Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Armine Yalnizyan points to the Law Commission of Ontario's proposals to make sure that labour laws don't stack the deck against workers, and encourages citiznes to have their own say:
The truth is, most people don’t know anything about their legal rights as workers, and even if you do, it’s a difficult system to navigate. Putting aside the costs and serious backlog in the courts, if you don’t have a union backing you, you know you’ll get fired if you complain. So most people just quit one lousy job and….end up in another.

But that simply emboldens bully employers. So it’s really up to the rest of us to become more aware of these situations and talk about them, as this process triggered by the Law Commission of Ontario hopes to do.

They are inviting response and your ideas on how to improve the legislation, or better enforce them.  You can check out their website and weigh in with your views by October 1.
- And of course, the Saskatchewan NDP is working to ensure that citizens have an opportunity to speak out here as well. Which stands in stark contrast to the Harper Cons' longtime plan to silence anybody who didn't read from their own talking points (as pointed out by Keith Reynolds).

- But as important as it is for citizens to be able to speak out, it also matters who decides whether or not to listen to us. And on that front, I'll have to disagree with Adam Radwanski's belief that a trend of political offices being placed in corporate hands somehow offers any particular reason for hope - as it only seems likely to ensure that the business elite continues to run roughshod over everybody else.

- And Kev provides a prime example of how public policy has been designed to fail people who most need it - as Ontario's basic social assistance amounts aren't even enough to cover housing (let alone other basic needs) in much of the province.

- Finally, on a more optimistic note, Aaron Wherry writes about Jack Layton's final letter to Canadians, and how it's still serving to inspire plenty of people as we approach the anniversary of his passing.

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