Ford government should dump old-school thinking on minimum wage

Posted on October 13, 2021 in Debates

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In awarding Canadian economist David Card the Nobel Prize in economics, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has given a huge boost to the value of empirical study in the field of labour economics. For it was Card, working alongside American economist Alan Krueger, who put real world wage increases in New Jersey under the microscope and found no support for the theory that a rise in the minimum wage reduced employment.

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Child & Family

Home child care should be affordable, high-quality — and licensed

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… we propose a system under which every home child-care provider serving more than one unrelated child has to be individually licensed. A provincewide coalition of independent home child-care providers argued precisely for this path of individual licensing when Ontario modernized the legislation governing child care in 2014. In addition to oversight of every home child-care provider, our model involves substantial support for quality improvements for all home child care.


Reforming long-term care starts with Revera

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… the federal government owns 100 per cent of Revera, the second largest long-term-care and retirement home group in Canada… Revera as a for-profit chain has one of the worst records in Canada, with so far over 800 deaths in its LTC and retirement homes… The newly elected federal government should move on turning Revera over to the provinces as a not-for-profit public company in LTC… If the federal government wants to make Revera a real public not-for-profit, this is easily doable and the process could start tomorrow.


Education

Faculty associations ask federal candidates to protect public institutions from private-sector restructuring

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This federal election is an opportunity to commit to our cherished public institutions that have been created for the common good, including universities, and to ensure that they are protected from proceedings designed for private sector corporations under the BIA and CCAA acts. It is the responsibility of federal and provincial governments to ensure the health and sustainability of public institutions through appropriate instruments and regulations for the public sector.


Laurentian University’s collapse shows federal government must protect public institutions from private-sector restructuring

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… the interests of big banks, whose profits have soared during the pandemic, have been put squarely ahead of the university’s students, faculty and staff. Royal Bank, TD Canada Trust and the Bank of Montreal are extracting upwards of $100 million in debt repayments from Laurentian, leaving only scraps for the workers terminated without severance. The CCAA forces the most vulnerable to wait at the back of the line.  This is a warning to anyone who values Canada’s public institutions.


Employment

Ford government should dump old-school thinking on minimum wage

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In awarding Canadian economist David Card the Nobel Prize in economics, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has given a huge boost to the value of empirical study in the field of labour economics. For it was Card, working alongside American economist Alan Krueger, who put real world wage increases in New Jersey under the microscope and found no support for the theory that a rise in the minimum wage reduced employment.


Countries reach agreement on corporate tax

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More than 130 countries have agreed on sweeping changes to how big global companies are taxed, including a 15 per cent minimum corporate rate designed to deter multinationals from stashing profits in low-tax countries… The OECD said that the minimum tax would reap some $150 billion (U.S.) for governments… it would end a “race to the bottom” in which countries outbid each other with lower tax rates.


Equality

Has the pandemic really changed Doug Ford? A decent child-care deal would be a start in proving it

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The federal government’s goals are all simple and positive for Ontario families and the child-care sector: Lower parent fees, at first by 50 per cent and then to an average of $10 per day. / Improve child-care workers’ wages. / Expand public and non-profit spaces… These objectives are all reasonable, at least to anyone not clouded by partisanship.


Canada’s citizenship study guide for newcomers is getting an ‘unvarnished’ makeover. Here’s how it’s evolved — from 1947 to today

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… in the wake of the recent revelations of hundreds of unmarked graves being found at the site of former residential schools in Kamloops, B.C., and Marieval, Sask., the federal government now says it expects to roll out… a more “honest” portrait of the country’s past and present… the guide will include a section outlining the government’s attempts to compel Indigenous Peoples to adopt European customs through policies “designed to end Indigenous ways of life, languages and spiritual beliefs.”


Health

Our nursing crisis is a public crisis

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It is not a mystery why nurses are leaving. They are overworked, face brutal working conditions, and a decade of wage suppression has been locked in even further by Bill H-124… The Ontario government’s solution to the nursing shortage is to train more nurses rather than stemming the tide of experienced nurses leaving… Just like physicians, there are areas of specialization within nursing that involve years of extra training… We call on the Ontario government to invest in nursing, stop calling nurses heroes and start treating them like human beings.


The PM must insist on conditions for health care funding to provinces

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Instead of rushing to hold negotiations this fall, as the premiers asked, Trudeau should put forward proposals of his own, starting with his long-promised pharmacare program, potentially bundled with any Canada Health Transfer increases. A single-payer public drug plan is supported by 86 per cent of Canadians according to the Angus Reid Institute, is backed by the NDP, and would save billions of dollars for employers, families, and especially the provinces.


Inclusion

How to repair long-term care in Canada

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… the earliest victims of the pandemic were residents of LTC, our most fragile and vulnerable elders. Surely one key lesson from the pandemic is the urgent task to improve LTC so residents can live, and die, with dignity… [Charitable] foundation funding is best directed at supporting knowledge and advocacy rather than subsidizing the operation of LTC homes, a government responsibility… support for research and advocacy would be a more effective avenue for foundations to support… [or] “venture philanthropy” – specifically to demonstrate and evaluate new models of LTC care.


Decolonising is about adding, not cancelling, knowledge

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UniversityWorldNews.com – story 11 September 2021.   Ali Meghji The past few months in Britain have seen a growing ridiculing of calls to decolonise the curriculum. However, these criticisms have failed to understand what decolonising the curriculum is about. From the prime minister claiming that Britain needed to move on from the “cringing embarrassment” it […]


Social Security

How a national disability benefit would improve my life — and the lives of so many others

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I’m one of more than six million Canadians with a disability. More than 40 per cent of people who live below the poverty line in Canada have a disability…  Poverty makes my life challenging. COVID-19 made it worse. A national disability benefit would improve my life in many ways. A national disability benefit would help people like me improve our living conditions and be less isolated. It would have a positive impact on our health and wellness. It would raise us out of poverty and allow us to live with dignity. 


Developing a costing for a basic income is not a neutral exercise

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Creating income floors for everyone in Canada is necessary and desirable, but basic income and income floor are not synonymous… Expanding and improving social assistance, increases in targeted tax credits and benefits, strengthening Employment Insurance, stronger labour standards, and investments in public services would be less costly, more effective, and have fewer negative consequences than the suggested basic income.


Governance

… how Canada has ‘turned a blind eye’ to cracking down on offshore tax schemes

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… as much as $3 billion in tax revenue is lost annually to wealthy Canadians’ use of offshore accounts. Add to that as much as $11.4 billion in lost tax from corporations with offshore subsidiaries, and tax havens cost the Canadian public almost $15 billion each year… Canada has been widely criticized as a tax haven because our provincial governments don’t require residency or even basic identification to register a company… a beneficial ownership registry for all federal corporations… would create a legal registry of the real owners of corporations.


Canadians voted for big change, whether they knew it or not

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“With a majority it would be easier to take it – but at this juncture we needed to ask Canadians, do you want us to proceed or not?”… It may be that talking clearly about “these things” in the fourth wave of a global pandemic is just beyond us all. But that’s not to say we didn’t make a collective call.  Until Sept. 20, the Liberal minority government didn’t really have the mandate to take the country on what might have been a hard-left turn just over a year ago. Now, with the shape of parliament barely changed at all, that mandate emerges.