Expanding democratic employee ownership in Canada: policy options

April 18, 2024
1.07 MB36 pages

We generally take for granted that everyone has the right to a say—and certainly a vote—in what our governments do. But in the workplaces that rule many of our waking hours, these democratic rights are largely absent.

In a time of extreme inequality, deteriorating social cohesion and reduced trust in our institutions, why shouldn’t workers have more control over the firms they work in? Enabling employees to take more ownership and control in their working lives is a promising antidote.

With advocacy from a broad coalition of supporters—including many business owners—the federal government has tabled legislation to create a new Employee Ownership Trust legal structure that makes it easier for business owners to sell firms to their employees.

However, to tap the full potential of employee ownership, a much broader suite of policies is needed. This report examines what an ambitious public policy agenda would look like to unleash the promise of democratic employee ownership in Canada.