• Demise of Sears Canada should be catalyst for change

    … to prevent this sort of fiasco… chang[e] our corporate laws so that those controlling corporations can be held personally liable for money owed to their employees… Wealthy capitalists used to be personally responsible for unpaid wages when their businesses went under. But capitalists fought hard in the late 19th and early 20th century to win the right to limit their liability. At first they won only a partial limit, but over the years U.S. and Canadian courts have extended that limit.

  • CPP, subsidizing survivor pensions, not fair — to a point

    The fundamental problem with CPP is that it serves two masters: it’s designed to serve as a self-funding aid to financial security in retirement and to alleviate the plight of impoverished single seniors, most of whom are women… Is CPP fair? No. But it’s also not fair that far too many older single women live in poverty. Subsidizing child-rearing years and paying survivors’ pensions may not be fair, but it’s the right thing to do.

  • Why millennials are lapping up every tweet and podcast from 94-year-old agitator Harry Leslie Smith

    Smith preaches about preserving democracy and the welfare state, creating a just society and living a life of compassion… he isn’t a politician or political theorist, instead he “speaks from experience in his bones” and delivers life lessons “with moral clarity.” Smith’s message — about how they should expect fair wages, pensions and workplace benefits — is not one that today’s younger generation is accustomed to hearing.

  • Good jobs improve health and profits

    Bill 148 plans to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour and guarantees 10 personal emergency leave days a year (of which two are paid) for all Ontario workers, among other measures. These are exactly the types of policies we need to start seeing more of, and it is wonderful to see businesses also advocating for a healthy workforce and a healthier Ontario.

  • The missing middle

    Since the Great Recession, temp work has grown 12 times faster than permanent employment for so-called prime-age workers, or those between the ages of 25 and 54… prime-age workers are finding it increasingly difficult to secure permanent jobs – there were 52,000 fewer of them working in permanent positions last year than there were in 2008… The cohort with the highest skills, meanwhile, are enjoying the biggest pay raises.

  • Hot!

    CPP changes will disqualify 243,000 from Guaranteed Income Supplement: report

    Higher CPP benefits mean some low income seniors will no longer qualify for the GIS, a component of the Old Age Security program… unlike CPP, OAS spending must be found from government revenues at a time when demographic change will mean less tax revenue as a share of GDP. “This is going to be a real problem,” he said. “The governments in the future are going to be facing more and more of a constraint.”

  • 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.

  • Cancel the panic: Canadians have been borrowing like crazy for good reason

    … even with any small forecast increases, interest rates remain low and the Canadian economy has performed adequately in terms of employment with relatively low unemployment rates. Moreover, while these macroeconomic factors are of concern, they should also be kept in context. Despite record high levels of household-sector debt, there are also record high levels of net worth.

  • 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.

  • Impacts of income volatility should be wake up call for policy-makers

    The median household that suffered a loss saw its income decrease by 49 per cent year over year. That’s almost beyond comprehension… The main causes of income fluctuation… include ebbing and flowing work hours, self-employment and multiple sources of income. In other words, the new world of work. The main effects are obvious: financial stress, the inability to plan and save for emergencies let alone retirement, the relentless reality of falling further and further behind.