as saying. “She’s liberated from the lies she’s been living. She’s truly sorry. She asks for forgiveness, although she understands many won’t find it in their hearts to do so.”
Weaver-Gates was ordered to repay the money and spend five years on probation upon her release from prison.
–The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Officials with Public Works and Government Services Canada say all 80,000 federal public servants who have encountered problems with the Phoenix payroll system will see those problems sorted by the end of October.
Deputy Minister of Public Works and Government Services Marie Lemay provided a detailed update on Thursday as the government struggled to fix the beleaguered program.
The update comes within 24 hours of pay-day for federal public servants. Tens of thousands of them are still facing issues, including missing money, late deposits and in some cases, a complete lack of any payment at all.
WATCH: Marie Lemay, Deputy Minister of Public Works and Government Services, said Thursday that the work to rectify an issue that has left 80,000 public employees without pay could cost the government as much as $20 million.
The people who have had no pay at all remain the first priority, said Lemay. Around 500 received their pay on Wednesday, she said, but there are still several hundred more who are being processed. Most can expect to be paid on Aug. 10.
Strangely, 60 people who reported they had not been paid were not in the government’s system at all. Lemay would not speculate if they were trying to scam Ottawa.
The second priority group is the people whose pay is at risk of disruption, including those going on maternity leave, long-term disability leave, or retiring. They will see their files handled within four to six weeks, the deputy minister promised.
READ MORE: How did this all start, and how did the Phoenix problems get so bad?
Finally, the third priority group will have to wait the longest. Those owed overtime or who have seen their employment terminated will be processed by the end of September, while people who have been overpaid, been on planned leave without pay, are owed deductions or benefits, or who have been promoted will have their files handled by the end of October.
WATCH: Government employee asked to re-pay money she hasn’t received
Officials have blamed the ongoing problems on a steep learning curve for the new Phoenix system, launched in February, and on an existing backlog of case files that were already in the queue when the IBM-created program came online.
On Wednesday, Public Services Minister Judy Foote and Lemay visited one of two call centres that are currently dealing with the debacle.
READ MORE: Pay day is here, but many public servants still waiting for their money
More call centres are expected to be set up in Toronto, Montreal, Shawinigan and Winnipeg to help handle the volume of calls. These call centres are essentially in charge of triage, Lemay said, and files that require further intervention are referred to administrators with higher security clearance.
“We still have a steep hill to climb,” she said. “If you have pay problems, please contact us… We can’t fix a situation that we’re not aware of.”
The cost of the emergency call centres will total around $15 to $20 million, Lemay added. That’s in addition to the over $180 million spent on the Phoenix system to begin with, and Lemay acknowledged that the cost of emergency measures could increase.
WATCH: Employee credit ratings suffering amid Phoenix pay system debacle
The government is also moving forward on a claims process for employees who want to seek compensation from Ottawa for penalties they incurred as a result of the Phoenix issues. This could include penalties for missed mortgage payments or student loans. Public servants are begin told to keep careful track of all their expenses.
On Thursday afternoon, the House of Commons government operations committee (OGGO) is expected to hold an emergency meeting to hear from some of the same officials about the Phoenix meltdown. The public can watch the proceedings live.
The Liberals approved the meeting earlier in the week after the Opposition parties called for more transparency on the issue.
The Edmonton Oilers won’t commit to who will be the team’s next captain, not publicly at least, but fans can expect there to be one at the start of the upcoming season.
“We’ll have a captain,” Todd McLellan said Wednesday at the annual Mark Spector Celebrity Golf Classic.
Edmonton didn’t have a captain last season, instead several players were assistant captains.
When pressed if Connor McDavid will be the next player to wear a ‘C’ McLellan simply repeated his answer, accompanied with a laugh.
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Edmonton Oilers sign defenceman Ethan Bear to entry-level deal
READ MORE: Milan Lucic signed with Edmonton Oilers because of Connor McDavid
The Oilers bench boss discussed several other topics surrounding the team, including the trade in June that saw star winger Taylor Hall get moved to New Jersey for young defenceman Adam Larsson.
McLellan said he was in full support of the deal.
“We had to make some changes to our hockey club and Taylor was the price we had to pay to get a defenceman,” McLellan said. “Losing a player of his quality, doesn’t matter if you’re the Edmonton Oilers or the Pittsburgh Penguins, he’s a hard guy to replace.”
“He had been the fabric of the Oilers organization for many years. He gave us everything he possibly had to try to lead the team towards success and we will miss him.”
READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers trade Taylor Hall to New Jersey
McLellan isn’t making any predictions about the points Larsson will put up, but the Oilers’ coach believes the 23-year-old will be a d-man who faces the opponents top forwards and will log heavy minutes.
“He doesn’t get as much attention as maybe some others do and that’s okay by us. He’ll quietly come in and do his thing. We think he can play 20, 22 minutes a night against the top level competition,” McLellan said.
“Is he going to be a (Kris) Letang type player where he puts up 70 points? We don’t expect him to do that. We think he can be a little more like Marc Édouard Vlasic and play very good minutes against the other teams top players and play consistently.”
There was speculation, perhaps a belief, that Nail Yakupov would be traded this off season. The former first overall pick hasn’t been so far. McLellan is open to the idea of Yakupov returning to the team and giving him a chance to be an important asset.
“I believe in giving people opportunities to recover, to bring their game. I know Yak has worked extremely hard. He’s done some things he hasn’t in the past throughout the summer, training in different areas,” McLellan said.
“When he comes back, if that’t he case, I want him to have success.”