Ontario politics in the coming months are set to revolve around a debate on whether taxes should be raised to pay for a massive expansion of public transit and transportation infrastructure in the highly urbanized and acutely congested Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), home to about half of the province’s population.
On behalf of the Broadbent Institute, I’d like to congratulate the Canadian Auto Workers and the Canadian Energy and Paperworkers’ Union on today’s launch of their new union, Unifor.
A strong and effective labour movement is critical for the prosperity of all Canadians. This bold move today is important not just for Unifor’s 300,000 members, but for the future of Canada itself.
The Broadbent Institute looks forward to working with Unifor over the years ahead for good jobs, a renewed democracy, and a sustainable and prosperous Canada.
Canada’s Economic Action Plan is being widely advertised this National Hockey League playoff season, but it is hardly working as advertised. It needs to be rethought in light of new thinking about the costs of austerity.
While the feel-good ads would have us think that the famous “Plan” is generating growth and jobs, last week’s Labour Force Survey showed that we have lost almost 100,000 paid jobs in the private sector since December.
By Leo W. Gerard, International President, United Steelworkers.
This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post.
President Obama went to Austin, Texas, last week in pursuit of an industrial and employment revival. He wants to launch manufacturing institutes to foster American innovation and job creation.
Republicans responded by ridiculing the president, in the same arrogant way that the blooded aristocrats on the British television series Downton Abbey scorned a chauffeur who sought to marry into the patrician Crawley family. "No opportunity for the downtrodden!" the GOP and wealthy vow.
Brian Lee Crowley’s recent column in the Globe and Mail shows that he's a glass-half-full kinda guy. He says 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 the 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 has been limited to a few at the top end.
Hidden deep in the bowels of the Fraser Institute in Vancouver, there is an elaborate contraption known as “the Canadian Tax Simulator.” It generates the data for “the Canadian Consumer Tax Index,” an annual report that supposedly tells us how much tax is paid by the average Canadian family.
The latest report was released just before the income tax filing deadline of April 30. Taxes, we were told, are shockingly high as a proportion of family income, and now loom larger than spending on the necessities of life.
*CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY*
Last September, the Broadbent Institute issued a major discussion paper Towards a More Equal Canada, which addressed the issue of rising economic inequality. For every $1 increase in national earnings over the past twenty years, more than 30 cents have gone to the top 1% of earners, while 70 cents have had to be shared among the bottom 99%. Middle class incomes have now been stagnant for thirty years.
There’s no doubt that low-income people, especially children and their parents, are better off because of social unionism’s strong tradition in Canada. At all levels, unions take the lead in pressing for public policies such as decent minimum wages, fair labour practices and progressive public services that support families when they are in the labour force and when they are not.