Broadbent Institute releases new report: “Union Communities, Healthy Communities”
OTTAWA--The right-wing’s regressive anti-union rhetoric and U.S. styled attacks on the labour movement threatens Canada’s prosperity, says a new report by the Broadbent Institute. The report, Union Communities, Healthy Communities debunks the conservative movement’s attacks on labour and makes the case that unions are vital to stable economic growth.
"The current right-wing attack on the labour movement is part of an attack on all progressives in Canada,” explained Executive Director Rick Smith. “Unions have been a major force for a more democratic, inclusive and sustainable Canada, and the progressive movement as a whole must strongly defend labour rights."
The report builds on the Broadbent Institute’s Equality Project in highlighting how unions have contributed an equalizing effect and helped to create broad-based prosperity. Unions successfully promoted fair wages, decent working conditions, social programs, and public services which benefit all citizens – not just unionized works.
"Economic research shows that unions are a major force for greater equality, and that a strong labour movement benefits all Canadians,” said Senior Policy Advisor Andrew Jackson. “Unions have been a force for progressive community change.”
In the coming days, the Broadbent Institute will release a series of responses to this paper written by a number of prominent Canadians from outside the trade union movement.
Admirers and detractors of Margaret Thatcher can agree that she will be remembered as one of the key political architects of our times. Along with her soulmate, U.S. President Ronald Reagan, she broke decisively with the post-war Keynesian welfare state and ushered in the still-enduring age of neo-liberalism.
This morning La Presse published a stunning statement by Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver. He stated “I think that people aren’t as worried as they were before about 2° C of warming” (my translation).
Really? To recap, 2° C is the absolute upper limit that climate scientists suggest the world can reach before we introduce the danger of runaway climate change because of feedback effects such as the releases of natural carbon sinks. If we go beyond 2° C we might not be able to turn climate change around.
Comparing inequality between societies is useful, if only to remind us that inequality is not like gravity: there is no “law of inequality”. Political choices matter. True, worsening inequality trends across the OECD countries indicate important structural forces are at work in labour markets and in making it harder for governments to redistribute wealth. But significant variation persists between countries, meaning that we are not fated to become ever more deeply unequal.