Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- PressProgress reports on federal government focus groups indicating the twin problems of precarious employment and high costs of living:
According to recently published public opinion research commissioned by the Privy Council Office (PCO) newly reviewed by PressProgress, the Trudeau government’s own internal research shows Canadians are most worried about rising living costs, stagnant wages and job insecurity.

Three cycles of focus groups, one for each of January, February, and March 2019, were polled by the market research firm Corporate Research Associates Inc., on behalf of the PCO — the bureaucratic arm of the Prime Minister’s Office.
Among young Canadians, the researchers found youth consistently pointed to a lack of “suitable, full-time employment,”

“There was a clear perception that youth face many challenges that did not exist in the past,” the report notes, adding that in addition to precarious job market, young Canadians are worried about “the high cost (and resulting debt) of education” and a “perceived inability to ever own their own home.”

However, the report notes young Canadians believe government action can help address affordability issues: “When considering how government could help young adults, the greatest emphasis was placed on actions that would help make life more affordable.”

The report says that “it was felt that these issues could be addressed by government through housing assistance programs, rent control policies, increasing minimum wage and supporting the diversification of the economy.”
- Veena Dubal offers a warning as to how vulnerable workers and citizens will be corporate giants become their landlords as well as their employers and service providers. And Jim Rankin reports on the debt bondage used to control migrant workers in Canada.

- Ethan Earle, Manuel Pérez-Rocha and Scott Sinclair discuss what a progressive trade agenda should include - particularly a focus on human rights rather than corporate profits.

- Anne Kingston discusses the connection between the purging of any women premiers from Canada's political scene and the Trudeau Libs' choice to break its promise of electoral reform with messages about the need for one-man government.

- Finally, Gary Younge looks to Syriza as a cautionary tale as to how progressive parties need to plan to build movements to push for social change, not merely hope that electoral success will be sufficient to bring about that result.

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