• 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.

  • NAFTA will undermine health unless Canada resists monopolies on medicines

    There are two potential changes to NAFTA that threaten to derail progress toward affordable access to medicines: First, U.S. trade representatives are advancing Big Pharma’s demand for more restrictive intellectual property rules, pushing longer patent terms and “data exclusivity” rules… Second, business lobbies are pushing hard to maintain and expand the widely-denounced “investor-state dispute settlement” mechanism currently found in NAFTA.

  • Imagining an alternative to growing global inequality

    If the global growth in income inequality keeps on at its current pace, populist and nationalist trends around the world will flourish… 82 per cent of the wealth generated last year went to the richest 1 per cent of the global population. The poorest half of the world’s population — 3.7 billion people — saw no increase at all… the wealth of the billionaire class has risen by an annual average of 13 per cent since 2010, over six times faster than the wages of average workers.

  • Liberals hatch plan to stop Trumpism: fix income inequality

    Canada’s foreign affairs minister, Chrystia Freeland… has penned an article about how Canada plans to battle global trends toward nationalism and protectionism. She calls it “progressive internationalism” and describes how Canada will be pursuing this idea in 2018 on two tracks: internationally, in the realms of human rights, immigration and freer trade; and domestically, with fairer taxation and improved labour standards here in Canada… Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is also in the midst of a large-scale effort to battle economic inequality

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Sensing a moment, Canadian scientists swing for the fences

    Research advocates say a growing economy at home and political turmoil elsewhere has handed Canada a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get back on par with other developed countries in its science investments… Canada’s scientific enterprise needs a long-term infusion of stable funding to keep younger researchers in the profession and set the stage for the kinds of major breakthroughs that are decades in the making.

  • 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.