August 2014

Progressives and the future of the labour movement

Labour day is an appropriate time to reflect on the accomplishments of the labour movement -- and the challenges that lie ahead.

There is increased recognition that strong unions were a key pillar of the period of shared prosperity, which lasted for some 30 years from the 1950s through the 1970s. Unions negotiated wage and benefit increases in line with growing productivity, and these gains gradually spread to non-union workplaces.

Unions made Canada a much more equal society by raising the wages of formerly low-paid workers; by narrowing pay differences, including between...

Where is Canada's (clean) energy strategy?

Premiers have been working on collaborative energy strategies in one form or another since 2007, and their energy conversation now looks like it’s poised to continue for another year. But despite its frequent appearance on the Council of the Federation’s agenda, it’s fair to ask why Canada needs a national strategy for energy at all.

Any kind of Canada-wide “strategy” risks sounding like more talk than action. And with Canada often described as an energy powerhouse —...

Ferguson: Not so far away

Picture this: it's about midnight, and two black men are walking up the street in their neighbourhood after enjoying a meal out.

Up ahead in the distance, four young white men, guitars on their backs and shoulders, are walking on the street. The two black men notice a Toronto Police Services car coming south towards them. The car passes the young white men, but as it approaches the two black men, it slows down deliberately. The two officers look at the black men, making sure the men see their stare, as they continue to drive slowly down the street.

My partner and I now...