Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Nora Loreto slams the Wynne Libs' "red tape" gimmick, while highlighting the need for people to claim a voice in rules largely intended to protect them as workers and consumers:
One person's red tape is another person's health and safety, but Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne hopes that workers won't make this connection.

Wynne's government has ripped off an initiative from the U.K. called the (cut the) Red Tape Challenge. It seeks input into how to get rid of regulations and save money in all aspects of Ontario's economy.

When the initiative was launched in March, Wynne was reported to have said this: "One of the conditions of success is to free up businesses from unnecessary paper work, inspections and reporting....This will give owners and employees more time to focus on growing their company's productivity and competitiveness and growing their business."

No word on whether or not the inspections that showed how widespread Employment Standards Act abuses are, are in Wynne's crosshairs.
If any unions have involved themselves in this process, or are actively boycotting it in protest, their communications has been buried by the communications of the Ontario government, because there doesn't seem to be anything out there. A crowdsourced campaign can be cheap and even fun to derail, and considering what's riding on the process's outcome, it's concerning that the Ontario Federation of Labour and other Ontario unions don't seem to have made this "challenge" a priority.

In Britain, union leaders called the Red Tape Challenge a red herring and a sham, and it seems nearly certain that the Ontario process deserves such labels too. For any money to be put into this dog and pony show is an outrage, especially one that has the potential to undermine workplace regulations that labour activists have fought for over generations.
- And Jeff Spross points out that the most lucrative crime in the U.S. is wage theft which seldom gives rise to meaningful punishment.

- Meanwhile, for those actually interested in making government more effective rather than merely reversing any attempt to protect the public interest, the Mowat Centre offers some useful ideas on how to improve public employment supports. And Sarah Tranum and Alia Weston suggest a few ways to better fit our social safety net to a precarious-work economy.

- Matt Phillips interviews Joseph Stiglitz about the failings of the Eurozone - and particularly the consequences of austerity being imposed by a foreign central bank with little apparent regard for any impact on citizens.

- Finally, the Star's editorial board rightly argues that any reasonable child protection system should aim to provide resources needed within a family, rather than taking children away from parents merely because they live in poverty. And Jordon Cooper weighs in on how the Saskatchewan Party's cuts to disability income serve little purpose other than to prevent vulnerable people from living with dignity.

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