Labour Leadership Team
The Change Agents of Choice for Progressive-Thinking Unions!

April 8, 2015 21 

Components of Effective Feedback

effective feedback

Effective feedback can have a major impact on employee performance. It is an intricate process that requires skill, practice and graceful execution. If executed properly, effective feedback can have a major impact on the efficiency of the workplace, employee engagement and the bottom line. The 21 Components of Effective Feedback Infographic will help managers develop a comprehensive understanding of what constitutes effective feedback in order for feedback to have the most impact on employees.

In order to be effective, feedback must be:

1. Specific

Feedback must be concrete and relate to a specific, measureable performance goal. It should also include clear expectations for the employee and their performance.

2. Timely

Employees must receive the feedback as close to the event as possible.

Read More

April 1, 2015 

Thousands on strike in Vietnam over insurance law


The ongoing strike in Ho Chi Minh City is one of the largest and longest that has ever happened in Vietnam. They have occupied the factory compound of Taiwanese-owned Pou Yuen, which makes footwear for major brands such as Nike and Adidas.

It is also unusual as the protesters are rallying against the government's labour policies rather than working conditions or pay.

The workers are protesting at a social insurance law that kicks in next year. The dispute is over the government's move to effectively convert an unemployment welfare scheme into a retirement savings scheme.

Read More

March 29, 2015 

Canada’s unemployment rate hits five-month high, but job loss less than feared


Canada managed to hold on to most of its workers last month, even as the plunge in oil prices cut deeper into natural resources-department regions of the country - Alberta in particular.

Just 1,000 net jobs were lost in February, following a strong gain of 35,000 the previous month, but the negligible decline helped push the unemployment rate to 6.8% from 6.6% in January, Statistics Canada said last week.

Economists' expectations varied widely, with the medium call having been for job losses of 5,000, following January's gain of 35,000 positions. Forecasts for the unemployment rate in February were between 6.6% and 6.7%.

Read More

March 25, 2015 

We must prevent the scarring of long-term youth unemployment


The Bank of Canada Governor, Stephen Poloz, came under fire for his much publicized advice to unemployed and underemployed youth to work for free in order to bolster their résumés and gain valuable experience. In hindsight, Mr. Poloz may well agree that his comments were ill-advised, but let’s not let the controversy overshadow opportunity here. At least the issue gained greater prominence, and for that we can be thankful, because the challenges facing youth just beginning their careers in Canada and across the Western world are real, and so is the pain.

First some facts:

  • The term “youth” in employment studies and statistics refers to those aged 15 to 24.
  • The unemployment rate in Canada for that group has been hovering around 13 per cent since the world’s economic meltdown in 2008.
  • This number doesn’t count underemployed youth, which make up another estimated 27 per cent. These are the people who take contingency jobs to earn something of a living while searching for their career work.

Read More

March 12, 2015 

My ceiling fell down!

What would you do if you world came crashing down around you - literally?

falling ceiling

This was the scene I faced when I rounded the corner into my kitchen on Tuesday evening. It had been a lovely spring-like day…which caused the snow to melt…which caused the roof to leak…which caused the kitchen ceiling to come down with a sudden crash. As I stood the in the rubble - plaster and dust everywhere (even inside the freezer…how did that happen?), I had three choices:

1. totally FREAK out
2. cry
3. come up with a plan

So I decided to go with option 3 and got to work. (But I have to admit that after spending four hours cleaning up the mess only to have the rest of it come down an hour later, I went for option 2 at that point).

WHAT does that have to do with work, you ask?

Is your organization ready for the unexpected? To a great extent, we can predict the future of our industries. If you have your eyes open, are reading the news and engaged in industry groups, then it’s hard to be blind-sided by the future. You can plan wisely and your organization can continue to thrive in a constantly changing economy.

But what about when YOUR ceiling falls in? Are you ready to handle the unforeseen crisis that could really wreck your day (or your future) completely? Here are 5 tips for keeping your cool in tough moments:

1. Relax, take a deep breath and try to stay calm

  • Before reacting, take a step back and look at the situation. Conduct a 360 of the situation.
  • Reacting immediately could only make matters worse. Figure out what happened and what solutions can be taken.

2. Be honest, with yourself, your co-workers and the media (if applicable)

  • The people around you are there to support you but they can’t do that if they don’t know what the problem is.
  • The media ALWAYS has a way of finding things out, beat them to the punch; you don’t have to disclose all the details but let them know what happened. Hiding will only make things worse.

3. Stay focused

  • Don’t ignore the crisis, manage it and be proactive.
  • Deal with it head on, because if the problem lingers it could only create more upset in the office.

4. Focus on your organizations goals/services/products

  • Don’t lose sight of who you are as an organization and what you have accomplished.
  • Stay determined to resolve this crisis and get back up on your feet.

5. Remember this for next time…because there will be a next time!

  • A workplace crisis can occur at any given time; remember how you handled the last crisis, what worked and what didn’t work.
  • Prepare a crisis management plan.
March 4, 2015 

Canada's GDP grew 2.4% in final quarter of 2014, beating forecasts


Canada's gross domestic product expanded by 0.6 per cent in the final three months of 2014, a bit slower than the pace seen in the previous quarter but better than what analysts were expecting.

Statistics Canada said exports of goods and services fell 0.4 per cent between October and December after increasing 2.2 per cent in the previous three months. Much of the slowdown in exports was tied to the price of oil, as Canadian energy companies pumped out far less in response to plunging prices.

Read More

February 24, 2015 

Canada jobs drop for second month in a row on part-timers

Stefane Marian

Canadian employment fell for a second month in December, led by declines in part-time positions and at hotels and restaurants.

The 4,300 drop in jobs, combined with 11,200 people who left the labor force in December, kept the unemployment rate at 6.6 percent, according to Statistics Canada. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a 15,000 job increase and for the jobless rate to be unchanged, according to median forecasts.

The world’s 11th largest economy is under strain from the plunge in the price of crude oil, its top export. The Bank of Canada estimates the economy will need to see two years of gains to absorb the “significant” slack remaining.

Read More

February 19, 2015 

Robots expected to slash manufacturing labour costs in next decade


Cheaper, better robots will replace human workers in the world's factories at a faster pace over the next decade, pushing labour costs down 16 per cent, a report last week said.

The Boston Consulting Group predicts that investment in industrial robots will grow 10 per cent a year in the world's 25-biggest export nations through 2025, up from 2 per cent to 3 per cent a year now. The investment will pay off in lower costs and increased efficiency.

Read More

February 12, 2015

The Provincial Government will pay 83% of the training costs!

I announced last month that the Provincial governments have recently launched a new Job Grant program and your organization may be eligible to receive up to $10,000 per year, per employee to help offset the cost of training in your workplace! In some provinces, your organization can receive as much as $300,000 per year!
I know you've said "I wish we could bring Janet and her team in to train our group with one of her programs". (Well, I hope you've at least thought that). And now you can. And we can help you too!
I can tell you that if you are funded by any government entity (municipal, provincial or federal) you do not qualify (I agree - bummer).
If you are funded in other ways (private sector, not-for-profit), then you do! You can get either 5/6ths or 2/3rds (depends on your company size) of the training costs refunded to you. Take for example the cost of having me come in and facilitate my one-day Team Communications workshopwhich is $4,800Now let's say you had 10 employees you wanted to train - with this Job Grant Program, you could be reimbursed up to $4,000! That brings your cost of training each employee down to only $80 each. If that's not a deal, I don't know what is! 

