A decade after the worst financial crash since the Great Depression, a fragile recovery is obscuring threats—some new, some as old as capitalism—to Canadian workers and the broader economy. In this first part of a two-part feature on the fallout of that crisis, the Monitor looks at the financial flows, government revenue shortfalls and austerity plans that undermine our ability to handle another sudden shock. Here's a sample of what you'll find inside this issue:
The white nationalist rallies that have peppered the country, beginning in the early part of 2017, are tangible indicators that there is a viable and increasingly active right-wing extremist (RWE) movement in Canada.
Governments in Canada have often turned to investments in higher education to generate hope and opportunity for young people and others seeking better jobs and social mobility. However, the Manitoba government recently decided to significantly increase the permitted annual increase in tuition fees for postsecondary students.
Picketers outside George Brown College’s King Street campus in Toronto on November 15, 2017 (Photos by Manzur Malik)
Ontarians heading to the polls on June 7 face a stark choice between two visions of government and two styles of governing. The choice they make could reverberate across the country. A Progressive Conservative victory under the leadership of the right-wing populist Doug Ford would almost certainly usher in another period of harsh and unnecessary austerity, and has the potential to set racial and economic justice back decades.
Twenty years after the Mike Harris Conservative government implemented its education funding formula in 1997, many of its core functions remain in place. By design, it was intended to squeeze funding for the system and to centralize control at the provincial level. It was based on the politics of division, pitting the educational needs of students and the need for infrastructure upgrades of schools against financial compensation of teachers and the power of local school boards.
TORONTO – Teachers and education workers are rallying behind a new blueprint to fix Ontario’s 20-year-old education funding formula and they’re calling on all parties to commit to a review of public education funding as part of their election platform. The blueprint, published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), articulates a set of principles and objectives to guide a review of Ontario’s public school system and its funding needs.
Despite being better educated than previous generations, there are fewer decent jobs for younger workers, even after they have paid their dues working entry-level jobs or unpaid internships. They’re taking on considerable student debt only to find a fractured labour market that denies them access to full-time jobs with decent pay and benefits. And it doesn’t seem to matter which sector of the labour market they turn to.
While post-secondary institutions are places of learning, they also employ thousands of people across a broad spectrum of job classifications. This report explores the extent to which workers in Canada’s post-secondary institutions are experiencing precarity. More precisely, it asks whether employment on university and college campuses in Ontario is becoming more precarious, for whom and for what reasons.