There is a nice little story tucked in to the pages of Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2013. It’s a sweet tale of Thomas and Colleen and their two children. (I like to imagine those little stick-figure stickers on the back of their mini-van waving hello to their friends in happy economic-action-plan-land). This story is called “Canadian families keep more of their hard-earned dollars as a result of the government’s actions to reduce the tax burden.”
Brian Lee Crowley’s latest column shows he’s a glass-half-full kinda guy. We shouldn’t be worried about unemployment because a) it’s old-fashioned, b) Boomers had it worse (and now they’re getting old) c) we’re doing better than the U.S., and d) it’s really only young people and immigrants that are unemployed.
This is a relief.
So I shouldn’t worry that Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey indicates that real average hourly wages have risen by only twenty cents between 2009 and 2012 (an annualized growth rate of 0.3%). Or, that at the same time, real median hourly wages have actually fallen, indicating that any wage growth is limited to a few at the top end.
April 15th, 2013 · Erika Shaker · Economy & Economic Indicators, Employment and Labour, Income Inequality, Satire
So, am I the only parent of small children struck by the familiar tone of RBC’s Temporary Foreign Worker damage control message fiasco? In a CBC interview that was basically a clinic for how not to do PR, Chief Human Resources Officer Zabeen Hirji’s attempt at banksplaining sounded suspiciously like a Sharon, Lois and Bram singalong: “Who, me? Yes, you. Couldn’t be! Then who? iGate hired temporary foreign workers from the global labour market cookie jar!”
(Although kudos to CBC for reminding those of us who haven’t seen one in a while what a tough interview—of a Corporate Canada spokesperson, anyway—actually looks like.)
Canada’s economic development model is on a collision course with the urgent need for global climate action. Worldwide, extreme weather events from drought to floods to powerful storms and record-breaking temperatures are making a powerful statement that climate change can no longer be denied.
Hurricane Sandy, which rudely interrupted a US election in which candidates ignored climate change, pushed climate action back onto the US policy agenda. Costs are piling up, with one recent estimate of $1.2 trillion per year in global damages already from climate change and related environmental costs from a carbon-intensive economy.
Reactions to the federal budget presented in March differed in Québec in comparison with the rest of the provinces. In this text we will first review the budget as whole before zooming into measures which caused a big uproar in Québec.
In its latest budget, the government brought to the fore an already-existing manpower training measure and simply altered the way money is distributed. The apparent simplicity of this year’s budget, however, masks the failures of the government’s economic strategy in the past few years and raises doubts concerning new initiatives, particularly with respect to labour-sponsored funds and to investment in infrastructure.
The following is based on a talk at the Bring Your Boomers election forum on April 3 at the Rio Theatre in Vancouver, the fourth in a series of intergenerational dialogues from Gen Why Media, and was co-sponsored by the CCPA, Get Your Vote On, LeadNow and Vancity credit union. I was asked to set the stage for a conversation on climate justice between three youth and five politicians seeking office in the coming election.
BC’s 2013 election comes at an important moment in history. Worldwide, extreme weather events from drought to floods to powerful storms and record-breaking temperatures are making a powerful statement that climate change can no longer be denied.
Some myths are just so hard to debunk. For instance, people in Québec generally assume that they are the most taxed in North America. IRIS tackled the well-rehearsed allegation in a recently published socio-economic notice. The reply resounded of what Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky have presented in Manufacturing Consent as flak. Here’s a short demonstration of how strongly myths are defended in Québec nowadays.
Our demonstration was quite simple. We compared tax rates in various countries using OECD methodology. At the OECD, they compare the net tax burden for eight typical households. We calculated the net tax burden of all eight OECD-selected households (explained in Table 1) in Québec and compared each with the net tax burden found in the other countries.
Divestment from fossil fuels is an idea whose time has come. Sparked by Bill McKibben’s Rolling Stone article last summer, “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math”, divestment campaigns are now up and running on over 300 university campuses in the US, with 4 early victories already notched. Students in Canada have declared tomorrow (March 27) Fossil Fools Day, a national day of action, with many campuses launching divestment campaigns.
March 25th, 2013 · CCPA-NS · Economy & Economic Indicators, Employment and Labour, Gender Equality, Household Debt, Housing, Maritime Provinces, Nova Scotia, Poverty and Income Inequality
The Nova Scotia provincial government is set to introduce its promised balanced budget this year. The Nova Scotia Alternative Budget, released today, proposes some concrete choices rooted in Nova Scotia communities. Rather than pay down debt, the NS-APB prioritizes balancing the social debt threatening Nova Scotia.
Can a budget really be considered balanced when unemployment is 9.3%, and 47,000 Nova Scotians are ready, willing, and actively looking for work that isn’t there?
March 21st, 2013 · Kate McInturff · Child Care, Employment and Labour, Federal Budget, Gender Equality
The Finance Minister got a new pair of shoes. Canadians got a new federal budget. And women in Canada got another haircut.
Budget 2013 is all about Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! And who wouldn’t like a job. Maybe some training. Maybe even a full-time job. With benefits. And a pension plan. Oh go crazy, let’s throw in equal pay.
Not so fast girls! NO JOB FOR YOU!
1. Women and the Extractive Industry