• Ontario to introduce ‘pay transparency’ legislation

    If passed, the “pay transparency” bill would require all publicly advertised job postings to include a salary rate or range, bar employers from asking about past compensation and prohibit reprisal against employees who do discuss or disclose compensation. It would also create a framework that would require large employers to track and report compensation gaps based on gender and other diversity characteristics, and disclose the information to the province.

  • After the Sears debacle, why is Ontario making it easier to underfund pensions?

    Leaving retirees to scramble in their golden years is cruel, and it is unconscionable to expect an overtaxed middle class to foot the bill for corporate chicanery. If governments won’t stop companies from dodging their pension obligations, it’s just a matter of time before we see the next Sears Canada. And that’s a prospect that should worry us all.

  • Why a guaranteed minimum income is a better option than raising the minimum wage

    Rather than blithely decreeing that employers must pay their employees an amount the rest of us think appropriate, and hoping it all works out for the best, the option is open to us as a society to put our money where our mouths are: to finance a decent minimum income for all with our taxes — which unlike wages are not so easily avoided. Maybe this latest increase in the minimum wage will prove less harmful than feared, but it is certain to be more harmful than the alternative: a minimum income, socially guaranteed and socially financed.

  • THE HIGH COST OF LOW CORPORATE TAXES

    StatsCan numbers show that drastic cuts to the corporate income tax rate over the last 20 years have not stimulated new business investment… “In Canada, the evidence is that increasingly a larger fraction of income to corporations is related to excessive profits,” said Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Laureate and Professor at Columbia University. “Lower tax rates encourage firms to engage in more excessive profit seeking… income and wealth have boomed for a tiny fraction of the population, but this has not benefitted the rest of the population at all.

  • 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.

  • Ontario passes labour-reform bill, $15 minimum wage looms

    Ontario will implement a $15 minimum wage on Jan. 1, 2019, and enact other new worker-focused rules even sooner… The labour reforms put in place by the Liberals include requirements that employers pay part-time, casual and temporary employees the same rate as full-time employees for the same job; that employers must pay workers three hours’ wages for shifts cancelled with fewer than 48 hours’ notice; and that all workers be eligible for 10 days of emergency leave, two of which must be paid.

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

    … 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. This paper, co-published by the CCPA and the Canadian Labour Congress, details the extent to which DB pension plans among S&P/TSX 60 companies are underfunded, provides the cost to shareholders that eliminating the pension deficits would pose, and offers a series of recommendations for ensuring the security of retirees’ benefits.

  • Why Canada needs progressive reforms in employment insurance

    Employment Insurance… remains an important and relevant part of the Canadian social safety net. Changes are needed to respond to new labour market realities, but the program should not, as some argue, be folded into a universal basic income… The objective of income stabilization for individuals is at odds with most calls for a redistributive basic income based on family income.

  • Demise of Sears Canada should be catalyst for change

    … to prevent this sort of fiasco… chang[e] our corporate laws so that those controlling corporations can be held personally liable for money owed to their employees… Wealthy capitalists used to be personally responsible for unpaid wages when their businesses went under. But capitalists fought hard in the late 19th and early 20th century to win the right to limit their liability. At first they won only a partial limit, but over the years U.S. and Canadian courts have extended that limit.

  • Why business and banks hate the minimum wage

    … high-wage employers benefit from reduced turnover, lower recruitment costs, and greater productivity. That’s why more than 40 economists also signed an open letter cautioning against “fear-mongering that is out of line with the latest economic research”… At a time when the provincial unemployment rate has plunged to the lowest level in 16 years — 5.8 per cent last month — business interests want us to believe that we can’t afford it?