• Trudeau targets income inequality in Canadian Confederation speech

    Trudeau said Ottawa has committed nearly $1-billion to investigate offshore tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, an investment he said is paying off in recouped tax revenues and penalties. “There are people in Canada who are so wealthy that not only do they think they don’t need to pay their fair share of taxes, they’re forcing us to spend a billion dollars to go after them just so they’ll do the right thing and pay what they owe”

  • Ontario passes labour-reform bill, $15 minimum wage looms

    Ontario will implement a $15 minimum wage on Jan. 1, 2019, and enact other new worker-focused rules even sooner… The labour reforms put in place by the Liberals include requirements that employers pay part-time, casual and temporary employees the same rate as full-time employees for the same job; that employers must pay workers three hours’ wages for shifts cancelled with fewer than 48 hours’ notice; and that all workers be eligible for 10 days of emergency leave, two of which must be paid.

  • Federal government looks to provinces for billions to support housing plan

    The main new initiative announced on Wednesday is a $4-billion Canada Housing Benefit, which would provide rent support for about 300,000 low-income households and would begin in 2020. Ottawa expects the provinces to cover half of the cost… Ottawa is also responding to one of the most pressing concerns raised by Canada’s cities, offering $4.8-billion to address the fact that many long-standing social-housing agreements with Ottawa were scheduled to expire over the coming years.

  • Ottawa’s housing plan will create 100,000 new housing units nationally

    The measures… include: $2 billion for a new Canada Housing Benefit to provide funding directly to low-income families and individuals… $2.2 billion to expand and extend the homelessness partnering strategy… New legislation to require future federal governments to maintain a national housing strategy… The federal government also recognizes that housing is a human right, for the first time.

  • 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.

  • Canada has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis. Now St. Michael’s Hospital is launching a $30M centre to fight MS

    “The intent is to build the best clinical facility for MS in the world… And the way you do that is you make sure it’s a facility that offers the best in education and research as well.” … The facility will be known as the Barlo MS Centre — after John and Jocelyn Barford and Jon and Nancy Love, who donated $10 million per family to the project… “It’s the most frequent cause of disability in young adults in a number of western countries,”

  • 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.

  • Community capitalism: A path to prosperity for First Nations

    Community capitalism generates so-called “own-source revenues” (OSR) – money that First Nations earn for themselves rather than receive from government transfers. We estimate that the total amount of OSR is now in excess of $3-billion a year (some First Nations do not make public reports). That’s a significant amount compared with the roughly $5.5-billion transferred to the same First Nations by governments in fiscal 2015-16.

  • Liberal government urged to be more aggressive in tackling poverty

    The most recent international rankings of 41 developed nations shows Canada lags behind its peers in several areas related to poverty reduction. The UNICEF report placed Canada near the bottom in terms of global goals to end poverty in all its forms and ending hunger. Statistics Canada’s latest census data revealed that 1.2 million Canadian children lived in a low-income household in 2015, representing 17 per cent of all children.

  • Apology to LGBTQ community first step toward healing

    To be effective, apologies must acknowledge the offence and harms done. They must express remorse. They must undertake to learn from the experience and not repeat offensive behaviours. And they must make reparation… “All queer Canadians deserve truth and reconciliation for the historical misuses of state power that eroded their human dignity.” … Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s apology on behalf of Canadians… will be a welcome step toward a more just society.