Friday, May 17, 2019

Friday Evening Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- PressProgress digs into Statistics Canada's findings about precarious work in Canada, highlighting the connection between temporary work and subpar pay and working conditions:
According to a report by Statistics Canada, published Tuesday, the percentage of Canadian workers hired on temporary contracts increased from 11.8% in 1998 to 13% in 2018 — faster than the growth of permanent jobs over the last 20 years.

Those temporary jobs typically offer lower wages, fewer benefits and lower rates of unionization. Last year, the report notes, temporary employees earned on average $21.80 per hour, while permanent employees earned $27.71 per hour.
Data by Statistics Canada indicate that since the federal Liberals took office in 2015, the percentage of temporary workers remained between 13.3% and 13.7%. 

But this national trend hasn’t irked the federal government. Back in 2016, Liberal finance minister Bill Morneau said Canadian workers “have to accept” short-term and precarious employment.

However, as McQuarrie wrote in the Globe and Mail: “It’s a mistake to treat this as a norm we have to accept.”
- Karl Nerenberg points out how billions of dollars dumped into the criminal justice system would be far better spent improving the social conditions which actually cause crime. And Richard Florida discusses new research showing how children are far less healthy if they face lengthy commutes to school.

- Bill McKibben notes that we've wasted any time we had to spare in averting a climate breakdown, and need to start electing leaders committed to immediately dealing with the carbon crisis. Devon Rowcliffe writes about the need for Jagmeet Singh to become the top choice for voters looking for a just transition to a clean energy economy - including by challenging fossil fuel subsidies at the provincial level. And Eliza Barclay and Jag Bhalla offer responses to just a dozen of the most common (and painful) excuses to delay climate action.

- Meanwhile, Jason Warick reports on a study showing the Saskatchewan Party's pitiful record on environmental conservation. John Paul Tasker notes that Andrew Scheer's idea of energy policy is to force through pipelines that even the oil industry doesn't want. And Clare Hennig reports on a Senate committee's decision to ignore the votes of elected officials to try to push oil shipments along the B.C. coast.

- Finally, Adaner Usmani discusses how class struggle is necessary for the preservation of democracy. And Ezra Klein points out the increasing recognition among U.S. Democrats that counterweights to corporate power are essential to both political success and good governance.

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