Archive for the ‘Policy Context’ Category

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Ottawa can strike a blow against precarity with stronger protections for gig workers

Monday, February 28th, 2022

What is really needed to stop the spread of misclassification is to start with the presumption that a worker is an employee, unless a case can be made that they are a bona fide independent contractor. A clear and relatively simple test can be established to determine whether someone is a legitimate contractor — i.e., do they set their own prices, perform work that is not the company’s “core” business, and have their own business doing the same work that they market independently? — or a misclassified employee. 

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Why Not 75 Years Old?

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022

… since the creation of the RRSP in 1957, the age limit of 71 has never been raised… Given the sharp increase in life expectancy, the age limit of 71 years for converting an RRSP into a RRIF needs to be lifted… this type of change would optimize the mechanics of pension plans, and also encourage Canadians to remain in the workforce, which improves health and also helps with Canada’s looming labour shortage.

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Countries reach agreement on corporate tax

Saturday, October 9th, 2021

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.

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Ontario’s 10-cent hike in the minimum wage is bad for workers, bad for businesses and bad for the economy

Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

Some minimum wage workers work full-time and full year, but most work part-time. At 20 hours a week, a typical minimum wage worker would be earning $29 more a week if the minimum wage was 60 per cent of the average wage. Instead, on Friday, the government of Ontario legislated $2 more a week for them. That’s bad for workers, bad for businesses and bad for the economy… it isn’t business that creates jobs. It’s customers.

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EI Revisions Should Include More Flexibility in Its Work Incentives

Saturday, August 7th, 2021

Policymakers should revise WWC rules and set an earnings limit under which claimants won’t have EI benefits clawed back, and a modest clawback rate on earnings above that threshold – much like the CRB. Our review of Canadian and international evidence found that under these proposed rules more people, especially those displaced from lower paid jobs and who already have weaker labour force attachment, would be encouraged to work while collecting EI and to work more hours.

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Governments paid billions to help develop COVID-19 vaccines — so why is Big Pharma charging us billions more for the vaccines we helped create?

Thursday, June 3rd, 2021

If we think of war profiteers as being lower than a snake’s belly, what are we to make of the drug industry’s pandemic profiteers? … Canada, like other government funders in this global crisis, is not expecting to recover its costs in funding COVID-related medicine…  governments that fund research that is used in lucrative commercial drug production must demand a return on their investment. 

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The Care Economy Statement

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

This statement… is a call to recognize that good care is crucial to our health and well-being as individuals and as a society; it is the critical social infrastructure that delivers overall economic stability and growth; and it is a shared responsibility, not just a personal one. This requires a shift from thinking of care as an expenditure to understanding it as an economic driver through investment in people and good jobs.

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How to create a paid sick leave plan for Ontario

Thursday, April 22nd, 2021

The goal of any sick leave program is, above all, to allow people who have COVID-19, have been exposed to it, or think they may have it, to stay home and not spread the disease to their co-workers. Nothing else matters… any program must be just as simple and straightforward as the existing sick leave plans 40% of us enjoy… paid sick leave legislation need not be complicated: it has existed before in Ontario, and very recently

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If you don’t have $20 million, relax. A wealth tax won’t touch you

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

Canada’s wealthiest 87 families had wealth of $259 billion in 2016; our top 44 billionaires increased their wealth by more than $50 billion during the pandemic… 79 per cent of Canadians favour a wealth tax… In fact, a wealth tax would be the simplest, fairest and most effective way to collect billions of extra dollars of revenue a year, and to limit the power and political influence of the billionaire class… Here are some of the facile arguments being trotted out against a wealth tax.

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Will Canada’s Federal Budget meet the COVID-19 Challenge?

Friday, March 12th, 2021

Responding to an unprecedented crisis, the federal government mobilized billions in new support programs within weeks – an important “possibility proof” that rapid social policy change can happen. The fact that the sky did not fall when governments increased their deficits by billions of dollars also clearly demonstrated that the barriers to a better social safety net are political, not economic. The pandemic is the formative experience that will shape the lifetime political perspective of a generation.

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