Tightening the Screws on the Unemployed

The significant changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program which are to be quickly implemented through Budget 2012 with very little consultation have not received enough critical attention. First, a word on what is not in the Budget. It is disappointing, to say the least, that the government is failing…
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Defending Green Jobs at the WTO

As a partner in Blue Green Canada, the United Steelworkers have issued the following news release. Erin Weir is an economist with the United Steelworkers union and a CCPA research associate. WTO Called Upon to Dismiss Japan, EU Challenge to Canadian Renewable Energy Policy Canadian NGOs and labour unions have…
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Resource Royalties: A Cure for Dutch Disease

I have the following op-ed in today’s Saskatoon StarPhoenix: Royalty hike cure for Dutch disease Premier Brad Wall calls federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair “very, very divisive” for expressing concern that Canada’s overvalued petro-dollar is eliminating manufacturing jobs. In reality, Wall is being divisive by exploiting this legitimate concern to…
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Jobs: Ontario Left Behind

Statistics Canada reported today that April was another good month for the labour market. The Canadian economy added 58,200 jobs, most of which were full-time and all of which were paid positions rather than reported self-employment. Paradoxically, official unemployment increased as more Canadians entered the labour market. This development provides…
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Corak in Context

Professor Miles Corak had a post on The Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab yesterday comparing measures of unemployment in Canada and the U.S. I remember learning in Economics 100 that the official Canadian and American unemployment rates are not directly comparable, in part because Statistics Canada includes 15-year-olds whereas the…
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Opting Out of Union Dues

Murray Mandryk’s excellent column today saves me the trouble of writing a lengthy blog post on the Saskatchewan government’s recent musings about labour legislation. From an economic perspective, it’s worth noting that enabling unionized workers to opt out of paying union dues would create a classic free-rider problem. Indeed, Wikipedia’s…
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PBO Strikes Again

I wanted to tip my hat to the hard working folks at the PBO for a particularly revealing Economic and Fiscal Outlook that was published today. While the PBO has more than once eaten my lunch on various issues, they’ve done a superb job of looking at Canada’s economic and…
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McGuinty Budget Would Cut Over 100,000 Jobs

Last week, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union released an interesting report by the Centre for Spatial Economics on the economic impact of proposed provincial budget cuts. It provides a timely reminder that the public sector is a crucial component of the economy, with public spending also supporting many private-sector…
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