• Indigenous rights in Canada: Significant work still needed

    Our Constitution requires governments to consult with Indigenous peoples before taking actions that may affect their rights. However, Canadian courts often state that consultation will typically not require consent, and – fearful of a veto power – government officials frequently argue that consent is not required. International laws also require that consultation be “free,” “prior,” and “fully informed,” and that Indigenous people are able to participate fully in decisions affecting them.

  • Concerns that Liberal anti-terror bill looks to protect rights at expense of security

    The problem is, as the government’s own report on its consultations makes clear, the “secret and complex nature” of national security work means Canadians have no idea whether law enforcement officers need additional powers… The disruption provision allows CSIS to seek a court warrant to break laws or breach Charter rights, short of causing bodily harm or obstructing justice.

  • How business also benefits from the Liberals’ latest labour reforms

    Our unemployment rate of 5.8 per cent can’t get much lower; our economic growth leads the country. These are boom times for employers; but also precarious times for many employees… The beneficiaries of these reforms will be precarious employees for whom unionization has long been a remote possibility, and for whom legal protections have recently become more theoretical than practical.

  • Kathleen Wynne’s precarious workplace reforms fall painfully short

    … she has failed to deal adequately with two aspects of the modern workplace that contribute to job insecurity. One is the growing tendency of firms to pretend that their workers are self-employed contractors. This fiction allows unscrupulous bosses to avoid shelling out for statutory benefits, such as employment insurance and vacation pay. The other is an antiquated labour relations regime that, in an economy no longer dominated by factories, makes it impossibly difficult for unions to organize.

  • Kathleen Wynne’s modest blueprint for attacking precarious work

    Precarious work makes life chaotic. It also contributes to income inequality. While the ultimate cause of precarious work lies in the globalized economy, governments can take mitigating measures to ease the pain… the report recommends that those allegedly self-employed persons who rely on one firm for their livelihood be granted all employee benefits… Some of the report’s recommendations, such as requiring employers to pay equivalent full- and part-time workers the same wage, reflect basic notions of fairness.

  • If freer trade kills off these Canadian businesses, it would be better for everyone

    Let markets figure out what works and what doesn’t… one of the best things about trade, though no politician can say so, is that strong competition from foreigners kills a country’s weak firms… Let’s make trade as free as we can — which means much freer than it is — and by all means let’s help losers adjust. But we really do need them to lose.

  • What’s at risk for Canada in the American health-care war?

    If strong provisions that exclude health care from free trade are not maintained, and in fact strengthened, in any renegotiated trade agreement, American insurance companies and health-care delivery organizations could claim the right to a Canadian private health-care “market.” … not far from here, health-care insurance is a good that is sold in the marketplace like softwood lumber.

  • How to fight a trade war

    It’s time to disenthrall Trump from thinking his reckless behavior has no consequences… Our surest protection against epic maladministration at home, and that which is directed at us from abroad, is to deeply entrench best practices now, to enact sound policies with which even the most determined future buffoons in high places cannot tamper. The time to get moving on that is right now.

  • Let’s make human rights central to a new NAFTA

    What the world desperately needs is a system of global rules fair to both capital and labour. Such a system would require all World Trade Organization members to respect and ratify basic labour rights, notably the right to independent unions as defined by the International Labour Organization. Such a system would also entail an enforcement mechanism with sanctions such as those which now exist to protect corporations’ rights.

  • Ontario’s social experiment: Can basic income buy happiness?

    It is unknown whether basic income will work in the 21st century or on a larger scale. Critics see it as a disincentive to work, not to mention unsustainable, while supporters see it easing the burdens on the health-care system, as well as a necessity in a world without jobs… If deemed successful, basic income could be rolled out more widely and transform how social assistance is provided.