• What does progressive trade policy look like?

    Existing democratic mechanisms are proving inadequate to channel popular discontent in positive, evidence-based directions. Instead, ugly and increasingly dangerous forms of right-wing populism are capitalizing on discontent, creating a platform for inconsistent, arbitrary and ultimately destructive policy responses… Into this ferment, progressives must inject an ambitious, honest and pragmatic vision of how to manage international trade, capital and human flows in ways that protect and enhance living standards, equality and the environment.

  • Ottawa must close ‘tax gap’ and stop multi-billion-dollar rip-off

    Tax evasion is not a victimless crime. The victims are all of us. Lost revenue to which the government is entitled pays for an already over-burdened health care system, infrastructure more than overdue for replacement or repair, the aircraft, vessels and equipment provided to Canadian troops, and much more… there is mounting evidence of the extent of an unconscionable problem and increasing urgency to address it.

  • Good job prospects improving in the GTA — but only for some, report finds

    The prospect of finding a good job in the GTA has improved overall since 2011 — but race, gender and a university education still determine your likelihood of landing one, a new report shows…. For racialized women, even those with a higher education failed to see an increase in secure employment — and those without a post-secondary degree continued to be the lowest paid in the region.

  • 10 ways Ontario can save half a billion dollars a year

    The incoming administration proposes to conduct a “line-by-line audit of government spending to bring an end to the culture of waste and mismanagement.” If I can find $521-million of annual savings between the couch cushions in under half an hour, then a professional line-item audit of non-public information easily will find billions more in annual savings.

  • How Factories Made (and Unmade) Us All

    … this becomes a key aspect of the factory. Its purpose is not just to make things cheap, but to make them ever cheaper. When unionized factory workers got too expensive, the companies moved to the south, and then to Mexico, and then to China… The day will surely come when Chinese brands outsource their designs to factories in Ethiopia, Madagascar, and Sierra Leone. And if they ever outsource them to the U.S. or Canada, it will be only when we can offer cheaper labour than the Ethiopians.

  • What America forgets: Competition drives innovation

    Competition in an advanced economy leads to more science, more advanced engineering and better products… Raising tariffs simply encourages a more insular United States and reduces access to these improvements. Less competition in the technology realm means that it becomes easier to emphasize cheaper instead of better. Tariffs hold everyone back from advancements in technology.

  • The real reason jobs left America

    … the part of the U.S. that specialized in assembly-line manufacturing, and assembly lines are the easiest things in the world to automate… The data that strongly suggested we were heading for a mostly jobless future was available years ago, but most people ignored it. It was too hard to deal with… Most of the attempts to future-proof our politics are currently focused on developing various versions of a guaranteed basic income (Ontario’s pilot program being the biggest and boldest).

  • Cutting off workers from benefits at 65 unconstitutional, human rights tribunal rules

    In 2006, Ontario passed a law that ended the ability of employers to terminate workers when they turned 65. But the province’s Human Rights Code and Employment Standards Act still allow employers to cut workers off benefits when they turn 65, which the tribunal decision called a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The decision means employers will no longer be able to rely on the Human Rights Code and Employment Standards Act to justify excluding workers over 65 from their benefits plans, and will make them vulnerable to lawsuits if they do.

  • Trump’s beggar-thy-neighbour trade strategy is anything but foolish

    … for decades the United States played by the rules; everyone grew richer and the United States grew richer faster than everyone else. In the postwar world, the United States’ support of free trade was a key – perhaps the key – to its rise to global economic leader. Nowadays, however, the game has changed. Where once the goal of the United States was to rise to global hegemony, today its goal is to maintain that dominance.

  • NAFTA is dead and Canada should move on

    The compelling reason that Canada signed onto NAFTA (and to the original free-trade agreement) in the first place was to shield our economy from this type of capricious protectionism. It largely – if not completely – worked for us for the better part of three decades… But now we are locked in a relationship with an unpredictable and (economically) aggressive partner. No amount of nostalgia or wishful thinking can change that.