Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left
Also see: Turkish Fighter Jets Target Kurdish Rebels | The New York Times
The link address is: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/28/us-libya-security-idUSKCN0Q20UP20150728
Unfortunately, debates around regionalization of social welfare and insurance benefits tend to end poorly for workers. Last year, the Mowat Centre flagged similar issues, saying that the EI system discriminated against Toronto workers. While this is true, the disparities have to do with the way the EI system calculates benefits. If the call is to eliminate all regional disparities then the only fair way to set it would be to give every laid-off worker access to their EI money. There is no point in trying to regionally balance the percentages of workers that get left out.
Critics of nationally funded programs are always quick to point out regional differences in allocation and say it is unfair. Then those same liberal think tanks "encourage labour mobility", a red flag for anyone in the Atlantic or rural areas of Canada. Encouraging labour mobility means pushing workers to move to areas where there is work (of any type, short and long-term). This is not how you build a sustainable economy.
The Labour Movement has been calling for proper consultations with workers and communities about how best to manage unemployment support. Unions want workers' experiences with unemployment and precarious work incorporated into a social welfare system that ensures people don't bear all the risk of the current economic system.
Labour is calling for the previous budgets' changes be scrapped and the following reforms brought in:
- Reduce the number of qualifying hours (for regular benefits) to 360 hours, no matter who workers are or where they live and work in Canada.
- Measure a “week” as 30 hours instead of 35 when calculating benefit levels and duration, to reflect the average Canadian work week.
- Increase the benefits period to 50 weeks.
- Increase benefits to at least 60% of earnings being replaced calculated on a worker’s best 12 weeks.
The Board is required to protect the rights of all stakeholders, but the Liberals had eliminated the previous board's right to do exactly that. The letter says the process undermined shareholder rights and the stability of financial markets in Ontario.
In response to the letter, the Liberals changed their board process twice in five days, presumably after getting it wrong the first two times. Does anyone trust that they've now gotten it right?
This fumbling should not surprise anyone as the Liberals have a long history of failure when it comes to privatization. Think gas plants, Ornge, and the $8 billion wasted through public-private partnerships.
In additon to their fumbling, the Liberal's privatization narrative contains more than a few inconsistencies. It jumps from saying that government revenue from high Hydro One is important, to saying that the loss of revenue from the sale is minor. It says rates cannot be regulated under public ownership, but lower rates can be effectively regulated if it is private. And, they claim to think it is not worth it for the province to own Hydro One, but it is a super valuable investment for the financial community.
In the end, Ontarians will be on the hook – paying too much for their power, getting lower quality service, and freezing in the winter while the rich get richer.
The link address is: http://www.blogto.com/city/2015/07/black_lives_matter_protest_shuts_down_allen_road/
What's the goal of the UCCB? If it's to help parents find and afford quality child care, it's a solid policy fail. Many parents are left in a serious child care bind with regulated spaces available for only 22.5 per cent of children 0-5.
And then there's the question of affordability. In 2012, the Canada-wide median monthly fee was $761 for infant care – skyrocketing to a whopping $1,152 in Ontario. In Toronto, it's even higher at $1,676/month.
So, how will the UCCB help with child care costs in Ontario? If you can actually find a regulated space, the $160/month UCCB for children under the age of sixteen will cover just 14% of the median cost of an infant space. That's without counting the taxes on the UCCB.
Public policy is about choices. If you took the combined costs of the enhanced UCCB and the equally ill-considered income splitting policy, you could actually cover a $7/day child care program in all provinces outside Quebec (which has an existing, equivalently priced program).
The Conservatives say #YourKidsYourWay. Well, "Our kids, Our way" involves a universal, affordable and quality child care system.
Contribution to What's Left by Sarah Ryan
Infographic: Two Child Care Plans: Same cost, real difference
The link address is: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/07/jeremy-corbyn-labour-left/
The link address is: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/07/tsipras-debt-germany-troika-memorandum/
Also see: Why Boston won't be hosting the 2024 Olympics after all | The Christian Science Monitor
And: With Boston out of 2024 Olympics race, an opening for Toronto? | The Boston Globe