• Prescription drug costs should be fair – not cheap

    … the federal government has introduced new regulations that, if implemented, will result in the biggest shake-up in prescription drug pricing in 30 years… [with] estimated savings of $12.7-billion over 10 years… countries are moving away from international price comparisons and embracing concepts like value-based pricing – where drugs are reimbursed based on how well they work. This requires active and transparent negotiation with industry, not just imposing new formulas.

  • Ignore Trump’s whining. It turns out U.S. manufacturing was surging all along

    Developing countries now have a comparative advantage in assembling components with a lot of unspecialized labour. This has become low-end manufacturing, but nobody complains (or should complain) as this specialization has allowed a large number of poor countries to escape poverty, a huge historical shift. The comparative advantage of rich countries has moved to high-end research and development, conception, design, engineering, complex manufacturing (such as 3D printing), logistics, and distribution.

  • 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.

  • The real pirates of the Caribbean

    … regardless of whether or not most tax haven users are withholding their taxes illegally, surely there is a more troubling moral and ethical factor to consider. It has to do with the ability of so many people to get away with not paying their taxes. They can do so because they’re rich. They can afford the expensive advice of high-priced lawyers and accountants who can exploit convenient loopholes and ambiguities in the tax laws. This explains the vast amount of taxes owed that never get collected.

  • Paving way for more women in workforce would boost economic growth, report says

    … the burden of unpaid care work, gender discrimination and violence, a lack of legal protection and reduced access to financial services… Removing those barriers could boost OECD growth by between 6 per cent and 20 per cent… “It’s about the sheer scope for growth — 6 per cent is what we arrived at for advanced economies; for emerging market countries it’s even higher… So why aren’t we going for it?”

  • Let’s hope Canadian courts see the true meaning of the niqab

    The higher value of “social cohesion” has twice guided rulings against challenges to niqab bans by the European Court of Human Rights, which noted that the religious duty for women to cover was “hard to reconcile” with the principle of gender equality. Let us hope that our judiciary agrees and rules accordingly.

  • Canadian tax hypocrisy that favours the rich must end: Broadbent

    Tax avoidance and evasion by the rich ultimately undermines democracy: it starves social programs and public services, increases after tax income and wealth inequality, and further concentrates economic resources in the hands of a few… Ordinary Canadians have a right to be angry that the very rich are being pampered by our political elites. The response should be broad-based, progressive tax reform to make the system much fairer and more transparent.

  • A wise approach on immigration

    It starts by increasing Canada’s immigration target just a bit next year to 310,000, then to 330,000 in 2019 and 340,000 in 2020… The government needs to follow through with concrete measures to attract well-educated, well-motivated people to Canada. It has already taken positive steps in this direction by streamlining visa applications and work permits for high-demand international employees. Immigration has always been key to Canada’s success.

  • Canada may be entering ‘sweet part’ of business cycle, Stephen Poloz says

    The Canada Child Benefit has had a “pretty significant” impact on the economy, Poloz said, adding it could be one of the reasons the country has seen rising labour-force participation. “What it did is put a floor under some folks,” Poloz said, adding it may have allowed formerly stay-at-home parents to afford child care or a second car and therefore more easily re-enter the workforce.

  • Tribunal slams WSIB practice that cuts benefits to injured migrant workers

    A workers’ compensation board practice that slashes benefits to injured migrant farm workers by deeming them capable of finding alternative employment in Ontario is illegal, an independent tribunal has ruled… under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, employers can deport workers for “non-compliance, refusal to work, or any other sufficient reason.”