Do you think that we should talk about what we can do together? We can help you understand the process and how it works. We can help make it easier if you like by processing the paperwork for you.

Send us an email to schedule a time to chat about what kind of custom-training would help you grow or improve your organization. We will figure out what is the best option for you, and we'll help you with understanding the process involved in applying for the grant.

Gifts like this don't come along often. Take advantage of this one now.
Email to arrange a virtual coffee meeting now!

February 11, 2015 

Job figures show oil-price drop hasn't sunk employment


Oil companies across Canada have been slashing their budgets. In previous months, those cuts have not showed up in Canadian unemployment numbers, but today's job numbers offer a new window on the state of the U.S. and Canadian economies.

The numbers were a surprise to the upside, with Canada's economy adding 35,000 jobs during the month — much better than the 5,000 jobs that economists had been expecting.

Jobless figures give unemployed people an update on their prospects for finding work, but... Read More

February 5, 2015 

Canada’s job market not immune to oil price shock, Poloz says


Canada’s labour market is already limping, and lower oil prices could further dampen income growth and employment opportunities, the Bank of Canada says.

“We have an oil price shock which will reduce the income flowing into Canada, and lead probably to some increase in unemployment over all,” Governor Stephen Poloz told reporters just after the central bank unexpectedly cut rates.

The Bank of Canada bases its interest rate decisions on inflation targets. But it’s keeping an increasingly public eye on the health of the country’s... Read More

February 4, 2015 

U.S. reports union membership down a fraction from last year

labour reporter

Union membership in the United States is down slightly, accounting for just over 11 per cent of the workforce last year, the Labor Department reports.

That's just a fractional drop from the year before.

The department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said public-sector workers have the highest union membership rate at nearly 36 per cent. That's more than five times higher than membership of private-sector workers at less than seven per cent.

Workers in education, training and library jobs and in protective service jobs have the highest... Read More

January 30, 2015 

A ‘kinder,’ ‘softer’ Canadian labour movement


After years of losing the public relations war, Canada’s labour movement is in the midst of a rebranding exercise. Gone is the militant rhetoric of days past, replaced by a lighter tone telling the country’s middle classes that what’s good for unions is good for them too.

“The labour movement has been around for a long time, and for the most part, it’s steeped in its own history,” said Hassan Yussuff, who was elected president of the Canadian Labour Congress in May on a platform of modernizing its message.

Read More

January 28,2015 

Leadership and employee engagement are top priority for employers surveyed by Morneau Shepell


Morneau Shepell's 60-Second Survey for December 2014 identified employee engagement and leadership as the most significant challenges to workforce productivity in 2015. These two factors were identified as the top areas of focus in 2015 for the 442 Canadian human resources (HR) professionals who completed the survey.

“In our 60-Second Survey, 43 per cent of respondents cited employee engagement as the major impediment to higher productivity and about one in five employers (22 per cent) named leadership,” said Stephen Liptrap, executive vice-president with Morneau Shepell. “The challenge that employers face is... Read More

January 27, 2015 11

Things Remarkable Leaders Think Every Day


Remarkable leaders are admired--and followed. Learning how a great leader thinks is essential to learning how to become a great leader. By getting to the heart of what makes some leaders truly great, you can become pretty remarkable yourself.

1. What's happening in the world today?

The best leaders begin their day with the news because they know that what's happening in the world today can have an effect on their business. They stay ahead of technological and industry advances so that they--and their companies--can evolve along with the rapid pace of change.

2. What are my goals for the day?

Remarkable leaders set goals for themselves daily--some easily achievable, and others a reach, because they... Read More

January 20, 2015 

Global unemployment forecast to hit 212m by 2019


The number of people that are unemployed will continue to rise over the next five years warns the International Labour Organisation (ILO), with the number of jobless forecast to reach more than 212m by 2019.

The unemployment rate though is expected to remain stable at 5.9% until 2019 when it is forecast to dip to 5.8%.

In its latest report, the ILO point the finger at greater inequality resulting in... Read Mo

January 16, 2015 

PSAC seeks to adopt mental-health standards in public service


Canada’s largest federal union went to the bargaining table Tuesday with proposed contract changes to adopt national standards for a “psychologically healthy” workplace to reduce the rising number of mental health disability claims in the public service.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada tabled a proposal with Treasury Board negotiators to enshrine the Mental Health Commission’s national standard for psychological health and safety in the workplace in the contracts of the 100,000 employees it represents.

Read More

January 15, 2015 

Supreme Court to rule whether RCMP officers have right to unionize


The Supreme Court of Canada will rule Friday whether members of the RCMP can unionize.

The ruling comes out of two separate cases:

  • One brought after the government amended a promised pay increase in 2008.
  • The other brought in a bid to have the court revisit a previous ruling, 15 years ago, that determined the force can be excluded from the freedom of association.

Other federal employees are covered by the Public Service Labour Relations Act, but the act excludes RCMP members from the right to form a union. RCMP members are instead represented by the staff relations representative program, which elects members and is structured similarly to labour organizations, and the RCMP pay council, which includes officials named by the RCMP commissioner.

Read More

January 15, 2015 

Invest in your greatest asset... people!

You know that’s a tag line that I've been repeating for more than a decade, but did you know that there has never been a better time to do so?

The Provincial Governments have just revealed new Job Grant programs from coast-to-coast and YOUR organization may be eligible to receive up to $10,000 per year, per employee to help you offset your training and education needs. This is an amazing opportunity to grow your business or organization through investing in your people!

And in an effort to make it easy for you to access these funds, I've already figured out how it works - yes, there’s lots of paperwork, but we've invested the time in my office to figure out how to make it easy for you to take advantage of this opportunity. If you’re a union, a not-for-profit or a private sector company with one or more full-time employees - YOU are eligible!

Let’s connect to draw up a training and development plan that will help you move your organization forward - and let me show you how to get up to 83% of your investment back through this Grant Program!

Call me at 1-877-290-5003 or e-mail me to book a virtual coffee date. Let’s get started!

January 14, 2015 

N.W.T. to up minimum wage to $12.50 an hour

The Northwest Territories government announced Tuesday it's increasing the territory’s minimum wage to $12.50 an hour.

The new minimum wage would be the highest in Canada and will take effect June 1.

The last increase was to $10 an hour in 2011.

Across Canada, minimum wages range between $10 and $11 an hour. In Yukon, it’s $10.72 an hour and in Nunavut, $11 an hour.

NWT raises minimum wage

Read More

January 12,2015 

More Proof That Mondays Are Terrible: It’s the Most Common Day for Workplace Injuries


The one thing all of humankind has in common is a shared hatred for Mondays. However, it also turns out Monday is the day when the most workplace injuries occur.

