'In a report released today, the national statistics office says fewer young Canadians, who are not full-time students, are working in full-time jobs today than in 1976, a result driven mainly by the rise of part-time work rather than increases in unemployment rates or decreases in labour force participation.'
Activists continue to try to stop the clock from being turned back. However, with the election of far-right populists in America, that project has become more difficult. Rights activists have become both the leading edge of the fight and the rearguard.
On Wednesday, November 2nd, the Canadian student movement will take to the streets to demand universal access to post-secondary education. The day of action, organized by the Canadian Federation of Students, will demand the elimination of tuition fees.
Local Toronto food activists are working with unionized workers to shift local food procurement at the University of Toronto. By in-sourcing production and cooking real food they are showing that by working together, workers and activists can make a positive impact in our communities.
Following the global economic crash of 2008, there has been a lot of discussion about the need for a re-think of mainstream economic thought. While this 'orthodox' economics held claim to the economic growth before 2008, it completely failed to predict the economic crash and seems unable to deal with the aftermath. Unfortunately, while the economy they supported collapsed, the theories that set the foundation for the economic crisis have not lost their dominance.
For the past twenty years, successive federal governments have maintained a restrictive two per cent funding cap on the PSSSP that has resulted in funding falling far behind growing demand for post-secondary education, rising tuition fees and increasing living costs. As a consequence, Indigenous communities administering the funds are forced to make impossible choices about which students in their communities receive support each year.
The idea being promoted by the Liberal government through its “Basic Income Guarantee” is that we should be moving towards a system where the government redistributes wealth by giving individuals money directly. As wealth redistribution goes, this is an inherently right-wing approach. It depends on the private sector to provide services that those on the Guarantee can afford, it does nothing to improve the employment prospects for those on the Guarantee, and in the end likely only increases inequality. Instead, the government should be investing this money in public services that are provided at no cost to everyone, an initiative that will create more jobs in the process.
Ontario's 2016 budget was announced on Thursday. In contrast to the newly applied progressive veneer of the current Liberal brand, the budget was actually an austerity budget. The funding for infrastructure all comes from other parts of the public purse, increases to regressive flat taxes, and delayed spending on much needed social programs. Reallocating public service funds to infrastructure investments will not give the province the advertised economic boost because every infrastructure job and investment will be offset by job losses and cutbacks to other public services.
This week, Franco-Ontarian students rallied at Queen's Park to demand government action on creating a Franco-Ontarian University. On the same day, roughly 100 km away, students at the Barrie campus of Laurentian University started an occupation of their administration's offices, demanding the right to complete their program after learning that their campus was closing its doors.