Living Wage Canada Releases New Rates, Annual Calculations

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It’s one thing to have a job, it’s another thing to have a job that pays you enough to participate in society. Canada’s minimum wage, like most places, doesn’t match the reality of what a person needs to earn to make a living (thus people say minimum wage deserves minimum effort). Despite this unfortunate starting point, Living Wage Canada has found a way to streamline for both employers and employees what to expect an hourly minimum rate should be. As a result, the organization makes it easier for employers to be a certified living wage employer and will make it simpler for workers to know what to ask for.

The living wage movement in Canada stemmed from conversations around child poverty in the early 2010s. One major contribution to child poverty is parents who are working but still not able to make ends meet. Because of this focus on children the living wage was originally calculated for a family of four with two working parents. At the time, testing showed that the living wage rate for single parents with one child and single adults were fairly close to that of the reference family of four. However, over time, the living wage rates for these different household types have grown. The introduction of the Canada Child Benefit in 2016 by the federal government lowered living wage rates across the country. In 2019, the provincial government in Ontario introduced the CARE credit, which offers additional support to households with children.

Read more (PDF).

Thanks to Delaney!

Protests Work: Ontario to Repeal Anti-Worker Legislation

Last week the Conservative Ontario government did what was previously unthinkable in Canada: take away charter rights from people who work. This unprecedented act was met with widespread opposition from unions coast to coast as the Conservatives made it clear that collective bargaining (like NHL and MLB players have) will no longer be respected. People said no and launched massive protests defending worker’s rights and now the weak Conservatives admitted they were wrong and will repeal their legislation.

Protesting works and don’t let anybody try to convince you otherwise.

“(Workers) took on the Ford government and the government blinked,” said CUPE national president Mark Hancock.

Opposition to the law had been gathering steam over the past several days and the unions used the press conference to give Ford a glimpse of what he faced had he not promised Monday morning to repeal the law.

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Strikes Work for Everybody: How We Got Maternity Leave

Presently in Ontario the Conservative governemnt has used “the nuclear option” to take away rights from workers. Not going to lie: it’s really bad, like Canadian Charter of Rights are no longer relveant bad.
The union the government is picking on is primarily made up of women and many of them aren’t even earning a living wage. The Conservatives want to pay them less and are fining them more than a month’s wage everyday they’re on strike.
Where’s the good news?
Histrorically labour actions make the working world better for everyone. Given how much damage the Conservatives have done to the averaging working person in the province we have nowhere to go but up. Just like back in 1981. One union’s strike brought the entire country of Canada maternity leave.

With negotiations going nowhere, CUPW went out on strike. Their demands were multifaceted, but maternity leave was singled out by capital, media, government, and the public.[3] In turn, maternity leave was deemed egregious, unnecessary, and even greedy. Risking it all, postal workers and their allies fought for forty-two days and won. Their victory reverberated across Canadian society. Other unions quickly followed suit and, before long, the government institutionalized and expanded maternity leave to equalize the playing field. What started out as a gain for postal workers quickly turned into a gain for all Canadian women.

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Exposing the Political Manipulation by Oil & Gas Companies in Canada

The Canadian tar sands contribute little to Canada’s economy yet it’s environmental destruction is known internationally. Despite this, the Canadian commitment to killing the planet by exploiting the tar sands is offensive and has held back green policies. Why does this happen?

SHARE has looked into how oil and gas companies lobby Canadian governments to permit their profiteering from planetary destruction. The greenwashing by tar sands companies is used to make it look like they are respecting the environment, this work by SHARE shows that we can’t trust them. This is good news because now we know how oil and gas advocate behind the scenes and we can prevent it.

While at first these commitments seem promising, a second look reveals a less-than-rosy picture of the role of Canadian oil and gas companies in relation to Canada’s climate targets, regulations and the road map to net zero. The most important work any company could do right now is commit to — then get to work on — reducing emissions in absolute terms. However, there are other important ways the oilpatch impacts climate action on a national and global scale. One of these is the extent to which its government relations, or “lobbying” activities, do or do not align with the climate actions Canada must undertake to prevent the worst impacts of climate change from wreaking havoc on our planet. 

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BC Decriminalizes Hard Drugs

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British Columbia has learned that punishing drug users doesn’t stop drug use or the negative impact drugs have on our society. The province decided to shift from a punishment approach to drug control to a health focussed approach, as in they will help people get off of drugs instead of incarcerating them. The first step in that process is to decriminalize the drugs in question, note this is not legalization (like alcohol and marijuana).

The goal of decriminalization is to reduce the harms of arrest and drug seizure on individual users, officials said, and to reduce the stigma around substance use that prevents people from seeking health care or accessing adequate housing and employment.

“In the short term, decriminalization will stop seizures and arrests and connect people with services and supports,” said Malcolmson, noting that reducing stigma will be a long-term goal.

Fear of arrest and of losing employment, housing or custody of children often prevents people who use drugs from accessing harm reduction and health supports, or from telling family and friends about their substance use.

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