According to the annual report on “nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses” by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 167,000 workplace injuries took place on Mondays in 2013 — more than any other day of the week.  While there’s no explicit correlation between… Read More

January 9, 2015 

Funding: Canada Summer Jobs


Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to help employers create summer job opportunities for students. It is designed to focus on local priorities, while helping both students and their communities.

Canada Summer Jobs:

  • provides work experiences for students;
  • supports organizations, including those that provide important community services; and
  • recognizes that local circumstances, community needs and priorities vary widely.

Canada Summer Jobs provides funding to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to create summer job opportunities for young people aged 15 to 30 years who are full-time students intending to return to their studies in the next school year.

To learn more and access the application guide and form, visit Canada Summer Jobs 2015

January 8,2015 

The next frontier in workplace diversity: brain differences

MRI of the lateral skull

We are on the cusp of a civil rights movement for workers on the autism spectrum and those who have conditions like ADHD and dyslexia. Companies and managers at many companies have already begun to take note.

A burgeoning civil rights movement is poised to change the workplace, and it revolves around differences in brain function. Advocates for neurodiversity say that it’s just as critical to business success as gender or racial diversity in the labor force.

A growing number of companies actively recruit candidates on the autism spectrum for tasks that are suited to their strengths, such as those involving... Read More

January 4, 2015 

Changes Effective January 1, 2015

The Government announced seven new laws and regulations — at both the provincial and federal levels — that took effect January 1st, 2015.

2. Fast-track immigration comes to Canada

Skilled workers who want to immigrate to Canada will be able to apply through a new "express entry" system that launches Jan. 1.

Would-be immigrants with a job offer go to the front of the line, as do applicants 20-29 years old with a PhD, language proficiency and past work experience in Canada.

With express entry, qualified applicants will be invited to become permanent residents, and Ottawa is promising the processing time for that should be about six months, compared to the current wait of about two years.

The government says giving preference to "only the candidates who are most likely to succeed — not simply the first to submit their application" — will better meet local labour market needs. Provinces and employers will be able to select people from the pool of applicants created by this new system.

Critics like immigration lawyer Richard Kurland say the government will now be deciding who the winners and losers will be in a system without "transparency, oversight, or accountability."

4. Free trade with South Korea begins


Korean President Park Geun-hye, left, listens to Prime Minister Stephen Harper respond to a question during a joint media availability in September after the two leaders formally signed a free-trade agreement. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The Canada-South Korea free trade agreement comes into force Jan. 1. The Canadian government forecasts exports to Korea will increase 32 per cent.

The agreement is especially good news for  Canadian cattle and pork producers. For example, the 40 per cent Korean tariff on Canadian beef will be gradually eliminated over 15 years.

The agreement was signed in Ottawa on Sept 22. Ottawa sees the pact with Korea as a stepping stone to other free trade agreements in Asia.

To read all of the new seven new laws and regulations, click here.

January 2, 2015 

Leadership development trend for 2015: Shift toward shared responsibility


Employer-sponsored training is often seen as the primary way for employees to advance their careers, but an expert says training will become more of a shared responsibility starting in 2015. However, leadership development will remain a top priority.

Nearly half of senior human resources leaders globally identified leadership development as their top priority in a 2014 Right Management survey, Talent Management: Accelerating Business Performance. However, “only 13% of these leaders have confidence in the strength of their leadership pipelines,” said Mike Bleadorn, vice president and practice leader of Right Management, a division of ManpowerGroup.

Read More

December 29, 2014 

Asbestos revealed as Canada’s top cause of workplace death

Asbestos exposure is the single largest on-the-job killer in Canada, accounting for more than a third of total workplace death claims approved last year and nearly a third since 1996, new national data obtained by The Globe and Mail show. The 368 death claims last year alone represent a higher number than fatalities from highway accidents, fires and chemical exposures combined.

Read More

December 24, 2014 

Manitoba No. 2 in labour-productivity gains


For the second year in row, Manitoba's business sector was one of the country's leaders in labour-productivity gains in 2013, which is usually a sign of a healthy economy.

Statistics Canada figures released Thursday show business labour productivity here grew by three per cent last year. That was 21/2 times the national average increase of 1.2 per cent and was second only to Newfoundland and Labrador's 8.4 per cent gain.

However, Newfoundland and Labrador also had the biggest decline in... Read More

December 22,2014 

Canada jobless rate ticks up as labour participation stuck in 13-year low


Jobs numbers go up and down, but one measure hasn’t budged in recent months: Many Canadians are sitting on the sidelines of the labour market.

The country’s participation rate, or the share of the population aged 15 and over in the work force, stayed at a 13-year low last month. At 66 per cent, it hasn’t shifted in four months and is more than a percentage point lower than 2008 levels.

Low participation spells challenges ahead as a large number of people aren’t holding... Read More

December 17, 2014

Ontario workplace safety strategy moves forward 

Ontario’s Ministry of Labour (MOL) provided construction professionals with an update on the integrated occupational health and safety strategy, which includes new training initiatives for working at heights, entry-level workers and joint health and safety committee certification.

"We have quite a few initiatives underway in the Ministry of Labour. If you haven't already heard, many, if not all of these initiatives, will impact the construction sector in some shape or form," said Cordelia Clarke Julien, MOL's training and safety programs director.
"The ministry has put forward an occupational health and safety strategy for the entire system, which includes... Read More

December 11, 2014 

What can YOU do better?

You know the saying the ‘Power of Positive Thinking’? What about ‘the little engine that could’? Do you believe that if we all stay positive and enthusiastic about something, good things will happen?

It seems to be now a days, we all jump to a negative conclusion, always thinking the worse. “Wow that interview did not go so well, too bad I won’t get the job”. We dwell on what we could have done better instead of what we did well. It’s only natural to remember the bad over the good, but we can change this!

Think of a time when you had to do something that you just REALLY did not want to do and then you did it and in the end it was actually fun and you even learned something. That is what we have to remember: the good out of a situation. We need to be ENTHUSIASTIC! According to Dale Carnegie, “…if there is one ingredient of success that surpasses all others, it’s enthusiasm”.

How we feel, reflects on how we will act. People can tell when we have that fake smile on; when we are somewhere where we really don’t want to be, talking to people we don’t want to talk to.

Here are some tips to help you to stay positive and enthusiastic about what you are doing.

  • Whenever you are about to go into a tough meeting or presentation, give yourself a pep talk, that extra boost of confidence; tell yourself you can do this and you will do this.
  • Have confidence in yourself and what you are saying; if you believe, they will believe.
  • Know what your vision and goals are and show that you are passionate and excited about them.
  • Show initiative and look for new opportunities and challenges; show your organization what you can do for them.
  • Stay healthy; a healthy body equals a healthy mind. If you feel good, it will reflect on your work.
  • Most importantly, BE YOURSELF!
December 9, 2014 

Canadian Workers Get Smaller Share Of The Economic Pie Than U.S. Workers: ILO Report

Canadian wage earners take home less of the country’s total income than American wage earners do, according to new data from the International Labour Organization.

There are many ways to measure economic inequality, and one of them is “labour’s share of income” — the percentage of a country’s total income taken home by wage earners. The rest goes to “capital” — business owners and shareholders.

