Middle class for sale

A leaked Ontario Progressive Conservative document reveals a deep disconnect between ideologically driven wedge politics and the realpolitik of Ontario’s struggling middle class. The document lays out a provincial election plan for the party that is premised on an explicit attack on workers and a promise to bring in American-style…
Read more

Lowering Our Standards

The right-wing Fraser Institute has released a paper that, if implemented, would dramatically lower our standards for worker pay, workers’ rights and workplace protections. It urges governments in Ontario and B.C. to adopt American-style “right-to-work” (RTW) laws which violate a core principle upheld in Canadian law: if a majority of…
Read more

Boost the Minimum Wage, Boost the Economy, from the bottom up

A version of this article appeared today in the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab. (This version includes references to the debate plus charts and graphs from data specially tabulated from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey. The data don’t include the self-employed.) President Obama put the idea of raising the minimum wage on the radar…
Read more

It’s Time for an Equality Premier

Imagine if Ontario’s incoming Premier – lauded for breaking the inequality barrier on two counts – decided to parlay her victory into a post-austerity focus on solutions to income inequality. Now that would be truly groundbreaking. And it couldn’t come at a better time. Brand new data from Statistics Canada…
Read more

Quality assurance in Ontario

The traditional model of quality assurance, where professors and institutional bodies evaluate, approve and improve programs, has always existed in Ontario. However, the centralization and standardization of quality assurance has been accelerated by university and college administrators and encouraged by Ministry staff. External pressures for standardization from the OECD and…
Read more

What if the minimum wage was a living wage?

Increasingly, leadership for policy change comes from outside of government, not from within. It’s why many Ontarians who are focused on reducing and eliminating poverty in this province have engaged in a broadening conversation about how to end working poverty through decent jobs, a better minimum wage, and a concept…
Read more

Right-to-Work: The (Ayn?) Rand Formula

There’s reluctance among Canadian proponents to call for it by name. But Right-to-Work (longer, harder, without representation or recourse, for less money and fewer sick days or pee breaks) seems to be the flavour du jour amongst…ahem…politicians of a certain age. (By which I mean the Age of Dickens. Pip-pip,…
Read more