• The problem with productivity

    Productivity and competitiveness matter. They are important economic indicators and key to the success of private sector business. But they make up only a portion of who we are as citizens. And focusing the budget discussion narrowly on productivity reduces Canadians to our economic “value” as workers. The committee’s framework has failed to account for personal fulfillment, community well-being and ecological integrity.

  • Canada wants ‘progressive’ trade deal with U.S., Mexico, Freeland says

    Canada seeks to make the updated deal more “progressive” through five key provisions including: stronger labour safeguards; strengthening environmental provisions to protect the right to address climate change; adding a new chapter on gender rights; adding an Indigenous chapter; and reforming the investor-state dispute settlement process to protect governments’ right to regulate “in the public interest.”

  • School fundraising report says amounts raised far outpace government grants for needy areas

    Ontario now ranks fifth in Canada in per-student spending… much of the additional money has been spent on class size reductions, and full-day kindergarten. Both of those initiatives have benefitted elementary teachers and created thousands of jobs. Overall, the report says whether special education, English-as-a-Second-Language students or school maintenance, these areas “have all been underfunded for two decades.”

  • NAFTA talks may threaten Canada’s steps toward universal pharmacare

    If Canada is to have universal pharmacare anytime in its future, NAFTA renegotiations must prioritize the protection of evidence-based coverage decision-making and price negotiations that will be essential to create a system that functions effectively and sustainably. Canadian negotiators must be ready to deflect the tired rhetoric of U.S. trade negotiators and the pharmaceutical industry lobby, who will likely claim that eliminating value assessments and price negotiations… will somehow magically “improve access.”

  • NAFTA needs an overhaul to improve workers’ rights

    In reality, NAFTA has been key to the transformation of Canada over the last two decades, enabling corporations to become ever more dominant economically and politically, while rendering our labour force increasingly vulnerable and insecure… NAFTA’s Investor-State-Dispute-Settlement (ISDS) mechanism… amazingly, allows foreign corporations to sue governments over laws that interfere with corporate profitability — even if those laws are aimed at protecting the public from, say, environmental or health risks.

  • ‘Canadians are concerned’: Private data on the table in NAFTA negotiations

    The personal information of Canadians will be on the negotiating table when North American free trade talks begin this month. The United States has served notice it wants an end to measures that restrict cross-border data flows, or require the use or installation of local computing facilities… Privacy advocates say that means trouble for Canada’s ability to shield sensitive information such as health or financial data from the prying eyes of foreign agencies by storing it in computer servers on Canadian soil.

  • Mines can create Indigenous middle class in Ring of Fire

    Finalizing a road into the Ring of Fire with community spurs will ignite the economic development and jobs that the impoverished Indigenous communities in the Ring of Fire desperately need… 150 years of government support has done little to create economic prosperity in their impoverished communities… sustainable mineral development of their resources can be the foundation of an Indigenous middle-class that they so rightly deserve.

  • Minimum wages: The small-town view

    A lot of well-meaning people argue that businesses that can’t afford to pay a decent living wage shouldn’t be in business at all… But then I look around my small town, where so many local business owners – including the organic farms that sell us such tasty, wholesome, righteous food – are barely scraping by. They all want to reduce poverty and inequality. But raising the minimum wage won’t do that. It will only make their lives that much more precarious.

  • The economic case for a higher minimum wage

    “The weight of evidence from the United States points to job loss effects that are statistically indistinguishable from zero.” … the growing group of minimum-wage earners, who currently comprise about 10 per cent of the workforce, spend a larger portion of their income than any other workers. When they make more, they spend more… higher wages improve businesses’ productivity by raising morale, reducing turnover and training costs and improving the quality of job applicants.

  • Killing the entrepreneurial spirit

    “The government’s proposals eliminate many of the bona-fide tax planning strategies that currently reward the business owner for risking his/her capital, for creating thousands of jobs across Canada and for contributing to Canada’s social security safety net, which is generally accessed by the middle and lower class. “The government’s actions will increase the overall tax burden for hard-working business owners and their private corporations and may create a disincentive for those who are considering pursuing their innovative and entrepreneurial spirit in Canada.”