Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material to start your week.

- The Star's editorial board writes that it's long past time for governments to stand up for people facing precarious work:
(P)recarious workers, many of them millennials, have been largely left behind by legislators who say the shift is inevitable and there’s nothing much that can or ought to be done about it.

But the consequences of this complacency are cruel. Two new studies paint bleak portraits of the economic circumstances of young workers and others struggling to get by in the new economy. Together, they suggest that while governments may not want or be able to stop the evolution now underway, they must move quickly to address widening gaps in worker protections, lest the better part of a generation fall through the cracks.
Ontario’s current experiment with a basic annual income is a welcome acknowledgement of this need, whether or not it’s the right policy. Ottawa, meanwhile, deserves credit for its investments in affordable housing, though it should reconsider its apparent aversion to universal daycare, pharmacare and dental-services programs, all of which have the power to protect workers from the worst threats of precarity.

The choice between workers and progress is a false one. Of course, governments can’t and shouldn’t want to stop innovation. But neither are they powerless to shape it or to protect workers from its worst consequences.
- Meanwhile, Michael Corkery reports on the disappearance of tens of thousands of jobs in the U.S.' retail sector as another area where workers are losing out. And Bill Curry reports on the Senate combination of Cons, Libs and independents who have teamed up to block workers in federal jurisdiction from organizing.

- Helen Ries and Jihan Abbas discuss the poverty traps designed to ensure Ontarians with disabilities can never achieve any personal financial security. And Emily Mathieu writes about a new study on the risk of homelessness among seniors.

- Stefani Langenegger reports on the Saskatchewan Party's unilateral decision to slash funding to community-based organizations with no regard for either health impacts or longer-term costs. And the CP reports on Ryan Meili's call to instead close our existing health gaps by providing proper funding both for health programs and community supports.

- Finally, David Reevely comments on the Trudeau Libs' insistence on keeping in place (or even expanding) every irrational element of the war on drugs while pretending to work on legalizing marijuana.

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