• Tax changes are about levelling the playing field

    As more and more people set up corporations, there is a growing number of individuals who have access to tax advantages not available to other hard-working Canadians. This means that some of the highest-income earners are effectively being taxed at a much lower rate than everyone else. It is legal, but as a former business owner and high-income earner myself, I do not think it is right.

  • New federal jobs program targets students from underrepresented groups

    Ottawa is launching a new work-placement program for postsecondary students in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and business that includes extra incentives for underrepresented groups. Companies in these fields that provide placements for first-year students, women, Indigenous students, people with disabilities and new immigrants will be eligible for wage subsidies of up to 70 per cent or $7,000. All other student placements will be eligible for funding of up to 50 per cent of the wage, or $5,000.

  • Canada should not be satisfied with just tweaking NAFTA

    Chapter 11… allows foreign investors to challenge before nonjudicial trade panels, any laws and regulations — including environmental rules — that interfere with their corporate profitability… Chapter 19… allows NAFTA governments to challenge one another’s trade penalties before an independent panel… When the Americans have been ruled against in such cases they have sometimes acquiesced. But at other times, they have simply ignored the ruling.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • The ‘duty to consult’ Indigenous Canadians, and its limits

    “The duty to consult… is rooted in the need to avoid the impairment of asserted or recognized rights.” For a consultation to pass constitutional muster, it must be real and substantial. It can’t just be about collecting complaints and suggestions, and then ignoring them. The Indigenous community must be fully informed of the project’s details and consequences, and given the opportunity to respond. Depending on the evidence, mitigation measures may have to be taken.

  • Sears shows us the wisdom of defined-contribution pensions

    Critics of defined-contribution plans dislike the non-specific dollar amounts that would accrue to retirees – again, contributions plus investment returns determine eventual pension paycheques. But… defined-contribution plans are more realistic given they are linked with market returns. Also… defined-contribution plans belong to individual employees from the start.

  • Temp agencies on rise as province seeks to protect vulnerable workers

    It’s “like a huge warning bell to anyone who is concerned about (work) conditions and low wages and precariousness,” said Deena Ladd of the Toronto-based Workers’ Action Centre. “I think it’s a huge indication that corporations are shifting their responsibility to a third party for employment…” … “We seem to be growing into a society where agencies are proliferating, and these people are getting a little piece of everybody’s paycheques,” said Labour Minister Kevin Flynn

  • Bill 148 (The Fair Workplaces Better Jobs Act 2017)

    The Government needs to hear that the improvements to workers rights are widely supported in the community. We urge you to make a submission to the Committee supporting in principle Bill 148 while seeking further enhancements.