https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2022/10/10/i-had-been-treated-like-a-token-former-cp24-on-air-personality-patricia-jaggernauth-speaks-out-after-launching-human-rights-case-against-bell-media.html

Former CP24 on-air personality Patricia Jaggernauth is speaking out on social media against the network and its owner, Bell Media, just days after filing a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) alleging she was discriminated against based on race, sex and disability.

The former weather specialist, remote reporter and co-host on CP24, who recently resigned from the station, stated in the complaint that she experienced a “systemic pattern” of racism, sexism and discrimination during her 11 years with the company.

The allegations have not been tested at a tribunal.

“You see me on TV dressed up, full of life, together … But on the inside, I have been really hurting. Why? Because of the way Bell had been treating me,” Jaggernauth said in an emotional nine-minute video posted to social media Monday evening. “I gave my everything to the company — literally my blood, my sweat and my tears.”

In an email statement to the Star in response to the video, a Bell Media spokesperson said: “We do not comment on matters involving current or former staff members, but can confirm that Bell Media takes allegations of any potential discrimination very seriously, and are committed to a safe, inclusive, and respectful work environment where employees can thrive. If a matter is brought to our attention where an employee did not feel adequately supported, a process is triggered to review and address when required.”

Jaggernauth, of Guyanese and Jamaican ancestry, alleges there is a racial and gender pay gap in the company, adding there are no permanent Black on-air staff.

“I had been treated like a token and a commodity by CP24 and Bell — passed over for promotions more times than I can count,” said Jaggernauth in her video. “I was just a filler for Bell, thrown a breadcrumb so I would just stop asking for more.”

The CHRC complaint, dated Oct. 5, says the company denied her a living wage while with the network, during which she mainly worked only two days a week. It also claims Bell has restricted her from freelancing to earn money outside of the company. The stipulation comes despite her technically being a freelancer, the complaint reads.

“Bell has done this while at the same time denying Ms. Jaggernauth promotions she has earned and is qualified for, and while refusing to provide her with full-time work.”

Jaggernauth also stated in the complaint that the way she was treated caused her “severe stress, anxiety, depression and mental trauma,” noting she was hospitalized in the ICU and placed on unpaid sick leave for three months following a breakdown.

“I worked in a very toxic work environment,” she alleged Monday in her video. “There were more mental health leaves taken by my colleagues and more colleagues resigning than I can even count. The environment was terrible for mental health.”

Jaggernauth’s complaint has renewed scrutiny of Bell Media after the dismissal of CTV national news anchor Lisa LaFlamme in August. It also come after it was revealed that the company had launched an investigation last year concerning the workplace environment at CP24.

With files from Jeremy Nuttall, Omar Mosleh and Jacob Lorinc