Friday, July 03, 2015

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Jerry Dias sees the forced passage of an unamended Bill C-377 as a definitive answer in the negative to the question of whether the Senate will ever justify its own existence. And Nora Loreto emphasizes that the bill has no purpose other than to attack unions:
The amendments contained in C-377 to the Income Tax Act are sweeping, broad and idiotic. If Canadians need any example that the Harper Conservatives care more about personal vendettas than good governance, the proof is wrapped up in C-377.

C-377 requires a ridiculous level of compliance from labour organizations and trusts. It forces unions, labour organizations, labour federations, organizations comprised of different unions, labour trusts and professional associations to publically report all expenditures of over $5000 and itemize exactly what that the money was dedicated to.

Everyone's salaries, everyone's timesheets and all contracts will be made public. This places an enormous burden on the bureaucratic structures of the labour movement.
It's easy to see why the Harper Conservatives hate unions. Unions are the final major roadblock in their campaign to fully transform Canada. Unions demand rights for working people, decent wages and benefits, all which constitute barriers towards full-scale and unregulated resource extraction and international trade deals.

Unionization and labour rights are fundamental within a free and democratic society. The ability of working people to gather, elect their own leadership and direct their own political campaigns is a tenet of democracy. It is the membership who has the right to make demands of the leadership; no one else.
- Meanwhile, Daniel Tencer points out that public service workers and unionized workers tend to have the type of secure retirement we should all be able to plan on. And May Warren reports on the effects of precarious work in Guelph.

- Iman Sheikh writes that immigrants to Canada tend to be disproportionately healthy on arrival only to see their health decline - which surely signals there's far more work to do in making sure new Canadians have access to needed social supports.

- Charles Mandel interviews Bill McKibben about Canada's obstructionist role in global climate talks under the Harper Cons. But Kim Covert notes that the precedent recently set by a Dutch court in mandating emission reductions could well be followed here if our politicians don't live up to their responsibilities first.

- Finally, Michael Grunwald examines the most recent leak from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, including its massive handouts to big pharma at the expense of the health care system of every participating country. And the CCPA's latest issue of the Monitor nicely covers the false promise and serious damage done by trade agreements.

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