Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- Lana Payne sees reason for hope in the sheer breadth of citizens who are protesting against the Harper Cons:
Scientists. Doctors. Nuclear engineers. Academics. Researchers. Stephen Harper has a big problem.

He has ticked them all off. And they are not suffering their grievances or concerns for informed, fact-based public policy and decision-making, the environment, the health of Canada’s most vulnerable citizens and the safety of all of us in silence.

No. Instead they are protesting, marching, disrupting government news conferences. They are mobilizing.
(T)his is a prime minister and a government who have mobilized Canadians to take action, to protest, march and speak out. Canadians who would not normally do so. Canadians who care about the country, who care about how we treat the most vulnerable among us: the poor, the elderly. Who care about facts.
(T)he provinces have power. The premiers just need to figure out how they want to use it and whether they can agree among themselves how best to do so. This won’t be easy, but it is not impossible.

It will require courage and leadership and an understanding that Canada is truly great when we are more than the sum of our parts.

It’s time for the premiers to start fighting back. And when they do, Canadians, the vast majority of us, will be with them.
- But then, we can't assume that all provinces are particularly interested in hearing about the needs of Canada's most vulnerable citizens either - as sadly demonstrated by the Sask Party's decision to de-fund Equal Justice For All.

- Fortunately, at least some others are picking up the slack in documenting how people are affected by uncaring decision-makers. For example, Rob Rainer and Linda Silas discuss how inequality is making Canada sick.

- And the CAW looks into the job market facing laid-off manufacturing-sector workers, and finds that there's plenty of reason for concern:
A groundbreaking study tracking a group of laid off workers in Ontario shows that they continue to struggle to find decent jobs amidst the turmoil of the current labour market.

The final phase of the CAW's Worker Adjustment Tracking Study released earlier today shows that many laid off workers are forced into lower quality and more precarious jobs (including temp agency work), with a significant reduction in pay following the loss of good full-time employment.
Other study highlights include:
- Over 1 in 5 reported being without income for longer than one year;
- 31% reported their general health has deteriorated as a result of layoff;
- 48% reported they had done without something they needed in order to pay the rent or mortgage;
- Employment and job characteristics for most workers are poorer than in their previous jobs;
- Nearly 60% of those who completed job retraining programs found related employment.
 - Finally, Craig McInnes is the latest to weigh in on how Enbridge's utter irresponsibility in causing its Michigan spill should make us wary of its intentions in ramming through a Gateway pipeline.

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