EI, Self-Insurance or Three-Card Monte?

Monte Solberg, the former Conservative cabinet minister responsible for Employment Insurance, proposed to eliminate the program in a recent Sun Media column: An alternative would be to self-insure. Employee and employer premiums would accumulate in an account in each worker’s name. Including interest, anyone who managed to stay employed through…
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GDP: Consumers to the Rescue

Following positive GDP numbers in April and May, Statistics Canada reported today that a sharp drop in June dragged Canada’s economic growth to a mediocre pace of 0.4% for the second quarter. June’s declines in manufacturing and resource extraction did further damage to industries that had declined in April and…
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Tuition hike and the media between 2005 and 2010 in Québec

I’ve contended for the last two years that between 2005 and 2010, an intensive public relations campaign was undertaken with the aim of increasing tuition fees in Québec. I believe it was crucial when the proposal to hike fees was formally submitted in Raymond Bachand’s first budget, the Liberal government’s…
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Seeing inequality through rose-coloured classes

Amidst the reluctant media coverage of Idle No More exists a particularly irritating contradiction that centres on how wealth and inequality are examined. The Occupy movement was roundly criticized by the elite’s media handmaids for going after the 1%. “Why are you punishing ingenuity and hard work,” the 99%ers were…
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Raising Saskatchewan’s Minimum Wage

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour president Larry Hubich and I have the following joint op-ed in today’s Regina Leader-Post (page A10). It’s been fourteen years since I first wrote into The Leader-Post advocating a minimum-wage increase. UPDATE (August 31): The op-ed also appeared in today’s Saskatoon StarPhoenix (page A11), Wednesday’s Estevan…
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No Vale on the Plains?

I had the following comments in yesterday’s front-page story on Vale’s decision to postpone its proposed $3-billion potash mine at Kronau, Saskatchewan: Regina economist Erin Weir, who is widely expected to run for the leadership of the provincial NDP, said in a statement Friday that the Vale announcement “represents a…
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Prices Decline Yet Again

Statistics Canada reported today that, for a third consecutive month, consumer prices declined and the inflation rate fell below 2%. In July, the inflation rate was 1.3% and the Bank of Canada’s core rate was 1.7%. Gasoline and natural gas prices, which have been lower this summer than last, dragged…
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