CALGARY — For the biggest pay hikes in Canada, look no further than the oilpatch.The energy sector continues to lead the country in both actual and projected salary increases, according to survey released Monday by global consulting firm Mercer.The average base salary increase across the country is expected to be 3% next year, the same as in 2014.But in the energy sector, the pay bump is forecast at 3.7% in 2015 after an actual 3.9% increase this year.Mercer has conducted its Canada Compensation Planning Survey for more than two decades, compiling responses from nearly 700 organizations across Canada.For the past five years, the trends have been stable both at a national level and amongst different industries, Mercer’s Allison Griffiths said in an interview.“Companies just, in general, are feeling more stable and more confident about their outlooks,” she said.When the energy sector is removed from the mix, the national average projected salary increase drops to 2.9%. That effect is more pronounced in energy-rich Alberta and Saskatchewan.On the other end of the spectrum, the transportation, equipment, consumer goods and retail/wholesale industries are expected to see the smallest salary increases at around 2.6 or 2.7%.“All different factors come into play here when we’re talking about salary increases. It’s the economy… or who are the big companies within the region and what are they doing? Cost of living comes into it, competition for labour,” said Griffiths.“Retail in general is typically one of the industries that their profits and their margins are very tight, so they’re typically very conservative with their salary increases.”While base salary is an important component in attracting and retaining talent, it’s important to make sure employees understand in other ways that they’re valued, she said.“Unless you have good communication and you’re really able to explain things to employees in a meaningful way, things get lost in translation and the engagement aspect of it can get diminished,” she said.“It’s actually about how it’s delivered and thanking your employees for their hard work and things like that.”Another important aspect is making sure employees are aware of opportunities for advancement within their organization. With the economic outlook stabilizing, companies are becoming more focused on putting so-called “career frameworks” in place.Demographics also has a lot to do with it, said Griffiths.“The younger generation definitely wants to know more and wants more transparency around their career potential.”The Canadian Press
The veterinary nurse was later suspended and sacked from her job and the clinic contacted the Scottish SPCA over its concerns.She was charged with causing her pet unnecessary suffering, including collapse, convulsion and seizures, by injecting it with insulin on June 23, 2013.Bretman denied in court that she “took a dislike to the dog”, and claimed Florence was her “companion”. She will be sentenced next month.The charge carries a maximum penalty of a £20,000 fine or a year in jail. Her former employer Lesley Herd grew suspicious after the dog needed emergency treatment on several occasions after collapsing, twitching and vomiting. Every time, tests showed a low glucose level.Mrs Herd told the court: “The dog was fine between episodes so I really didn’t know what was going on with the dog at all, we couldn’t understand why she was having these episodes.”She added that initially Bretman did not want blood samples sent to a vet school for testing but eventually agreed to it. However, after volunteering to take the blood herself, it never arrived at the institution.Mrs Herd added: “Because of the pattern of collapse and low blood glucose on each occasion, and the fact that the dog was normal between episodes, I was suspicious insulin had been administered to the dog.”The court heard that after Bretman was given an evening off on June 2013, the dog collapsed and they came in for treatment, as Mrs Herd predicted. The spaniel was re-homed after the allegations against Bretman came to light and the court heard she had since returned to good health.Her former owner started working as a veterinary nurse in 2011 for Pet A&E, a clinic in the Kinning Park area of Glasgow which provides care for animals outside normal working hours. The spaniel has been re-homedCredit:Sprindrift An “attention seeking” veterinary nurse at a private clinic deliberately poisoned her pet dog in a bizarre case of animal cruelty that is thought to be the first of its kind to come before the courts.Georgina Bretman, 28, injected her black-and-white cocker spaniel, Florence, with insulin, which made the animal collapse and suffer convulsions and seizures.The damage was so severe that the two-year-old dog could have fallen into a coma or died.Vets at the out-of-hours practise where Bretman worked became suspicious after Florence was brought in for emergency treatment on several separate occasions, always suffering from the same unusual symptoms.Although no explanation was offered as to why she harmed her pet, Glasgow Sheriff Court was told that she was an “attention-seeker”. Georgina Bretman arriving at courtCredit:Spindrift On one occasion her employer gave Bretman an evening off, then correctly predicted that within a few hours the dog would suddenly become ill and be brought back to the surgery requiring emergency treatment.In what is understood to be the first prosecution and conviction of its kind of an owner harming their dog in such a way, Sheriff Joan Kerr found Bretman, of Giffnock, Glasgow, guilty of injecting her own dog with insulin resulting in her requiring immediate treatment to “avoid coma or death”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.