The greater the share of income taken home by labour, the more... Read More

December 5, 2014 

Should Toronto have a higher minimum wage than the rest of Ontario?

It’s a tale of two cities. The average price of a new single-detached house in Windsor this year? $335,590, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. In Toronto? $835,000.

The numbers point to something that most Ontarians already know: the cost of living varies wildly across the province.

What doesn’t vary at all is the minimum wage. It’s set at $11.00 for all of Ontario. But with economic inequality soaring in Toronto, in part due to a mix of low-wage jobs and high housing costs, some economists and policy researchers are starting to believe that employers in expensive cities should be forced to pay workers more.

Read More

November 28, 2014 

Canada's economy gains 43, 100 jobs, jobless rate drops to 6.5%

It's hard to deny that Canada's employment picture has turned "definitely positive."

For a second month in a row, overall hiring activity soared - in many of the right places - and interrupted the seesaw trend between gains and losses that has persisted all year.

The economy produced an unexpectedly strong 43, 100 jobs in October, all in the private sector and mostly full-time positions, pushing the unemployment rate to a six-year low.

Last month's gains - when combines with growth of 74, 100 in September - produced the largest two-month increase since... Read More

November 26, 2014 

Will Canada Job Grant skills-training funding do the trick?

The Canada Job Grant has been billed as a new boon in skills training. But colleges aren’t so sure.

It should be the perfect fit, with the federal and provincial governments providing new financial assistance to entice employers to get more workers trained. Skills-teaching, especially in industry-relevant areas, is, of course, the raison d’être of colleges.

Yet, most of the college community is taking a wait-and-see approach to the new grant program. Why? Read More

November 23, 2014 

Programs helping employees in crisis net big returns for Canadian employers: study

It may be tempting for Canadian employers looking at the bottom line to question the value of employee and family assistance programs (EFAP) that are so often included in employee health-benefits packages.

For many companies, these programs – which offer confidential services to employees in crisis — have been in place for so long, their existence is almost taken for granted.

But a new study by the human-resourcing firm Morneau Shepell indicates there’s more to these programs than just keeping workers happy. Indeed, the study, the largest of its kind in Canada to date, found that companies... Read More

November 21, 2014 '

Paid to learn': Facing skills shortage, manufacturers invest in training youth

Young people may be wrestling with a tough jobs market, but the news isn't all glum: Some employers are experimenting with new ways to hire, train and invest in them.

A cluster of Canadian manufacturers has banded together to tap young workers – even if they have no experience – for highly skilled, specialized positions. The employers have been spurred into action by strong demand, a shortage of people entering skilled trades and looming retirements.

So, they are hiring first and training after, recruiting youth and paying them from the get-go while they get classroom and on-the-job training with the intent... Read More

November 17, 2014 

G20 commits to boosting economic growth, fighting climate change

Leaders from the G20 group of nations agreed on Sunday to boost flagging global growth, tackle climate change and crack down on tax avoidance but ties between the West and Russia plummeted to a new low over the crisis in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin left the G20 summit in Brisbane early as U.S. President Barack Obama accused Russia of invading Ukraine and Britain warned of a possible "frozen conflict" in Europe.

Several Western nations warned Russia of further sanctions if it did not withdraw troops and weapons from Ukraine.

Read More

November 13, 2014 

west jet
OK - so maybe that’s a bit melodramatic, but I have to tell you about my experience on Westjet a couple of days ago. It made my heart swell with emotion and by the time it was my turn to “check in” with the Westjet gate agent, I was wearing a silly grin and tears were rolling down my cheeks.

I was traveling from Toronto to Ottawa - a short hop that is usually uneventful. The agent announced that there was a large group travelling on our flight today and that they would be boarding first and then they would invite the remainder of the guests to do so. A big cheer went up but I didn’t think much of it and proceeded to gather my things. I fell in line behind the big group. But then it happened…

What I watched was (1) a beautiful display of excellent customer service - something that I have come to expect of Westjet to be frank. But what I experienced was (2) an extraordinary display of customer compassion.

You see, this “large group” was a group of special needs adults who were travelling to Disneyland - and as you can imagine, they were VERY excited. The Westjet agent had all their passports neatly organized and as she called each one up, she took that extra few seconds to meet each of them in their eyes and wish them a wonderful trip. When they shook her hand, she graciously shook theirs with the special “two-handed grip” - you know that one that you reserve for friends and family? And when they hugged her, she hugged them back. It was WAY more than good customer service - and the experience moved me from being a loyal customer to a totally committed state…I fell in love, if you will - not with the agent, but with the company that sets the stage for their employees to act and behave in exactly the right way when the moment presents itself.

GREAT customer service is not just about doing what’s expected - it’s about going above and beyond and delighting customers and on this day, I was definitely delighted!

November 10, 2014 

To ensure prosperity, Canada needs ‘ecofiscal’ policies

The world is increasingly recognizing the linkage between a strong economy and a healthy environment. Yet in Canada, this is old news. Anyone who learned our history with cod, beavers, wheat and lumber knows our economic prosperity has always been underpinned by our natural wealth. The dawning realities of the 21st century nonetheless pose an important question: How do we align the economic goals of our resource-rich economy with the need to protect our environmental assets?

You might think this is mostly about our responsibility on global issues, but it’s not. It’s about our own economic prosperity, across all our regions. The environmental issues we face right now – from the mounting pressures on our air, land and water to the ongoing process of... Read More

November 6, 2014 

Is there a difference between management and leadership?

Some say that management is doing things right and that leadership is doing the right thing.  Do you think it is important to posses good leadership skills in order to be a good manager?

Here are some tips to help you be a great manager AND a great leader.

Idea for newsletter topic

November 3, 2014 

Canada’s Best Jobs 2014

The Canadian job market may seem stuck in neutral—the national unemployment rate has hovered around 7% for over a year—but even in the current environment, there are great work opportunities in every part of the country. Job seekers just have to know where to look. The 2014 listing of Canada’s Best Jobs uses market data to rank the best-paying, fastest-growing positions with the brightest outlook for the foreseeable future.

Not surprisingly, jobs that service the energy sector and other primary industries in the West—Canada’s hottest job market—rank near the top of our list. But as growth there slows, demand for many of the best jobs has started to level off. As a result, a new job has risen to the top this year... Read More

November 2, 2014 

Why you should allow employees to invent their own job titles


Allowing employees to make their own job titles could be good for workers’ well-being. According to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, self-appointed job titles could reduce “emotional exhaustion” among stressed-out employees.

The study, which was published in the Academy of Management Journal, focused on the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Midwest chapter, where employees were allowed to come up with their own job titles. The researchers wanted to see what effect... Read More

November 1, 2014 

U.S. jobless claims rise, but underlying labour market trends firming

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose for a second straight week last week, but remained at levels consistent with a firming labour market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 287,000 for the week ended Oct. 25, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 250 to 281,000. Claims at these levels indicate... Read More

October 31, 2014 

Canadian wages to get ‘moderate’ hike in 2015, report finds

Most workers can expect pay hikes next year that will be just above the anticipated rate of inflation.

