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Northern Reflections: Anxiety Breeds Passivity

Over the weekend, Conservative senators announced that they will re-introduce a bill which previously sparked rebellion in the Red Chamber. The bill would force unions to publicly disclose their spending. It’s all part of a movement which began forty years ago. Murray Dobbins writes:

In those pre-corporate globalization days, it was conventional political and social wisdom that the economy served the nation, and by inference, the community and families. The Bank of Canada’s dual mandates — unemployment and inflation — were still competing but full employment was one of the few shared policy objectives of all three federal parties. (Read more…)

Northern Reflections: Behind The Numbers

When Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page released a report  two weeks ago, which documented the average annual salary of a federal employee as $114,100, there were howls from the usual critics. Andrew Jackson writes:

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation was quick to jump on the report of the Parliamentary Budget Office on federal government pay and compensation, saying that it provided “shocking numbers on the overly generous compensation of federal government employees.” Echoing similarly-exaggerated claims by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and other employer groups at its recent pre-budget hearings, the House of Commons Finance Committee has just

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Northern Reflections: The War On Wages Continues

On the subject of rotating teacher strikes in Ontario, Tom Walkom offers a little historical perspective:  When Bob Rae’s New Democratic Party government overrode collective agreements in 1993, many private sector unions — including the Steelworkers and my union, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers — broke with their public sector counterparts to support the NDP regime.

The essence of their argument would be familiar today: private sector workers had already suffered from what was, at the time, the biggest recession since the 1930s; therefore, public sector workers had to sacrifice as well.

It was an argument that resonated

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