Economic benefits of education spending; Quebec forces immigration reform bill; and union threatens to sue Alberta Conservatives

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Job vacancies on the rise across country: Stats Canada

According to a new Statistics Canada report, job vacancies rose by 10 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 nationwide compared to the same period last year. Vacancies grew the highest in Quebec, followed by British Columbia and Ontario. Health care and social assistance had the highest growth in vacancies at 19 per cent compared to the first quarter in 2018.  

Government-union deals on domestic violence leave start of new trend

The Canadian Press reports that recent deals reached between the federal government and PIPSC last month are indicative of a new trend regarding domestic violence leave. The civil-service union bargained a deal that allows up to 10 days off for domestic violence victims, which provides greater relief than existing laws across the country. 

Better employment prospects for university grads

A new Indeed Canada report says that while fresh grads struggle to enter the job market, they have better employment prospects than those without university degrees. However, the challenge of entering the job market for fresh grads under 25 remains consistently difficult.

Banking on education

Last week, a new Conference Board of Canada report revealed the economic benefits of education spending. The study, which was commissioned by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF), says that there is a direct economic benefit of $1.30 for every dollar spent on education alongside indirect impacts in the form of lower spending on social assistance, health care and the criminal justice system.

The timely release of the report comes amid massive education cuts by the Doug Ford government, which continued to spawn protests from unions and activists this week. Meanwhile, a 15-year old student organizer received a $1,444 bill for the "cost of cleaning" profane anti-Doug Ford graffiti drawn with chalk at Queen's Park.

Union threatens to sue Alberta Conservatives

Alberta's largest union says it will sue the Conservative government for the imminent passing of the Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act. The legislation will delay wage negotiations and arbitration, and comes on the back of a two-year NDP-instituted pay freeze for public-sector workers.

New Ontario labour minister has regressive views on workers' rights

Monte McNaughton was appointed Ontario's labour minister last week after a Ford cabinet reshuffle. The Toronto Star's Sara Mohtehedzadeh pointed out that in opposition, McNaughton had lauded right-to-work states in the U.S. as a model for Ontario to emulate. 

Learn more: York University professor David Doorey explains the problem with right-to-work laws.

Quebec government forces immigration reform bill to address 'labour market needs'

The Coalition Avenir Québec government stifled debate to pass a new bill that cancels 16,000 immigration applications under the regular skilled worker program. The immigration reform bill is one of two new pieces of legislation that the Quebec government has rushed by curtailing debate. The other, highly controversial legislation prevents public sector workers from wearing religious symbols at work.

Better employment opportunities leading to emigration from Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundlanders are leaving home to pursue better employment opportunities and escape higher costs of living and lack of government services, according to a government-commissioned report

Zaid Noorsumar is rabble's labour beat reporter for 2019, and is a journalist who has previously contributed to CBC, The Canadian Press, the Toronto Star and To contact Zaid with story leads, email zaid[at]

Image: Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay


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