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  • The 2018 Living Wage for Metro Vancouver April 25, 2018
    The cost of raising a family in British Columbia increased slightly from 2017 to 2018. A $20.91 hourly wage is needed to cover the costs of raising a family in Metro Vancouver, up from $20.61 per hour in 2017 due to soaring housing costs. This is the hourly wage that two working parents with two young children […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Mobility pricing must be fair and equitable for all April 12, 2018
    As Metro Vancouver’s population has grown, so have its traffic congestion problems. Whether it’s a long wait to cross a bridge or get on a bus, everyone can relate to the additional time and stress caused by a transportation system under strain. Mobility pricing is seen as a solution to Metro Vancouver’s transportation challenges with […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Budget 2018: The Most Disappointing Budget Ever March 14, 2018
    Premier Pallister’s Trump-esque statement that budget 2018 was going to be the “best budget ever” has fallen a bit flat. Instead of a bold plan to deal with climate change, poverty and our crumbling infrastructure, we are presented with two alarmist scenarios to justify further tax cuts and a lack of decisive action: the recent […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 2018 Federal Budget Analysis February 14, 2018
    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 Some baby steps for dad and big steps forward for women, by Kate McInturff (CCPA) An ambition constrained budget, by David Macdonald (CCPA) Five things […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CED in Manitoba - The Video January 29, 2018
    Community Economic Development in Manitoba - nudging capitalism out of the way?
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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Archive for 'temporary workers'

Precarious work, Federal government edition

There was a recent article in the Hill Times about temporary workers in the federal public service, noting that this number is growing even under Trudeau’s sunny ways (that’s not entirely fair, the report only covered the first 5 months of the Liberal’s tenure). The numbers come from the Privy Council clerk’s annual report, which […]

Grocery Wars: Lessons from Canada’s Changing Retail Landscape

As Target Canada tumbled into bankruptcy, Loblaw announced that its fourth-quarter profits more than doubled. What can be learned from this tale of two retailers? The main reason for Loblaw’s surge was its acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart last March, which turned it into Canada’s largest grocer and pharmacy chain.  Shoppers contributed $3 billion to […]

Of Rising Tides and Sinking Boats

Recently, Minister Kenney took to twitter to defend his decision to limit the number of precarious workers entering Alberta through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Again, the minister is to be applauded for his grasp of the situation. His changes do little to fix the actual problem though. The evidence that he cited was the […]

Should Welfare Recipients Try Harder to Find Work?

This morning the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation released a new report about “motivational interviewing” for welfare recipients.  The link to the full report is here, and the link to the executive summary is here. Authored by Reuben Ford, Jenn Dixon, Shek-wai Hui, Isaac Kwakye and Danielle Patry, the study reports on a recent randomized […]

Is Canada becoming a ‘part-time’ nation – the value of LMI

Most of the jobs added to the Canadian labour market in 2014 were part-time – prompting headlines such as “Experts fret Canada becoming a nation of part-time workers“. Are we really a part-time nation? Well, 80% of workers in Canada are full-time, and a large majority of part-time workers choose to work part-time hours. So, […]

More Evidence that Temporary Foreign Worker Program Takes Jobs Away from Canadians

Yet another report, this time by SFU Public Policy Professor Dominique M. Gross, finds evidence that Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program is bad for domestic workers. The report looks at BC and Alberta specifically and concludes that the expansion of the TFW program between 2007 and 2010 resulted in an increase in unemployment levels by […]

Social Assistance in Canada

This week I am attending a conference entitled “Welfare Reform in Canada:  Provincial Social Assistance in Comparative Perspective,” organized by Professor Daniel Béland. The focus of the conference is “social assistance,” which typically encompasses both last-resort social assistance (i.e. ‘welfare’) and disability benefits.  In Ontario, the former is known as Ontario Works and the latter […]

Temporary Foreign Workers

Armine and I have some comments in today’s Toronto Star article on Temporary Foreign Workers (page B1). Armine has been commenting extensively on this issue and my head talked for a few seconds on last night’s The National. Here is my online Globe and Mail op-ed: Reining In The Temporary Foreign Worker Program Reports of RBC […]

The Harper Government’s New Math

Every time this government crows about its job creation record, I cringe.  They have moved the finish line and declared victory.  No reason to worry about the unemployed here, folks.  Let’s move on to more public service cuts, and/or tax cuts. Never mind that unemployment has been in and around 7.4% since the spring of […]

