Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Terry Pedwell reports that young workers who were apparently expected to provide Justin Trudeau with a public relations backdrop instead delivered an important dose of reality by protesting his appearance. And Angella MacEwen points out that contrary to the Libs' spin, there's in fact plenty a government can do to combat precarious work and financial insecurity:
I would advise the economic council to take a look at Senator Bellemare’s work on full employment, and Professor Marc Lavoie’s work on wage led growth. It might lead them in a policy direction that will benefit both growth and well-being.

For example, transfers such as the Canada Child Benefit will help to reduce poverty and inequality. Expanding the Working Income Tax Benefit would help make work pay, and make life a little easier for the working poor.

Expanding the social safety net by improving CPP will help down the road, and it absolutely reduces the stress of precarity when workers know they will have that pension when they retire.  The current design of Employment Insurance amplifies and exacerbates labour market inequalities, and ideally a social insurance system would work to dampen existing inequalities. A lower entrance requirement & minimum benefit level would go a long way to doing that.

The federal government could use Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDAs) with the provinces to provide more opportunities for training and re-training – and better supports for non-EI eligible workers who need access to basic numeracy and literacy training through Labour Market Agreements (LMAs).

High quality public services and social services are critical. I cannot overstate the need for more affordable childcare spaces in Canada, and the beneficial impact this would have on precarious workers.
- Thomas Walkom suggests that some of the federal-provincial tension on health care can be alleviated by including home care under the list of core services administered under the Canada Health Act.

- But sadly (if less than surprisingly), the Libs couldn't seem less interested in public solutions to social problems - as Brent Patterson highlights the latest indication that Justin Trudeau has decided to ignore the anti-social nature of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, while David McDonald points out that the Libs' push toward privatization and outsourcing is contrary to the international trend in public service delivery.

- Susan Delacourt notes that amidst plenty of valid concern about the influence of money on politics, we could substantially eliminate that problem by restoring public funding.

- Finally, Monia Mazigh rightly argues that it's long past time to repeal Bill C-51. Craig Forcese examines (and offers some important warnings about) the use of secret national security laws in Canada. And Jeremy Nuttall offers some suggestions to modernize public access to information.

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