Patricia Jaggernauth, former personality of CP24 Toronto, has spoken publicly for the first time about her allegations against Bell Media and her recent complaint from the Canadian Human Rights Commission alleging patterns of racism and discrimination in the workplace.
In a two-part Instagram role, Jaggernauth detailed her 11-year tenure at Bell Media and the circumstances that led to her leaving her “dream job” and the number of times she’s been passed over for a confirmed position.
The 40-year-old journalist worked as a weather specialist and sometimes as a presenter for the CP24 morning show and was known for her upbeat, lively personality and big grin.
But she tells her viewers that this happy personality wasn’t the reality she was dealing with.
“I’ve had very few raises and no promotions or opportunities in my 11 years. Aside from CP24 giving me opportunities by filling in for white colleagues, weather and hosting.”
She claims to have only received one raise in her more than ten-year relationship with Bell, which totals around $14.
But that didn’t stop her from continuing to ask for more money while other white men, some with no television experience, signed six-figure deals.
“As a longtime Emmy-winning TV personality, I’ve been treated like a token and a commodity by CP24 and Bell and passed over for promotions as many times as I can count.”
When asked for comment on these allegations, Bell Media submitted this comment to blogTO:
“We do not comment on matters affecting current or former employees, but can confirm that Bell Media takes allegations of any potential discrimination very seriously and is committed to providing a safe, inclusive and respectful work environment in which employees can thrive. If there is an issue where an employee has not felt adequately supported, we are brought to our attention and a process is initiated which will be reviewed and addressed where necessary.”
It came as a shock to many that with her 20 years in television and her impressive track record, Jaggernauth never had a full-time position at Bell Media.
Jaggernauth tells viewers she was only guaranteed two days of work a week and was forced to continue working as a freelancer, earning “significantly less” than her peers.
“This is not a PJ issue. This is a Bell Media issue with me and doesn’t give me options,” she said.
In her video, she described the work environment she was in as “toxic” and said many colleagues took time off and even quit because of mental illness.
“The environment was terrible for mental health. Even for the most positive,” she says, pointing to herself.
Ultimately, despite being interviewed and told she was perfect for the role, Jaggernauth says she missed “so many opportunities for white colleagues” in various positions at Bell Media.
She claims she was told the “right” opportunity was always just around the corner, but never came.
“I kept getting misled by Bell,” she says while crying. “Of course I kept hoping, that was my dream job guys.”
She reveals it was the final straw when she was told she could no longer take freelance jobs without Bell Media’s approval, but the company still hadn’t offered her full-time or part-time positions.
“There remains a significant gender and race pay gap at CP24,” said Jaggernauth in her second role, asking why the black community is not adequately represented at the CP24 breakfast.
“Where are the black people on this show? If a black person was present on this show, it was just like me filling them in. No permanent black representation on CP24,” she asks.
She breaks down in this video when speaking about her loyal viewers and fans: “I’m heartbroken to walk away from you my loyal and supportive viewers.”
In the end, she had no choice but to file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.
Of course, this move comes after Bell was brutally treated for not renewing the contract of another staffer, longtime evening host Lisa LaFlamme.
These back-to-back events have caused some members of the public to question the company’s treatment of female employees, particularly women of color.
Comments on both videos are full of Jaggernauth supporters applauding her for the strength and courage it takes to speak out against the giant Bell Media.
“It’s time Bell listened and made a change,” Jaggernauth tearfully tells the camera.