• Chrystia Freeland Wants to Fix the Twenty-first Century

    For 2018, which is Canada’s year as G7 president, the Trudeau government promises to make women’s rights and climate action priority issues. Freeland says that, in the coming years, she hopes to focus on several human rights emergencies… “How I think we need to do Canadian foreign policy,” says Freeland, “is to know what our values are, build coalitions around those things, and then be constantly alert for situations in the world where, by acting, we can make a difference.” The liberal order doesn’t begin and end with nafta.

  • Wage wars, trade wars, and virtual economic reality

    Statistically, the provincial economy is the strongest in decades. Ontario’s 5.5 per cent unemployment rate is the lowest this century, economic growth has been best in the West since 2014, interest rates are low and the budget is balanced. Tell that to vulnerable workers. Or the venerable Ontario Chamber of Commerce… Even the latest uproar over the minimum wage appears to be a battle of perception versus performance — or virtual reality versus economic reality.

  • Buckle up: Final NAFTA talks will be a bumpy ride

    Canada is the world’s biggest buyer of America’s exports…. “We buy more from the U.S. than America sells to China, Japan and the U.K. combined.”… Canada also accounts for a remarkable one-quarter of all U.S. small-business exports… Our enthusiasm for multilateral trade deals has not been matched by Canadian exporters exploiting those deals to crack offshore markets… our less than intrepid exporters should concern us as much as a NAFTA in limbo.

  • Big little lies

    Yes, it turns out, small business creates lots of new jobs. But small business also destroys lots of jobs, because so many tiny companies go bust. If you look at the net number of jobs generated, small firms’ ability to create employment is nothing special… Handing out special favours to small businesses rewards companies for staying tiny and relatively inefficient rather than pushing them to grow and achieve economies of scale.

  • Alberta’s minimum wage hike working despite gloomy predictions

    If an inexpensive meal in a restaurant can only be provided on the backs of people slaving away in the kitchen for next to nothing maybe we should consider a restaurant that charges a bit more. If we really need qualified, caring people to look after our children and our elders shouldn’t we be prepared to pay them what that is worth to us? And what about all those women who keep hotel rooms clean and tidy? Are we getting a good room rate because they don’t earn enough to properly support their families?

  • Many Working Families Face Tax Trap

    Working parents with children—particularly low-income families— face prohibitive tax rates that discourage taking on extra employment to get ahead, according to a new report from the C.D. Howe Institute. In “Two-Parent Families with Children: How Effective Tax Rates Affect Work Decisions” author Alexandre Laurin finds that mothers and poorer families are the most adversely affected by this tax trap.

  • Pick a fight with me Mr. Joyce, not those working the Tim Hortons pickup window

    Big businesses and major corporations continue to celebrate record profits, while many people in this province juggle multiple jobs and still can’t afford the basics. CEOs enjoy massive salary increases while their workers can’t pay their bills. That’s not right, and it’s not who we are as a society. It’s past time we put people ahead of profits.

  • Minimum wages can make for maximum consternation

    Minimum-wage policies affect about 15 per cent of the workforce, and while forgoing 60,000 jobs by the end of 2019 is not a desirable outcome for our economy, and for younger workers who stand to be hardest hit, it’s not catastrophic in a labour market that created close to 500,000 new jobs last year… None of the preceding is to say that hurriedly jacking Ontario’s minimum wage from $11.60 to $15 in less than two years… was a good idea.

  • Disruption we can get behind

    The main innovation of most self-declared disruptors is that they’ve found a way to take an even bigger share of the wealth from the workers who produce it than was possible before we all carried around the internet in our pockets. It’s not the disruptors who are the biggest problem, it’s the inequality—in incomes, in power and in access to scarce resources—which is worsening in Canada, to the benefit of a small number of established and disruptive elites alike.

  • $14 minimum wage, free pharmacare for young people, other Ontario regulatory changes start Jan. 1

    Thousands of workers will also get an extra week of vacation, and sick notes for the boss are banned among a host of changes that take effect Jan. 1… New Year’s Day sees the minimum wage surge $2.40 an hour to $14 and a new pharmacare plan — the first of its kind in Canada — called OHIP+ covering 4 million children, teens and young adults under 25… Other changes coming January 1 include: a 22.5-per-cent cut in the corporate income tax rate, from 4.5 per cent to 3.5, for small businesses to offset the higher minimum wage