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Columnists

Ten points in Canada's real economic update

The minister of finance has made his Fall Economic Update. We wanted to hear what he had to say about government spending -- but we didn't. Why? Because the real story is one of austerity.

The federal finance minister promised Canadians a look at what is happening with the economy. On the surface, the job is fairly straightforward. James Flaherty has to say whether the economy is growing, or not; and he has to say what he intends to do about it.

Columnists

Waiting for the writ to drop

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty at the International Monetary Fund's headquarters April 23, 2010 in Washington, DC.  Photo: IMF/Flickr

Parliament is back this week, and its focus this fall will be on what to do about the economy. The first order of business should be reducing unemployment, but the Conservatives are more interested in reducing the deficit.

Want to reduce the government deficit? Raise business investment? Improve the standard of living? Moving to full employment -- a job for everyone who wants one -- is the way to go. Putting more Canadians back to work will ensure the economy improves.

Budget delivers cuts not jobs

The 2010 federal budget stuck predictably to the Conservative dogma that there is no need for a fundamental change of course. One we get past the temporary hiccup of global and national recession, we must return to a world of ever-smaller government to be achieved through continued tax reductions and deep spending cuts.

Despite the fact that unemployment is and will remain very high -- forecast in the budget itself to average 8.5 per cent this year and 7.9 per cent next year -- temporary extensions of EI benefits will expire in September of this year and some 500,000 unemployment claims filed during the Great Recession will be exhausted before claimants can find a new job.

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| June 6, 2014
Columnists

Austerity bites, employment rate falls again

Today's labour force numbers are ugly, there's no other word for it. Employment down 29,000 jobs. Paid employment (i.e. not counting self-employment) down 46,000 jobs. The only reason the unemployment rate held steady (at 6.9 per cent) is because labour force participation fell again: by almost two tenths of a point, to just over 66 per cent. That's the lowest level of labour force participation since 2001. Convenient for suppressing the headline unemployment rate, but socially destructive and very costly in the long run (as more and more Canadians lose contact with the labour market).

March 12, 2014 |
We cannot stand by a deal that secures a one-way flow of Korean auto imports into the Canadian market, undermining the jobs and industry on which so many Canadians depend.
| March 5, 2014
February 28, 2014 |
We welcome the prospect of good jobs being maintained at the plant, which has served as the keystone of Leamington's economy for generations.
Photo: BC Gov Photos/flickr
| February 17, 2014
February 10, 2014 |
The Good Jobs Summit will be held at Toronto’s Ryerson University on October 4 and 5, launching the school’s annual Social Justice Week.
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