- Angella MacEwen rightly slams the Cons' attempt to use Employment Insurance funds as a subsidy for employers at the expense of workers. And Don Lenihan sees the Cons' structure as a cynical means of trying to claim success by ignoring the actual purpose of funding for training:
This reassignment of resources from one social group to another is neither open nor transparent. On the contrary, as we’ve seen, the CJG requires an investment by the sponsoring employer. The unspoken point here is that employers are highly unlikely to sponsor anyone other than their own employees or an individual they already planned to hire.- Meanwhile, Annie Jollymore writes about the damage done to those same most vulnerable citizens who are stuck in poverty - while proposing a means of setting up support systems which make it easier to overcome barriers to long-term planning.
In short, the program criteria will engineer a huge selection effect that will effectively remove highly vulnerable people from the programs.
Will this lead to better employment outcomes? Well, technically, yes … but it’s like the university student who drives up his GPA by signing up for “bird courses” and avoiding the hard ones.
The provinces are right to resist. Indeed, they have no real alternative. To endorse the program in its present form would be to send a devastating message about the government’s willingness to abandon its most vulnerable citizens.
- Paul Waldie reports on Canada's ignominious place at the bottom of a ranking of developed countries for environmental protection - not to mention our status as the only country which has gone backwards since 2003. And Chantal Hebert reminds us that the Harper Cons' consistent anti-environment message has contributed to other countries' decisions about Canadian resources.
- Finally, Chris Selley compares the federal cabinet of 25 years ago - which contained genuinely differing viewpoints which were all taken into account in policy development - to the current assumption that mindless repetition of talking points is the only relevant qualification.