• 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

  • Massive disruption is coming to the job market, and Ontario isn’t ready

    Firms need to retool and rethink their entire human-capital strategy and approaches to their labour force. This includes upgrading performance-management approaches to provide appropriate incentives, better tracking of employee skills and job profiles that better reflect new requirements… Industry associations also need to support the effort, by helping to identify new skills, developing accreditations where appropriate and ensuring our key sectors are leveraging best practices globally.

  • It’s time to stop fighting about imaginary ‘isms’

    … there has never been a politician or thinker or party leader who has declared him or herself “neoliberal” – not one. The idea exists only in the minds of people opposed to it… in the 1980s… Neoliberal development theory, known for the slogan “trade not aid,” tried to help once-authoritarian countries restore functioning markets… no politician or thinker who has declared him or herself a “cultural Marxist” – not one. The idea exists only in the minds of people opposed to it.

  • Can the First Nations poverty trap be broken?

    Federal law also limits use of on-reserve property as collateral, severely restricting Indigenous people’s ability to start businesses or get personal loans. If Canada’s current efforts at reconciliation with its First Nations are to bear fruit over the long term, creating a financial system that works for Indigenous populations must be a priority. One solution that could help: Tapping the potential of Canada’s $9.2-billion “impact investing” market.

  • Now is the time for broad reform of Canada’s productivity-killing tax system

    … the Canadian tax system is a creaking, productivity-killing wreck: hugely over-complicated, and riddled with unjustified deductions and exemptions that distort economic decisions and bleed the government of revenues… Better by far to raise output — the base on which taxes are applied… by a sustained increase in national productivity… Enter tax reform. While there are other things we can do to spur productivity (for example, opening protected sectors of the economy to greater competition), tax reform is essential.

  • It’s time to take another look at our tax system

    … Touted as among the best ways to create jobs, corporate tax cuts have by most accounts turned out to be no such thing… every dollar spent on infrastructure spending, income supports or housing investments is seven times more effective in creating jobs… for every dollar corporations pay to the Canadian government, individual taxpayers now pay $3.50 – a result not only of repeated cuts, but also of a slew of tax loopholes and international treaties introduced in recent decades that promote or at least facilitate corporate tax avoidance.

  • Why relying on GDP is unethical

    since the GDP only values certain types of economic activity, it presents a fundamentally distorted and dishonest picture of the economy… Unpacking what the GDP “values” and “doesn’t value” shows why we need a new model and new language to identify and describe positive economic activity if we are to properly measure and enhance the well being… So the next time you hear “GDP,” don’t think “gross domestic product,” think “generating deceptive propaganda,” because that’s exactly what’s going on.

  • The Lion’s Share: Pension deficits and shareholder payments among Canada’s largest companies

    This study examines the status of the defined benefit (DB) pension plans of Canada’s largest publicly-traded companies. Thirty-nine companies on the S&P/TSX 60 maintain DB pension plans, amounting to one-third of all private sector pension plan assets in Canada. However, only nine plans were fully funded in 2016. Together, the 39 companies oversaw a $10.8 billion deficit in their pension plans in 2016, while increasing shareholder payouts from $31.9 billion in 2011 to $46.9 billion last year.