March 2016

Federal budget looks modest up close

We’ve stopped going backwards, but this government missed a number of opportunities to take some major steps toward building a more equal society and making life easier for the average Canadian.

Ottawa (29 March 2016) — When you take a close look at the budget, the “real change” promised by the federal government starts to look like a modest improvement on Stephen Harper’s last budget. We’ve stopped going backwards, but this government missed a number of opportunities to take some major steps toward building a more equal society and making life easier for the average Canadian.

OPSEU ad tells college presidents: stay out of organizing drive

“Our newspaper ads go right to the heart of the matter. The highest-paid people in Ontario’s colleges are doing everything they can to stop some of the lowest-paid from getting ahead. That’s a fact.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President


Toronto (24 March 2016) — A new newspaper ad from the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) has a simple message for community college presidents this week: Stop interfering with workers’ right to unionize.


60% of Social Impact Bond funds spent on overhead and profits

“When Social Impact Bonds first appeared we expected that they would prove to be more expensive, but this is even worse than what we expected." — James Clancy, NUPGE National President. 


Ottawa (09 March 2016) — Based on figures from the intermediary group running the first Social Impact Bond project funded by the Canadian government, 60 per cent of the funds are being spent on overhead and investor profits.


Only 40% of government funding going to skills training


Unions lighting the way towards parity for women and visible minorities

The latest winners in our Why Unions Matter contest remind us that solidarity can be a powerful tool against discrimination and injustice.

Ottawa (08 Mar. 2016) — March 8 is International Women's Day, and the theme for this year is "pledge for parity." The sad truth is that women have not yet achieved parity in the workplace or in politics, but by participaiting in their unions, women from around the world are managing to bridge the gap.

Ontario should back off on seniors drug costs

 

The ink is barely dry on last week’s Ontario budget and already Premier Kathleen Wynne is conceding the possibility that her government didn’t “get it right” on the sensitive issue of prescription drugs for seniors.

She’s correct: making most seniors pay more for their prescriptions is a wrong-headed approach and the sooner the government backs away from it, the better.

It’s the biggest flaw in what was generally a well-crafted budget, considering Ontario’s difficult financial situation.