labour laws

4:10PM
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Ontario’s proposed labour law changes will hurt young workers the most

For every 10 per cent increase in the minimum wage, youth employment drops by three to six per cent.


9:10AM
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Proposed changes to Alberta labour laws will hurt Alberta workers

Without a secret ballot, union organizers may pressure workers into supporting union certification.


9:11AM
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Modernizing labour laws could set Alberta up for economic success
Jurisdictions with less-restrictive labour regulations have better job-creation records.

2:00AM
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Tim Hudak, Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives leader, boldly started a conversation about fundamental reform of labour regulations governing unionization in 2012. He recently, and nearly as boldly, walked back from such commitments, largely out of political necessity. However, such necessity does not negate the importance of such laws for Ontario’s competitiveness.


2:00AM
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While Premier Christy Clark aims “to create an environment where growth and investment can flourish,” little has been achieved since last year’s electoral victory. If Premier Clark is to help British Columbians obtain the desired prosperity and jobs, her top economic priority should be to make BC the most investment-friendly jurisdiction in Canada.

Here’s what’s needed.


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The minimum wage debate raging in the United States has spilled into Canada sparking renewed interest in government-mandated wage floors. Labour activists are out in full force pushing governments to legislate higher pay for low-wage workers and one version calls on municipalities to decree a “living wage law.” While these laws may sound like a good idea in theory, they do little to help the most vulnerable workers in practice.

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With Labour Day fresh in our memory and Ontario’s unemployment rate having recently increased to 7.6 per cent, the province would do well to follow Indiana and Michigan’s lead and adopt worker choice laws. Doing so would make Ontario a significantly more competitive jurisdiction for business investment and provide a much needed shot in the arm for the province’s struggling manufacturing sector.

In 2012, both Indiana and Michigan enacted worker choice laws and there is a reasonable likelihood that Ohio may soon do the same.


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As labour and capital have become more and more mobile, jurisdictional competitiveness is becoming more important in securing and maintaining economic prosperity. A minimum requirement is to have taxes, regulations, and other important policies competitive with competing jurisdictions. To gain an advantage, jurisdictions need policies that differentiate themselves from competing jurisdictions.

As BC’s recently minted Clark government works through its economic priorities, it would be well advised to consider worker choice laws.


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Prior to 2012, the momentum and even interest in so-called Right-to-Work (RTW) laws, or what are more accurately referred to as Worker Choice laws was non-existent. Very little reform had happened for over a decade despite the positive economic effects of such laws. Things changed in 2012 when Indiana and more shockingly the bedrock of unionism in the U.S., Michigan, decided to implement RTW laws. These tectonic shifts in labour laws south of the border have reinvigorated interest in labour law reform in Canada.