Archive for the ‘Policy Context’ Category

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Ford driving a race to the bottom for Ontario’s lowest-paid workers

Friday, October 26th, 2018

… the perverse thinking behind the economic philosophy that has dominated North American politics in recent decades: that workers must offer themselves up at the lowest possible wage with the fewest possible benefits in order to create an attractive investment climate for businesses that might otherwise move elsewhere… most low-wage countries remain that way, while the high-wage nations of Europe and Scandinavia continue to excel in global competitiveness.

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Ontario is taking a big step back by freezing minimum wage

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

The government says the new law will “create good-paying jobs with benefits.” In reality, it will do just the opposite by clawing back planned wage increases, rights and protections contained in the former Liberal government’s Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, passed late last year. That certainly isn’t good for employees, and as many economists have argued it isn’t good for the economy as a whole either.

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Ontario government to freeze Liberals’ minimum wage hike and roll back labour-friendly rules

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government announced officially on Tuesday that it plans to repeal chunks of the previous government’s Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act amid pushback from business owners who argued many of the changes were too costly, forcing them to raise prices and cut staff… The government will also cut the section that forces employers to pay part-time and casual staff at the same rate as full-time workers doing the same work, but said it will maintain the requirement for equal pay on the basis of sex.

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Limits on income sprinkling cut into family businesses

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

In the past, business owners would sprinkle income to family members in lower tax brackets through dividends as a way to lower the family’s overall tax bill. For many business owners, this was considered a perk for a spouse’s involvement in the daily operations, even if they weren’t a paid employee, or to help pay for a child’s education. The federal government cracked down on income splitting as part of a broader set of tax changes for private corporations.

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Why a Canadian basic income is inevitable

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

Ontario’s recently cancelled basic-income pilot project, which intended to provide benefits for adults according to the same model, enrolled more working people than people already receiving income assistance. The need for a steady income among middle-class Canadians is accelerating as the labour-market changes. Silicon Valley hyperbole imagines robots replacing human labour, and that has happened for many factory jobs, but a much more likely outcome is that automation will change the way work is done.

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How your rights on the job will change if Bill 47 is passed

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

“If you run a billion-dollar company like Walmart, McDonald’s, or Tim Hortons, you just got one awful sweet deal from Doug Ford. If you run a temp agency, you can pay poverty wages as a business model,” said labour council president John Cartwright… “But if you work for a living in this province, odds are that someone in your family just got screwed.” … Here’s a rundown of how your rights on the job will change if Bill 47 is passed.

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College faculty union taking province to court after task force on precarious work scrapped

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

The union representing Ontario college faculty is taking the Progressive Conservative government to court after it terminated a task force that was trying to fix the growing problem of part-time and contract work… the College Task Force was a key part of the arbitrator’s decision last year, ending a bitter dispute between faculty members and Ontario’s 24 colleges that culminated in a record-long, five-week strike.

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The benefits to raising Ontario’s minimum wage are tangible

Saturday, August 25th, 2018

Increasing the minimum wage is one of the most effective means we have of assisting the economically disadvantaged. It puts a new, higher floor under all wages, including those earned by millions of Ontarians living just above the poverty line. The benefits are tangible: higher household incomes; increased consumer spending; lower workplace turnover and absenteeism. The few studies claiming to show job loss from minimum wage increases have been debunked.

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Labour force participation, immigration headline OECD’s Canada report

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

… the OECD recommended, among other things, that Canada invest more in affordable child care, raise its retirement age and do a better job matching immigration applicants’ qualifications and experience to specific skills needs… “Get people to work longer or retire later, increasing female participation – that kind of thing has a bigger effect than changes in feasible amounts of immigration,”

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What does progressive trade policy look like?

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

Existing democratic mechanisms are proving inadequate to channel popular discontent in positive, evidence-based directions. Instead, ugly and increasingly dangerous forms of right-wing populism are capitalizing on discontent, creating a platform for inconsistent, arbitrary and ultimately destructive policy responses… Into this ferment, progressives must inject an ambitious, honest and pragmatic vision of how to manage international trade, capital and human flows in ways that protect and enhance living standards, equality and the environment.

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