The Conference Board of Canada’s annual compensation outlook shows employers see “moderate” base salary increases of 2.9 per cent for non-unionized staff next year and 2 per cent for unionized staff.

That’s a small improvement from this year’s hike of 2.8 per cent for non-unionized workers... Read More

October 20, 2014 

Canada's inflation rate drops to 2% in September

gas-pump-852Canada's inflation rate came in at two per cent in September, down slightly from August's level but in line with expectations.

Higher prices for shelter and food contributed the most to the rise in the consumer price index, the data agency said Friday, while the transportation index posted the smallest increase, thanks to cheaper gas prices.

Three categories of goods with some of the biggest price hikes were... Read More

October 16, 2014 

8 Tips to Prepare for the Inevitable Tyrant Customer

1412791945-8-tips-prepare-inevitable-tyrant-customerEvery entrepreneur has worked with difficult clients. It can be a challenge staying calm instead of angry and upset but, the fact is, every client is valuable. Losing your cool can lead to a loss of business and your reputation.

The good news is that preparing to deal with your most difficult customers will make you a champion to all the reasonable people you do business with.

Read More

October 15, 2014 

12 Myths of Resume Writing

The workplace is constantly changing. That also holds true for the resume. Writing your resume is extremely important for finding a job and showing a company your value. Learn about 12 resume myths and how you can create a stellar resume.

Read More

October 13, 2014 

95% of profits don't go toward jobs, salaries& investment reports finds 

usa-restuarants-protestsCompanies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index are set to spend $914 billion US this year on share buybacks and dividends.

That figure, based on data compiled by Bloomberg and S&P Dow Jones indexes, represents about 95 per cent of their earnings.

The trend of returning money to shareholders comes at a time when companies are putting less into their own capital expansion and returning only a marginal amount more to workers.

Stock repurchases have more than tripled since March 2009, and the proportion of cash flow used for repurchases has doubled in the last decade.

The S&P 500 index, a broad-based U.S. index meant to represent the range of companies in the U.S. economy, has had a rapid run-up this year. Even with last week’s losses, it’s up 7.5 per cent since January 2014.

Low interest rates have made stock buybacks cheaper for companies, and the lure of big dividend… Read More

October 9, 2014 

Next Generation of Skills

frame page
As our society and technology grows, so does the need to update our work skills. Technology is constantly changing and we need to learn to change with it. Social media has become an important tool for any industry and is becoming a 'must know', rather than a ‘nice to know'. Do you know what a hash tag is?

What’s changed?

Remember the days when we used to print a handful of resumes off and head out to the malls and submit our applications? Well that all has changed! If you go into a store to hand in your resume, they would turn you away and tell you to apply online; everything is done online. We can do our grocery shopping, business meetings, even connect with people; we can do all of that from the comfort of our own home with our slippers on!

Where we are going…

Our biggest economic change to date is digitalization. According to Gartner ( is an emerging business model that includes the extension and support of electronic channels, content and transactions. Companies and businesses are embracing this strategy to transform their businesses, while balancing electronic capabilities with traditional business practices (hard-copy documents and correspondence, face-to-face interactions, and call center volume). It has come to a point where companies and businesses do not have a choice but to conform to society’s technology changes and move with the times. The way that society and technology is going, professionally, we will need to reinvent ourselves every 5 years. We need to make sure that we are keeping up with the trends!

The Top Ten Online Colleges have created an infographic which describes the 10 most important work skills that will be needed by 2020.

October 8, 2014 

How Labour Unions Make Us HealthierWest-end-Sunset_large_thumb

Unequal societies are sick societies, and today's Canada is falling deeper than ever into the fever dreams and night sweats generated by growing inequality, recent research from the Broadbent Institute suggests.

The Institute, founded by former NDP leader Ed Broadbent and widely viewed as close to his party, has published Haves and Have Nots, a study of wealth inequality in Canada. The findings show that in 2012 the wealthiest 10 per cent of Canadians controlled nearly half of the nation's wealth while the least wealthy half owned less than six per cent. (In fact, the poorest 30 per cent of Canadians own only one per cent of national wealth.) And our province is a national leader in wealth inequality, with the richest 10 per cent of British Columbians controlling over 56 per cent of provincial wealth.

The news on income inequality is dire as well. (Income inequality refers to differences in annual pay levels, while wealth inequality refers to differences in how much wealth an individual or family holds, including real estate, stocks and other financial instruments.) Even the Conference Board of Canada, a business-class-friendly think tank, has identified a trend toward greater income inequality in Canada… Read More

October 7,2014 

STOP Precarious Work

StoPrecariousWork_white600x280pxGlobal capital is driving fundamental changes to the way that people are employed. Secure jobs are becoming more and more rare, while agency work, contract work and temporary work are taking over. For young people, there is practically no other option – the only jobs on offer are insecure.

Workers in precarious jobs have little chance to join a union or to bargain collectively. Pay and conditions are being driven ever lower by companies that rely on precarious work to reduce their labour costs.

Find out more about how trade unions are fighting precarious work at

Watch the video exposing how precarious work impacts on workers.

Watch the video message from IndustriALL Global Union General Secretary Jyrki Raina.

Together we can STOP Precarious Work!

Read More

September 26, 2014

Rockefellers to switch investments to 'clean energy'

Rockefeller Centre

Heirs to the Rockefeller family, which made its vast fortune from oil, are to sell investments in fossil fuels and reinvest in clean energy, reports say.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is joining a coalition of philanthropists pledging to rid themselves of more than $50bn (£31bn) in fossil fuel assets.

The announcement was made on Monday, a day before the UN climate change summit opens on Tuesday.

Some 650 individuals and 180 institutions have joined the coalition.

It is part of a growing global initiative called Global Divest-Invest, which began on university campuses several years ago, the New York Times reports.

Pledges from pension funds, religious groups and big universities have... Read More

September 18,2014

Ontario economy poised to grow faster than Canada's: CIBC


CIBC says Canada's most populous province is on track to see its economy expand by more than the national average next year, the first time that's happened since before the recession.

The bank says Ontario's economy could expand by 2.8 per cent next year. That's slightly ahead of the 2.7 per cent expansion the bank expects for Canada's economy as a whole.

Indeed, it's good enough to tie Ontario for the second-fastest growth in the country next year, behind Alberta with a projected 3.5 per cent expansion in GDP.

"Ontario has seen a notable resurgence, shifting from a perennial trailer to among the better performing regions of the country," economists Avery Shenfeld and Warren Lovely wrote in their report.

The bank says the province is benefiting more than anywhere else in Canada from a resurgent U.S. economy. The strong American economy is pushing... Read More

September 17, 2014 

Driverless cars, talking ATMs: Disabilities are transforming big business


It’s not every day that Google comes calling. So when Steve Mahan got a chance to test drive the car of the not-so-distant future, the California man couldn't get behind the wheel fast enough.

But he didn'thave to steer it or hit the brakes. The Google Car drives itself, and Mahan, who was actually more of a test rider, became an instant convert.

"I love technology. I see all those new things as open doors or opportunity and ability that I didn't need before but I desperately need now."

That’s because Mahan is blind.

