Canada’s Economic Record Under Harper Government

In the weeks ahead, I will be referring to Unifor’s comprehensive report comparing the economic record of the various governments that have formed to lead Canada from 1946 to 2015.

From Mackenzie King to Stephen Harper, Jim Stanford methodically analyzes all factors that contribute to economic performance of any nation. While you may be quick to dismiss the report because of its source, the political cartoons which it could have done without, and its conclusions, it is hard to dismiss the stark statistical evidence.

I strongly encourage you to review this report. Its an eye-opening exercise that may inform you in a way you least expect.

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Stephen Harper’s Election Call Transcript: Is he ready?

During the next few weeks, I will be analyzing Mr. Harper’s record in defense of his request for a fourth term as Prime Minister of Canada.

“Good Morning.

A few minutes ago, I met with his excellency, the Governor General, and he has agreed to my request that Parliament be dissolved.

In accordance with our commitment to a fixed election date, the next general election will be held as prescribed by law.

As it is my intention to begin campaign-related activities, as is also the case for the other party leaders,… it is important that these campaigns be funded by the parties themselves rather than taxpayers.

It is also appropriate that Canadians have the time to consider the alternatives before them,… because this is an election about leadership on the big issues, the issues that affect us all: our economy, and our nation’s security.

Continue reading Stephen Harper’s Election Call Transcript: Is he ready?

Consider Minimum Wage When Shopping on Black Friday

Minimum wages are highly topical today. In an era of growing inequality, business, government, employees and the agencies that advocate on their behalf, seem pitted against each other, with few willing to take a broad, multi-disciplinary, integrated approach to a fair solution. Economic policy positions and business opinions on the whys and why nots are plentiful.

While governments remain stuck in neutral on adopting fair policies, citing a slow-recovering economy post-financial crisis, circa 2008, employees mired in minimum or low wage paying jobs are taking their fight for higher wages through a call for raising the minimum wage to the streets. After a Walmart store in Canton, Ohio started a local food drive, asking for food donations for its own employees, OUR Walmart, an independent non-profit organization advocating on behalf of Walmart associates, increased its protest events against Walmart, particularly around Black Friday, the largest retail-generating sales day of the year.

To provide some background and context, in the latest full year financials, Walmart reported $469.2 billion in sales and $17 billion in profits. And yet, Walmart is cited as the worst paying company in America by Yahoo, in its list of 10 worst paying companies. Yahoo used NELP methodology to capture those employers with the largest number of low and minimum wage workers, and found Walmart as the worst. Abetted by a recent push towards hiring part time staff and seasonal fill-ins in place of full timers, to save the cost of health benefits, the average hourly rate at Walmart is now less than $9.

Continue reading Consider Minimum Wage When Shopping on Black Friday