- Sherri Torjman discusses how the the gig economy is based mostly on evading protections for workers - and how the both employment law and social programs need to catch up:
Much of the labour market is morphing into freelance or gigs. More and more Canadians are becoming free agents who cobble together bits of work in order to get by. Workers increasingly are juggling two, three or more casual jobs. Exhaustion and stress take their toll on health as the working day gets longer and precious family time erodes.- Meanwhile, Dan Darrah highlights the spread of unpaid internships as a factor dragging down wages for all kinds of younger workers.
These challenges are no different from those facing the current army of precarious workers in Canada, who earn low wages and have no job security, accident protection, sick leave or pensions. But the implications of the changing labour market may be bigger than quality of employment.
The new world of work is a less generous and less certain provider of these benefits. At the end of the day, governments may have to step in to fill the gaps in income adequacy, pension protection and health benefits that the new “gig economy” is leaving in its wake.
Perhaps all generations can agree that it makes no sense to slow down or stop technological innovation − especially with consumers embracing it full throttle.
But we do need to pay serious attention to improving the working conditions in the sharing economy. Only then can we all support this brave new world.
- Aravind Ganesh comments on the need for a focus on social determinants of health in providing care for seniors. And Canadian Doctors for Medicare offers a much-needed reminder that the federal government can't pretend anybody else has the jurisdiction to directly enforce the Canada Health Act.
- Tyler Clarke writes that Saskatchewan's municipalities can't afford the long-term corporate giveaways that come with P3 infrastructure schemes. And the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives studies the costs now being borne by Nova Scotia due to its earlier privatizing binge.
- Chris Mooney reports on new research showing that our atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has reached a new high with no apparent prospect of going back. And Suzanne Goldenberg and Helena Bengtsson expose how a single coal producer funded a web of climate denial.
-Finally, Yves Engler points out the damage Canadian mining firms are doing in Africa - and notes that if we in fact want to help the developing world, an end to a culture of corporate impunity would do far more than any number of self-promotional charity events.