And that disability — along with the disabilities of millions of others — are transforming the marketplace as big-name companies look for ways to appeal to a vast potential customer base eager for products and services that work for them.

The population of people with disabilities is the fastest-growing minority in the world when you include aging baby boomers. Globally, it’s about 1.3 billion people, a market roughly the size of China. Add their friends and family to the mix and the number doubles, to more than... Read More

September 16, 2014

Excellent example of industry-wide employer abuse

Pro cheerleading 'should be abolished'

Critics have long been rooting for a ban on professional cheerleading.

The argument: young, attractive, scantily clad women high-kicking and shaking pom-poms on the sidelines and cheering on male players reinforces women’s subservient role as eye candy in a man’s world.

A recent spate of cheerleader-led lawsuits in the NFL alleging below-minimum wage pay and, in some cases, degrading treatment has only helped reinforce the notion that the job demeans women.

“Cheerleading should be abolished,” former professional basketball player Mariah Burton Nelson told me.

“Cheerleading implies that women's proper role is to support men, smile at men and fulfill the sexual fantasies of males,” declared Nelson, who played for Stanford University and in the first women's pro-basketball league in the U.S.

She added that a woman’s place is on the field, “not on the sidelines.”

It’s a sound argument. Many women’s pro-sports teams still struggle for recognition. Meanwhile, men’s leagues take centre stage, where women’s main job is to look good and entertain the crowd. Read More

September 15,2014

Canada and EU sign co-operation treaty on crime, energy


Canada and the European Union have signed a joint strategic partnership agreement on areas including energy and law enforcement.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton sat down to sign the agreement this morning.

The partnership is a road map for all foreign affairs issues between Canada and the European Union.

"The Canada-EU relationship has never been stronger. This was confirmed once more during our discussions here in Ottawa, where we agreed to further strengthen and broaden the scope of Canada-EU co-operation," Baird and Ashton said in a joint statement.

The document outlines enhanced co-operation in areas of law enforcement, organized crime, cybercrime, money laundering, research co-operation and energy security.

Canada is the first G7 country to sign this type of deal with the European Union.

This is not a final deal. Canada and the EU still have to do legal reviews of the agreement before it is ratified.

Canada and the EU are in the final phases of negotiating a free trade agreement. Both ministers were cagey about progress on the final draft of the Canada-EU trade agreement.

The two foreign ministers will likely talk about Europe's response to the crisis in Ukraine. European countries are slated to decide whether or not to add... READ MORE

September 6, 2014 

Labour Day – how it all began


With us having just recently enjoyed the (long) Labour Day weekend, I thought you might be interested in knowing how this “holiday” came about in Canada!

We have entered an age when workers’ rights are taken for granted and even workers’ benefits have come to be expected, so it’s no wonder that the origins of Labour Day have been confined to our history books.

Taking it to the streets

What has evolved into just another summer holiday began as a working class struggle and massive demonstration of solidarity in the streets of Toronto, Ont.

During the second half of the 19th century, Canada was changing rapidly - immigration was on the rise, cities were becoming crowded, and industrialization was drastically altering our country’s economy along with its workforce.

Long hours and low wages

As machines began to replace or automate many common work processes, employees found that they no longer had special skills to offer employers. There was a feeling that workers could easily be replaced if they complained or dissented. They felt unable to speak out against low wages, long work weeks and unsafe working conditions.

This is the context and setting for what is generally considered Canada’s first Labour Day event in 1872. At the time, unions were illegal in Canada.

This is the context and setting for what is generally considered Canada’s first Labour Day event in 1872. At the time, unions were illegal in Canada.

For over three years the Toronto Printers Union had been lobbying its Employers for a shorter work week. Inspired by workers in Hamilton who had begun the movement for a nine-hour work day, the Toronto printers threatened to strike if their demands were not met. After repeatedly being ignored by their Employers, the workers took bold action and on March 25, 1872, they went on strike! Toronto’s publishing industry was paralyzed and the printers soon had the support of other workers. On April 14, a group of 2,000 workers marched through the streets in a show of solidarity. They picked up even more supporters along the way and by the time they reached their destination at Queen’s Park, the Provincial Legislature, their parade had grown to 10,000 participants – one tenth of the city’s population at that time!

The employers were forced to take notice. Led by George Brown, founder of the Toronto Globe and notable Liberal, the publishers retaliated. Brown brought in workers from nearby towns to replace the printers. He even took legal action to quell the strike and had the strike leaders charged and arrested for criminal conspiracy.

Conservative Prime Minister John A. Macdonald was watching the events unfold and quickly saw the political benefit of siding with the workers. Macdonald spoke out against Brown’s actions at a public demonstration at City Hall, gaining the support of the workers and embarrassing his Liberal rival. Macdonald passed the Trade Union Act, which repealed the existing, outdated British law and decriminalized unions. The strike leaders were released from jail.

The workers still did not obtain their immediate goals of a shorter work week. In fact, many still lost their jobs. They did, however, discover how to regain the power they had lost in the industrialized economy. Their strike proved that workers could gain the attention of their employers, the public, and most importantly, their political leaders IF they worked together. The “Nine-Hour Movement,” as it became known, spread to other Canadian cities and a shorter work week became the primary demand of unionized workers in the years following the Toronto strike.

The parade that was held in support of the strikers became an annual celebration of worker’s rights and was adopted in cities across Canada. The parades demonstrated solidarity, with different unions identified by the colorful banners they carried. In 1894, under mounting pressure from the working class, Prime Minister Sir John Thompson declared Labour Day a national holiday.

Over time, Labour Day strayed from its origins and evolved into a popular celebration enjoyed by the masses. It became viewed as the last celebration of summer, a time for picnics and barbecues.

No matter what your plans were this past Labour Day, take a minute to think about Canada’s labour pioneers. Their actions laid the foundations for future labour movements and helped workers secure the rights and benefits (like maternity leave for example) that we enjoy today.

On-line Resource - check out Canada’s Museum of History for an on-line exhibition of the history of labour in our country. Click here

September 4, 2014 

Canada falls to 15th in global competitiveness ranking

A report on global competitiveness has placed Canada 15th out of 144 countries — a drop of one notch to the lowest level since 2006.
In the annual ranking from the World Economic Forum, Canada scored poorly in innovation (4.5 of 7), pushing it down the competitiveness ladder in 2013. It also saw steep declines in infrastructure, particularly the quality of roads and railroads. The country was, however, graded high in health and primary education (6.6 of 7) when compared to its global counterparts.
According to the WEF, there are two main problematic factors for doing business in Canada — access to financing and tax rates. ... Read more

September 3, 2014 

CPP costs $2B a year, not $490M: Fraser Institute


TORONTO -- The Canada Pension Plan is hiding the fact that its administrative costs have more than tripled since 2006 because of transaction and external management fees, according to a new report from a conservative think-thank.
The Fraser Institute report -- released Wednesday -- said the total cost of running the CPP jumped to $2 billion in 2012-13, from $600 million in 2006-07.

