December 2014

Workers need a New Year's raise

Wages in Canada and the other advanced economies are about as flat as left-over champagne in the glass on New Year's Day. This poses a major threat to a sustained economic recovery.

During the four years from 2009 through 2013, average hourly wages adjusted for inflation rose by a grand total of just 2.3%, or by about one half of 1% per year. Real wages rose by a total of only 0.9% in Ontario and 1.1% in Quebec over those four years, though by a healthier but still unimpressive 4.8% in Alberta.

It seems that 2014 will turn out to be a year in which real wages fell....

The ideological roots of Harper's opposition to child care

After enduring well over a decade of broken promises, the prospects for publicly-funded child care in Canada looked good in the autumn of 2005.

The Paul Martin government proposed to create thousands of new day-care spaces and had also negotiated deals with most provinces and territories to turn a patch-work of often poor-quality services into a system of early learning and child care with national standards.

Then Stephen Harper won the election. The program was turfed and replaced by Harper’s ...

Anti-union bill shows Conservative disregard for evidence, democratic institutions

Canadians like their labour law the way they like their touques – sturdy and designed to protect. 

As a result, Canadian lawmakers have a long history of consulting with labour and business before tinkering with existing law. This ensures predictability for employers and workers, and has been a hallmark of the Canadian system. A system that is internationally regarded as effective, fair, and most...