Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- The CCPA's Christopher Schenk offers up a detailed response to the Sask Party's attacks on workers, featuring this conclusion:
In a period of widening inequality restrictive labour laws are blatantly unnecessary and regressive. Indeed, their consideration is shocking when one considers that 34% of the workforce has neither full-time work nor job security, but occupies jobs that are termed contingent or precarious, including casual employment, irregular part time work, contract work, temporary work and self employment... This growing percentage of the workforce, which generally receives low pay and no benefits, needs an economic lift and unionization, not laws that negatively impact living standards. The literature discussed above strongly suggests that RTW-type laws, contrary to Rand formula-based laws, are both inefficient and serve to slow economic growth. Saskatchewan and the rest of Canada need to move away from austerity policies and weak economic recovery and toward environmentally sustainable economic growth that allows those who need and want to work to do so in a more democratic, equitable society. Unionization contributes to this end and labour laws should respond accordingly.
- Eric Grenier criticizes an increased level of partisanship in Parliamentary statements by members. But I'll note that there's a happy medium to be found between dispensing talking points and Grenier's mention of "(wishing) good luck to the contestants in that year’s edition of Canadian Idol" as an example of civility. And so the better measure of whether MPs are making effective use of their opportunities should probably be how many actually talk about policy, rather than how many use the time for messages that are of little relevance to functions of government.

- pogge comments on how the Cons are going ever further in trying to shut down the flow of any information which might reveal what they're doing while in power - with Kevin Page's Parliamentary Budget Office being frozen out just as thoroughly as the opposition and the public.

- Finally, Murray Mandryk rightly points out some examples of how a lack of investment in needed infrastructure can have direct and disastrous consequences for citizens. And Heather Scoffield reports that investing in housing in particular can save far higher costs of providing emergency services.

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