September 2013

Merit Canada’s low-wage, low-skills plan for the Canadian construction industry

Having successfully lobbied the Conservative government to repeal the federal Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act, Merit Canada now wants the Conservative government to enact what is ostensibly a “low-wage policy”. It’s an effort that threatens to drive down labour standards for all workers, erode wages, and imperil the long-term health of the construction industry.

The Repeal of the Fair Wages Act

The Conservative government repealed the Fair Wages and Hours of Labour Act with a single line in their 425-page omnibus budget Bill C-38. The Fair Wages Act set...

Upstream: talking differently about health

Social factors play a significant role in determining whether we will be healthy or ill. Our health care is but one element of what makes the biggest difference in health outcomes. This has been understood for centuries, and empirically validated in recent decades with study after study demonstrating health inequalities between wealthy and disadvantaged populations. 

Yet political conversations about health still tend to fall into familiar traps. When we talk about health we return by reflex to doctors and nurses, hospitals and pharmacies. And when we talk about politics ...

Manning, Hudak, and the folly of attacks on labour

On September 16th, Preston Manning published an article on the recent defeat of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) at the hands of the conservative Liberal-National coalition in the Globe and Mail. Left-wing governments destroy healthy economies, he told us, they 'binge' on stimulus spending, are soft on unions, govern badly and can’t manage environmental policy.

Never mind Manning’s false characterization of economic mismanagement by the left, or his convenient exclusion of the many failures, social and economic, of the laissez-faire policies of the right — his analysis of the...