• Canada wants ‘progressive’ trade deal with U.S., Mexico, Freeland says

    Canada seeks to make the updated deal more “progressive” through five key provisions including: stronger labour safeguards; strengthening environmental provisions to protect the right to address climate change; adding a new chapter on gender rights; adding an Indigenous chapter; and reforming the investor-state dispute settlement process to protect governments’ right to regulate “in the public interest.”

  • NAFTA talks may threaten Canada’s steps toward universal pharmacare

    If Canada is to have universal pharmacare anytime in its future, NAFTA renegotiations must prioritize the protection of evidence-based coverage decision-making and price negotiations that will be essential to create a system that functions effectively and sustainably. Canadian negotiators must be ready to deflect the tired rhetoric of U.S. trade negotiators and the pharmaceutical industry lobby, who will likely claim that eliminating value assessments and price negotiations… will somehow magically “improve access.”

  • 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.

  • ‘Canadians are concerned’: Private data on the table in NAFTA negotiations

    The personal information of Canadians will be on the negotiating table when North American free trade talks begin this month. The United States has served notice it wants an end to measures that restrict cross-border data flows, or require the use or installation of local computing facilities… Privacy advocates say that means trouble for Canada’s ability to shield sensitive information such as health or financial data from the prying eyes of foreign agencies by storing it in computer servers on Canadian soil.

  • 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.

  • How privileged are you? Take this test to find out

    … the real class divide is not the one between the top 1 per cent and the other 99. It’s the divide between the educated elite and everybody else… It’s the educated elites who dominate the professions and manage our major institutions… And they’re very good at passing along their advantages to their children… Privilege isn’t just defined by economic capital (or by race or gender, for that matter). It is increasingly defined by social and cultural capital

  • Poor health-care ranking a sign our system needs fixing

    What may surprise many is that Canada ranks so poorly (nine of 11) in what are arguably the two most critical areas, health outcomes and equity… The problem is that Canada does not cover a broad enough range of services. Medicare covers 100 per cent of hospital and physician services, but too often fails to cover essential prescription drugs, home care, long-term care and dental care, which is the norm in most wealthy countries.

  • 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

  • Financial information of universities and degree-granting colleges, 2015/2016

    Canada’s 150 public universities and degree-granting institutions spent $27.1 billion in 2015/2016, up from $26.8 billion in 2014/2015. Revenues fell from $28.4 billion in 2014/2015 to $27.2 billion in 2015/2016… The proportion of provincial funding decreased from 41.5% in 2010/2011 to 39.1% in 2015/2016… The proportion of revenues from tuition fees has grown from 21.5% in 2010/2011 to 27.9% in 2015/2016.

  • The Great Minimum Wage Debate: How to Balance Good Intentions and Evidence

    As a whole, they show a range of results, with many showing small to no effects on employment from small wage hikes while others show negative effects among youth and new immigrants.
    A further complication is that industries with the highest concentration of minimum wage workers are also the ones with higher potential for automation… no one can predict with confidence the exact effects from Ontario’s aggressive move from $11.60 to $14.00 per hour next January, and then to $15.00 per hour in 2019.