"Contrary to claims of proponents of an expanded CPP, or a provincial pension plan in Ontario, many of the costs of large, government-managed pension plans like CPP are hidden," the report's co-author, Philip Cross, said in a news release.
"A full examination of all costs shows that CPP is not as low-cost as they want you to believe."  ... read more

August 30, 2014 

Tame inflation, but robust retail sales send conflicting signals


OTTAWA -- Tame inflation, but robust retail sales sent conflicting signals Friday about the Canadian economy, economists say.

Statistics Canada said the rise in the cost of living was tempered in July, with the annual inflation rate coming in at 2.1 per cent.

That was down from June when the consumer price index rose by 2.4 per cent over 12 months, a two-year high.

But in a separate report, retail sales showed strong growth, jumping by 1.1 per cent in June to $42.6 billion -- a third consecutive month of increases that added up to a nearly five per cent rise in sales during the first half of 2014.

The conflicting readings send two different messages to the Bank of Canada about its trend-setting policy rate, said Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.
Still, the tone set by the numbers is that economic growth is taking a foot-hold, said Porter.

Read more

August 29, 2014 

Fewer students said to be finding work in federal public service


While the federal government has made it a priority to curb youth unemployment in recent months, students are finding it increasingly hard to find jobs within the public service, according to a think-tank.

Kayle Hatt, who authored the report Help Not Wanted: Federal Public Service Cuts Have Hit Student Hiring Hard, said that he believes the federal government is "shying away" from providing opportunities for students amid increasing budget cuts to the public service.

"It seemed that student hiring was one of the first things on the chopping block. When you add it all up, what that means is that there's fewer opportunities for students," he said.
The report, published by the Ottawa-based Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives earlier this month, shows that summer hiring of students by the federal government has declined by more than one third since 2009.

Read more

August 11, 2014 

Unemployment dips to 7%, most new jobs are part time


Canada's unemployment rate edged down to seven per cent in July, with just 200 new jobs created, according to Statistics Canada.

That's better than the 7.1 per cent recorded in June, but mainly reflects a decline in the number of people looking for work.  

This was a heightened problem for people over age 55, who saw employment continue to fall.

"If you look at the overall story, self-employment is rising," Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist of CIBC World Markets Inc., told CBC News.  "So clearly, the quality of jobs is going down, down, down."

However, there were brighter prospects for youth aged 15 to 24, with 17,000 new jobs going to that segment. That didn’t budge the 13.2 per cent unemployment rate for young workers.

Much of the work created in July was in education, or in information, culture and recreation, with construction and health-care jobs in decline.

Tal called it a "structural problem."

"If you go to Alberta, there are a lot of jobs but not enough people to fill them yet it's the opposite in Ontario," he pointed out. "We need to close the gap between the jobs we need and the jobs we have [and] that's an issue of education and immigration policy."

Read More

August 5, 2014 

Income inequality slowing U.S. recovery, ratings agency says


Posted by The Associated Press

Economists have long argued that a rising wealth gap has complicated the U.S. rebound from the Great Recession.

Now, an analysis by the rating agency Standard & Poor's lends its weight to the argument: The widening gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else has made the economy more prone to boom-bust cycles and slowed the five-year-old recovery from the recession.

Economic disparities appear to be reaching extremes that "need to be watched because they're damaging to growth," said Beth Ann Bovino, chief U.S. economist at S&P.

The rising concentration of income among the top one per cent of earners has contributed to S&P's cutting its growth estimates for the economy. In part because of the disparity, it estimates that the economy will grow at a 2.5 per cent annual pace in the next decade, down from a forecast five years ago of a 2.8 per cent rate.

The S&P report advises against using the tax code to try to narrow the gap. Instead, it suggests that greater access to education would help ease wealth disparities.

Read More

July 31, 2014 

Canada's GDP expands at 2.3% pace in May


Posted by CBC News

Canada's economy expanded by 0.4 per cent in May, a sharp improvement from 0.1 per cent the month before.

Statistics Canada reported Thursday that Canada's GDP has expanded for five straight months. On an annualized basis, the economy is growing at a 2.3 per cent pace. The expansion was broad-based, as most industries showed growth.

The service sector expanded by 0.4 per cent, and the goods sector fared even better, expanding by half a per cent.

Three key Canadian industries — manufacturing, mining and oil and gas extraction — all increased. Construction activity also expanded.

Wholesalers and retailers saw noticeable increases, along with the transportation and real estate sectors, warehousing services and professional services.

Two exceptions were the public sector, which was flat, and the finance and insurance industry, which shrank.

July 29,2014 

U.S. GDP grew at 4% rate in second quarter


from The Associated Press

After a dismal winter, the U.S. economy sprang back to life in the April-June quarter, growing at a fast 4 per cent annual rate on the strength of higher consumer and business spending.

The rebound reported Wednesday by the Commerce Department followed a sharp 2.1 per cent annualized drop in economic activity in the January-March quarter. That figure was revised up from a previous estimate of a 2.9 per cent drop. But it was still the biggest contraction since early 2009 in the depths of the Great Recession.

"The unemployment rate is at its lowest point since September of 2008," U.S. President Barack Obama said at an event in Kansas City after the numbers came out. "Workers are building new homes, consumers are spending, America is exporting goods around the world."

Last quarter's bounce-back was broad-based, with consumers, businesses, the housing industry and state and local governments all combining to fuel growth. The robust expansion will reinforce analysts' view that the economy's momentum is extending into the second half of the year, when they forecast an annual growth rate of around 3 per cent.

Read more

July 21, 2014 

Women on corporate boards: companies need to 'open their minds'


By Brett Throop, CBC News

Liberal Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette is determined to speed up the glacial pace at which women are cracking the ranks of corporate boards of directors.
Hervieux-Payette has introduced a private member's bill, the Boards of Directors Modernization Act, which would require the proportion of board members of either sex to be at least 40 per cent.

"We really need to push the companies to open their minds," Hervieux-Payette told Laura Lynch, guest host of CBC Radio One’s The Sunday Edition this week.

Currently, women hold just 10 per cent of the seats in Canada’s boardrooms, and 40 per cent of the top 500 Canadian companies have no women on their boards at all. According to the Conference Board of Canada, at the current rate, it will take 151 years to see gender parity on boards.

Read More

July 16, 2014 

Brics nations to create $100bn development bank


The leaders of the five Brics countries have signed a deal to create a new $100bn (£58.3bn) development bank and emergency reserve fund.

The Brics group is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The capital for the bank will be split equally among the five participating countries.

The bank will have a headquarters in Shanghai, China and the first president for the bank will come from India.

Brazil's President, Dilma Rousseff, announced the creation of the bank at a Brics summit meeting in Fortaleza, Brazil on Tuesday. 

Read More

July 15, 2014

Janet Yellen to give Congress update on the economy


The Associated Press

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen will have some good news to tell Congress this week about the health of the job market. But lawmakers will likely press her to provide more information on just how the central bank intends to react to the good news.

Yellen is scheduled to deliver the Fed's twice-a-year report to Congress on interest-rate policy and the economy. She testifies before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday and will follow that with testimony Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee.

She delivered her first monetary report to Congress in February, just a week after being sworn in to succeed Ben Bernanke as the first woman to head the central bank.

