• Environment & Work,  Industry & Sector,  Research

    Building a Sustainable, High-Value-Added Forestry Sector in B.C.

    B.C.’s economy has always depended on its rich forests—from First Nations communities, through the early settler economy, to modern forestry practices and technologies. But in recent years the industry has been buffeted by a perfect storm of environmental, economic, and geopolitical challenges. Total production has declined by up to half in recent years, with devastating effects on employment, output, exports, and taxes. Dozens of remote and regional forest communities are unsure of their future, unless a viable and sustainable future for forestry can be achieved.

  • Commentary,  Industry & Sector,  Trade Unions

    On Canadian Unionism, History, and Phony Horse-Races

    Auto unions in both Canada and the U.S. are currently engaged in high-stakes negotiations with the three major North American automakers (GM, Ford, and Stellantis – formerly Chrysler). The two unions have similar goals: to make sure workers share in the gains these companies are making. It’s important to know the different histories, structures, and cultures of the two unions, before making any simplistic comparisons between them. Centre for Future Work Director Jim Stanford considers those differences in this commentary, originally published by rabble.ca.

  • Commentary,  COVID,  Industry & Sector,  Labour Standards

    Real Truckers Have Real Issues That Could be Solved With Regulation, Investment, and Unions

    Despite claims of organizers, the protests and blockades in Ottawa and at several of Canada’s border crossings are not really about issues faced by working truck drivers. Rather, they are part of an organized effort to overturn Canada’s public health rules – and, for some of the organizers, Canada’s elected government. But the references to “hard-working truckers” arising from the protests should spark a more genuine examination of the challenges truckers face in their jobs, and how their working lives could be improved. In this column, originally published in the Toronto Star, our Director Jim Stanford discusses several of the most pressing challenges facing real truckers: including low pay, misclassification,…

  • Industry & Sector,  Research,  Trade Unions,  Wages

    Solid Wage Gains for Construction Workers Needed to Cement Productivity Gains

    Paycheques for workers in Ontario’s booming construction industry are coming up short despite surging productivity and a sharp rise in building activity, a new report from the Centre for Future Work shows. Relative to consumer prices, the real purchasing power of construction wages has been stagnant in recent years even though real labour productivity in the sector has grown very strongly. Workers are generating more output and revenue for their employers, but not getting their fair share of the value they’re creating. Nominal wages in construction grew at an average rate of 1.9% over the last five years, considerably slower than broader wages in Ontario’s labour market (which grew at…

  • Commentary,  COVID,  Gender and Work,  Industry & Sector

    Quick Progress on National Child Care Would Accelerate Economic Rebound

    The federal government has promised major funding for a national child care and early learning program in Canada. A recent Centre for Future Work report highlighted the substantial economic benefits that would be generated by such a program: including direct and indirect jobs providing early learning and child care (ELCC) services, improved female labour force participation, and stronger learning, employment, and health outcomes for children who participate in high-quality ELCC. In the following commentary, the Centre’s Director Jim Stanford summarizes those economic benefits, and argues it is incumbent on governments – provincial as well as federal – to move quickly ahead to start rolling out this program to boost Canada’s…

  • Fiscal Policy,  Industry & Sector,  Macroeconomics,  Research

    The Broken Promises of Corporate Tax Cuts

    The pace of business capital spending in Canada has been weak in recent years, for several reasons – including the slowdown in the petroleum industry, the erosion of Canadian manufacturing, and now the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic and recession. This has spurred a resurgence of demands from the business community for lower company tax rates, which advocates claim will accelerate business capital spending. In this analysis, published originally by the Canadian Tax Foundation, Centre for Future Work Director Jim Stanford agrees that stimulating more capital investment (both private and public) is a vital goal. But there is no evidence from either recent Canadian history or international comparisons that…

  • Commentary,  Employment & Unemployment,  Industry & Sector

    Help Business – But do it Right

    Facing an unprecedented downturn in work, incomes, and spending, the federal government has rolled out major new support programs to help businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic. This support is essential. But government should learn from past experience, and design those support programs carefully for maximum effect and fairness. In this commentary, originally published in the Toronto Star, Jim Stanford identifies several best practices in supporting businesses and industries in an economic crisis. To Help Workers through the COVID-19 Crisis, We Must Help Our Businesses. Here’s How. In the face of unprecedented lay-offs from the COVID-19 lockdowns, the federal government is quickly shoring up Canada’s income support network. The new Canada…