Principles - 1 Government Role

Replacement of Canadian workers with temporary foreign workers shows program still not fixed

The news earlier this month that 65 Canadian workers on an Oilsands project had been fired and replaced by temporary foreign workers shows that problems with the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) have still not been fixed.

Companies are only supposed to use the TFWP when there are no qualified Canadian workers. Firing Canadian workers and replacing them with temporary foreign workers is a clear violation of the rules.

Proposed changes to Canada Job Grant not enough

Even with the changes recently proposed by provincial governments, the introduction of the Canada Job Grant will still be a step backwards.

Under the original proposal for the Canada Job Grant, funding would be obtained by cutting $300 million from federal funding for provincial and territorial training programs. A 2013 evaluation found these programs have resulted in over 80 percent of trainees finding work.

Consensus on falling dollar raises question about why it took so long to fall

Economist Jim Stanford questions why it took so long for the over valuing of the Canadian dollar to end, given the consensus that the drop in its value is a good thing.

Norway's success shows the wealth Alberta could have

This month, Norway's oil revenue fund reached the point where every Norwegian is now a millionaire in Norwegian kroner. As an article in the Tyee shows, this is very different from what has happened with Alberta's oil revenue.

Federal inaction on green economy has consequences

A recent article from Blue Green Canada warned that the failure of the federal government to encourage a transition to a green economy will have consequences. One estimate suggested that low carbon goods and services could mean 400,000 jobs. It has also been suggested that when the increasing impact of climate change forces governments to take drastic action there will be much less demand for Canadian oil.

Creating middle class jobs requires improving existing ones

A recent blog post from the Broadbent Institute argues that part of creating middle class jobs must be improving the quality of precarious low income jobs.

A comparison of occupations and wages revealed that less than half of the core work force – those between 25 and 54 – is employed in occupations that could be considered middle class.

Over half of the core work force are in jobs with lower average incomes.

End of Canadian Wheat Board monopoly blamed for delays in shipping grain

The federal government's decision to end the Canadian Wheat Board's (CWB) monopoly on selling Canadian wheat is being blamed for delays in shipping grain to market.

A Saskatoon Star Phoenix editorial pointed out that:

“In the past, wheat farmers could depend on the Canadian Wheat Board to battle for them when it came to putting pressure on the rail companies to get the grain to market. When the board had a monopoly on selling grain overseas, it also held considerable market influence.”

Trade agreement debate about type of economy, not trade

The debate on trade agreements is not about whether there should be more or less international trade according to a recent Broadbent Institute blog post. Instead, what we are debating is what type of industrial policy we will pursue and whether one of the goals will be good, well-paying jobs.

End of steel making in Hamilton shows need for industrial strategy

An article in the National Post this week by Steelworkers leaders Leo Gerard and Ken Neumann showed how lack of a steel strategy or broader industrial strategy is hurting Canada.

Even though Canada has many comparative advantages when it comes to steel production, in 2012 Canada imported  $12.2 billion worth of steel and had a trade deficit in steel of $4.6 billion. Many of the countries from which Canada imports steel have industrial strategies that have helped their industry succeed.