Fewer Unemployed Eligible for Benefits

The annual Employment Insurance Coverage Survey is out, here.  The rate of eligibility for regular benefits from Employment Insurance is the lowest since 2003, the earliest year that there is comparable data. To qualify, a person must have worked in the past 12 months and contributed to Employment Insurance, they must have left their job for a […]

Temporary Foreign Workers and the Labour Market

Further to recent commentary regarding the Harper government’s dramatic expansion of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TWF) program, consider this shocking factoid: Even before the expansion of the program envisioned in the current omnibus “budget” bill, temporary foreign workers (who do not have the same rights as other Canadian workers, and whose presence here depends entirely […]

While You Were Sleeping: Fed Policies Make It Easier to Hire a Cheaper You

A shorter version of this article appeared today in the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab Have you noticed how common it has become to talk about replacing workers with even cheaper workers? If you’re looking over your shoulder, you’re not paranoid; you’re paying attention. There’s probably a cheaper you out there.  And in Canada, the […]

Who’s a bigger drag on Canada’s future? The old or the young?

This is my latest column for Canadian Business magazine.  Giorgio, a hard-working, smart-as-a-whip University of Toronto student, asked me a great question after a recent guest lecture: What if the biggest challenge facing Canadian businesses and governments in the coming years isn’t an aging society but the economic and fiscal drag of hundreds of thousands […]

In the Wake of the Crisis: Bully Capitalism

A shorter version of this article appears today at Economy Lab, the Globe and Mail’s on-line business feature.  Capitalism has entered an ugly new era, one that may work well for the shareholders of world, but not for the rest of us. I couldn’t help but notice that, on the very same day Caterpillar shuttered […]

Reforming Ontario’s Universities

I have just finished reading a 2009 book entitled Academic Transformation:  The Forces Reshaping Higher Education in Ontario.  The book, written by Ian Clark, Greg Moran, Michael Skolnik and David Trick, has received a fair bit of attention among post-secondary (PSE) wonks.  While I find it informative, I am uncomfortable with the book’s central feature:  a proposal to […]

The Continuing Rise of Temporary Work

I made a short presentation on the disturbing rise of temporary work last week. It seems the cutting edge of the new normal is to be found in our schools, colleges and universities. As most of us would know or strongly suspect, paid work has become more casualized or precarious over time as the standard employment […]

The Temporary Recovery

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Is Canada Facing Acute Skill Shortages?

Given the rapid expansion of the temporary foreign worker program and the frequent complaints of employers that workers are hard to find, one might expect that Government of Canada research would support the view that there are, and will continue to be, pervasive skill shortages. Yet this is not the case. The most recent ten […]

The Economist on Temporary Foreign Workers

Today’s edition of The Economist magazine includes a good article on temporary foreign workers in Canada. It extensively quotes Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour. The present regime allows employers to import workers from abroad without seriously demonstrating the unavailability of Canadian workers for the job. Once the foreign workers are in […]

The Strange Economics of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

I and David Green from UBC have commented on this topic before. A key question is why we have a program to bring in temporary  workers at the prevailing wage, rather than let rising real wages signal job opportuntities and appropriate adjustments in the job market. Bringing in so-called unskilled temporary workers is of concern […]

More on the strange economics of temporary foreign workers

The Alberta Federation of Labour reports that more people now coming into province as temporary workers than traditional immigrants. From their press release: Alberta has become the first province in Canadian history to bring more people into its jurisdiction under the temporary foreign worker program than through Canada’s mainline immigration system. According to new figures […]

More on the Strange Economics of Temporary Foreign Workers

Further to my and David Green’s posts on the strange economics of temporary foreign workers .. http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2007/02/08/the-strange-economics-of-temporary-foreign-workers/ http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2007/06/28/the-economics-of-temporary-foreign-workers/  it is strking to observe that such workers are NOT overwhelmingly concentrated in the Western provinces with well below average unemployment rates. In fact, data presented to an Alberta consultation on the program by the Alberta Federation […]

The economics of temporary foreign workers

A dispatch from UBC labour economist, David Green: Wages, Markets and Temporary Workers David A. Green Last November, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced a scheme to speed up the processing of temporary workers for Alberta and British Columbia. The Minister appears to have been concerned with ongoing reports of large numbers […]