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  • A critical look at BC’s new tax breaks and subsidies for LNG May 7, 2019
    The BC government has offered much more to the LNG industry than the previous government. Read the report by senior economist Marc Lee.  
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • The 2019 living wage for Metro Vancouver April 30, 2019
    The 2019 living wage for Metro Vancouver is $19.50/hour. This is the amount needed for a family of four with each of two parents working full-time at this hourly rate to pay for necessities, support the healthy development of their children, escape severe financial stress and participate in the social, civic and cultural lives of […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Time to regulate gas prices in BC and stop industry gouging April 29, 2019
    Drivers in Metro Vancouver are reeling from record high gas prices, and many commentators are blaming taxes. But it’s not taxes causing pain at the pump — it’s industry gouging. Our latest research shows that gas prices have gone up by 55 cents per litre since 2016 — and the vast majority of that increase […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA welcomes Randy Robinson as new Ontario Director March 27, 2019
    The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is pleased to announce the appointment of Randy Robinson as the new Director of our Ontario Office.  Randy’s areas of expertise include public sector finance, the gendered rise of precarious work, neoliberalism, and labour rights. He has extensive experience in communications and research, and has been engaged in Ontario’s […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 2019 Federal Budget Analysis February 27, 2019
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis  Aim high, spend low: Federal budget 2019 by David MacDonald (CCPA) Budget 2019 fiddles while climate crisis looms by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (CCPA) Budget hints at priorities for upcoming […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

Progressive, pro-family, pro-growth

A good parental leave system makes children more affordable, and improves gender equity in the labour force and at home.

In Quebec, parental leave innovations include time reserved solely for the father, higher replacement rates, and flexibility. This has dramatically increased the number of fathers taking parental leaves, which in turn has a long-term impact on the distribution of labour within the home. (It may also have contributed to Quebec’s shrinking pay gap – which is happening at a time when the gender pay gap in the rest of Canada is stagnating.)

While it is clear that “use-it-or-lose-it” parental leave for fathers will nudge more of them to take leave, research shows that higher replacement rates make a difference as well.

A Statistics Canada review of European parental leave programs shows that take-up rates for parental leaves are lower where replacement rates are low.

“since men, on average, earn more than women, families may be dissuaded from having the father claim parental leave because of the greater financial burden (Moss and O’Brien 2006).”

This is why I was so excited to see the Newfoundland and Labrador NDP propose  a substantial top-up to parental leave (from 55% to 80%), paid from provincial coffers. The province is facing a declining birthrate, and has been hard-hit by the falling price of oil.

This is exactly the kind of policy that supports families in their choices, but works against the structural economic forces that disadvantage women. Bravo, NL NDP for a well-designed, feminist & progressive policy.

Let’s hope other provinces are paying attention.

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