Archive for the ‘Policy Context’ Category

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Government must step in to fix the gig economy

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

The nature of work is changing. But that shouldn’t mean that jobs, particularly those for low-paid workers, just get worse and worse. Ontario needs to tackle the widening gaps in worker protections. If it doesn’t, companies in the gig economy and traditional sectors alike will continue to exploit loopholes — and their workers. A business model that relies on the exploitation of others is a terrible step backwards. It can’t be the way of the future.

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Liberals’ ‘middle class tax cut’ is not a tax cut at all

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

What we are left with is a $6-billion handout to just about everybody except those who need it most. And all of it is borrowed. With the deficit already in excess of $20-billion and headed higher, the government is proposing to borrow another $6-billion annually, and give much of it to people in the top half of the social register… Unthinkable: Tax cuts for the rich! Maybe. But it sure beats handouts to the rich, doesn’t it?

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More than a million Ontario workers do not have drug coverage. These groups are the most likely to be left out

Thursday, December 5th, 2019

“These gaps in coverage are worrisome, since prescription drugs play an essential role in preventing and treating disease and in helping us stay healthy,” the report says… highly concentrated in the retail trades, accommodation and food services industries… part-time work’s share of total employment rose from 13.5 per cent to nearly 20 per cent between 1976 and 2015… a significant portion of part-time work is low wage, without benefits, and has scheduling uncertainty which creates stress…

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Here’s why you should like the federal carbon tax

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

An escalating carbon price, on the other hand, would allow GDP per capita to grow steadily so long as the proceeds of the carbon tax are redistributed to taxpayers, as the current plan foresees… By… 2030 and the emissions reductions are in the bag, Canadians would each be $3,300-a-year richer under carbon pricing than under the large-emitter-only scenario.

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To fight regional economic disparity, Ontario needs Opportunity Zones

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

… the transition from an industrial economy to a knowledge-based economy seems to be exacerbating them as part of a global trend that urban scholar Richard Florida describes as “winner-take-all urbanism.”… This trend toward place-based bifurcation isn’t just about economic activity either. It’s manifesting itself in demography, educational attainment, health outcomes and other socioeconomic characteristics.

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Should We Soak the Rich? You Bet!

Sunday, October 20th, 2019

As a society, instead of playing Robin Hood to smooth out the inequities, we’ve played the Sheriff of Nottingham. Lawrence Summers, the economist and former Treasury secretary, has calculated that if we had the same income distribution today as we had in 1979, the bottom 80 percent would have about an extra $1 trillion each year and the top 1 percent would have about $1 trillion less.

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The Ford government needs to protect temporary workers

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

… it reversed… equal pay provisions, along with getting rid of two paid sick days for all workers and a minimum-wage increase to $15 an hour… The Ford government should bring back the Liberal labour law updates it so thoughtlessly repealed and pass the necessary regulations to ensure companies who hire temp workers have an incentive to keep them safe… before tragedy strikes again.

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Internal trade barriers make Canada less attractive for foreign investment

Thursday, October 3rd, 2019

Internal trade barriers cost the Canadian economy between $50-billion and $130-billion… They prevent Canadian businesses from gaining economies of scale through access to a whole-of-Canada market, which are critical to developing global competitiveness. This, in turn, means fewer international export opportunities… These trade barriers between provinces and regions also impede greater pan-Canadian social and political cohesion.

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Canada doesn’t lack in terms of university-industry collaboration

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

The share of industry-funded R&D in Canadian universities hovered around eight percent over the past couple of decades. That may not sound like a lot, but it has been consistently higher than the equivalent figure for American universities, which has fluctuated at around five percent in the same period.

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What if the long-expected boomer retirement boom never happens? The trend is in that direction

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

… with lifespans now much longer than was the norm a few decades ago, both working and earning incomes for an eventual retirement are no doubt looked at differently than used to be the case. As well, workers with higher levels of education are more apt to be in the labour market as they age, as compared with those with lower levels of education… older workers may find themselves working, but on contracts or in part-time jobs, which may not be their first choice.

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