Read More

July 8, 2014

Business leaders call on Ottawa to reverse 'alarming slide' in skills training


The Canadian Press

A new report is urging Ottawa to work with the provinces and industry to put a stop to what it calls an "alarming slide" in the quality of Canada's education and skills training.

A paper commissioned by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives is being released ahead of this week's meeting of Canada's provincial education and labour ministers and industry representatives in Charlottetown.

The report says only the federal government can lead and create a national education and skills training strategy.

It urges Ottawa, the provinces and the territories to form a body that's responsible for learning and training, which would set targets for all learning phases.

The report recommends creating a separate body to keep track of how well the country is meeting its learning goals.

Read More

July 7,2014

Canada Job Grant won't be in place July 1 in most provinces

By Susana Mas, CBC News

Most if not all of the provinces and territories will fail to deliver the federal government's controversial Canada Job Grant in time for Canada Day, despite a three-month extension given to them to implement and deliver the grant by July 1.

Less than half of the provinces and territories that agreed to implement the grant last spring have finalized their funding agreements with Ottawa. The six provinces are: British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.

The Canada Job Grant, a centrepiece proposal made by the federal government during last year's budget, will provide workers with up to $15,000 to help them land a new or better job.

Read More

June 30,2014 

Canada's GDP expands at 2.1% pace in April


Posted by CBC News

Statistics Canada reported Monday that Canada's service sector expanded during the month, but the output of goods-producing industries actually declined.

"There were notable declines in mining and oil and gas extraction, construction and utilities, while manufacturing was up," the data agency said. Manufacturing was actually the only part of the goods-producing sector that expanded during the month.

Economists polled by Bloomberg had been expecting the overall GDP figure to come in at around a 2.3 per cent annual pace of growth.

Read More

June 24, 2014 
Temporary foreign workers changes to 'impact' seafood trade


Posted by CBC News

Recent changes to Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program could be devastating to the provincial economy, says the P.E.I. Seafood Processors Association.

Last Friday, the federal government announced radical changes to the system, including allowing only 10 per cent of employees at a workplace to be temporary foreign workers.

The 12 seafood processors on P.E.I. have about 1,600 positions, about a third of which are filled by temporary foreign workers, says Dennis King, executive director of the P.E.I. Seafood Processors Association.

Read More

June 16, 2014 

Top 10 Canadian Heroes list includes Pierre Trudeau, Jack Layton


The Canadian Press

Canadians have handed the Harper government a Top 10 list of the country's greatest heroes, featuring some of the Conservative party's greatest adversaries, past and present.

The list, compiled from online consultations in the run-up to Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, includes Pierre Trudeau, Jack Layton, David Suzuki and Lester B. Pearson.

About 12,000 Canadians participated in the online exercise, which began Dec. 11 and closed last month.

A five-part digital form included the question: Which Canadians have inspired you the most over the last 150 years?

The Canadian Heritage Department extracted a Top 10 list for an April 29 briefing note for the minister, Shelly Glover.

Read More 

June 13, 2014 
Right-to-work legislation takes a back seat as Kathleen Wynne wins a clear majority vote from Ontario Voters. 

By Robert FisherCBC News

In 2003 Kathleen Wynne was told she would never be able to defeat Progressive Conservative cabinet minister David Turnbull.

She did.

In 2007, she heard the same thing when then-Progressive Conservative leader John Tory decided he'd run against her in Toronto's Don Valley West riding. But, she defeated him.

In 2011, Wynne faced another high-profile Conservative and despite the talk she was vulnerable, she defeated her too.

So when former premier Dalton McGuinty stepped down, many Liberals approached Wynne, asking her to consider a run for the leadership of the party.

Read More 

June 11,2014 

New Canada 2020 study: How to renew the federal public service


Canada's federal public service needs a renewed commitment to values, ethics and non-partisanship.

That's the main thrust the new report, Renewal of the Public Service: Toward a charter of public service written by Ralph Heintzman.

The second in our new series of federal policy papers, the study details the need for a Charter of Public Service, or a "new moral contract" that will guide how elected and unlected officials interact and serve Canadians.

As an organization that believes in a professional, independent public service, paper's like this are an excellent starting point for debate about the future of our bureaucracy.

The paper details how Canada's public service has gone through various stages of renewal over the past 25 years, yet the line between the political and public aspects of our government gets consistently blurred.

It recommends practical reform steps built upon four key pillars:

  1. the values and ethics of public service;
  2. strengthening the deputy minister’s role as accounting officer;
  3. reforming the process for the appointment of deputy ministers; and
  4. new rules for government communications.

Download the paper in both French and English HERE

Thanks for reading,
Tim Barber
Canada 2020

June 10,2014 

High functioning autism creating challenges in the public service


By Julie IretonCBC News

Suzanne Ford is often called into the federal government offices when managers are frustrated and fed up with a worker.

"The person is looking at being terminated and it started as something as simple as the supervisor didn't understand," said Ford.

As director of services at Y's Owl Maclure Co-operative Centre, Ford's role is to work with people with high-functioning autism and Asperger's Syndroms.

She said her agency is invited in to government departments including Statistics Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada to provide employment and support.

Read More  

June 6, 2014 

Canadian unemployment rate rises slightly to 7% in May


Posted by CBC News

Canada's unemployment rate rose to seven per cent in May, just 0.1 percentage point over the previous month, as many young workers entered the job marker seeking summer work, according to Statistics Canada.

Nearly 26,000 jobs were created in May, but most of the gains were in part-time work. In the past year, the Canadian economy has cranked out 86,000 jobs, a relatively low number, and most of the new work is part-time.

Read More

June 4, 2014

Modern Unionism ... and a RTW forum storm


My article last month about Tim Hudak and the Provincial Election, created quite a reaction in some of the on-line discussion forums. Not surprisingly, one gentleman from a pro-Right-to-Work (RTW) organization in the US really went wild with some of his commentary.

Looking at unions in a new way

When I suggested to him that there ARE unions that are NOT combative with their Employer partners, he refused to agree with me. And when I suggested that “modern unionism” was emerging in response to the changing times, needs and interests of Workers and Employers, he objected to the notion and attempted to pass it off as a worthless idea.

Out with the old school...

But I disagree. For sure there are old-school unions out there that choose to focus on combative relationships with their Employers; that have forgotten who their constituency is (their Members); and that focus more on the needs of the hierarchies that they have created than on meeting the needs and interests of their Members and partners. But the times, they are changing, and so is union culture.

... in with the new!

There is an increasing number of unions that are leading the way, and changing the paradigm, by creating a modern version of unionism that is collaborative and progressive. One that is evolving with the modern times that we are living in. One that considers the needs and interests of Workers AND Employer and community partners.


If every person takes a tiny step forward, the group as a whole, will make a giant leap. What are you personally going to do today to move your workplace forward and contribute to building a modern union where YOU work?


June 4, 2014

Unions accuse government of capitulating on labour law


Posted by CBC News

The Federation of Labour is accusing the provincial government of capitulating to the interest of business, with a proposed amendment to the labour relations act.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour said in a release the province is looking to change the act to accommodate businesses over workers.

Read More

May 29,2014

China's economic shift set to throw the West off-balance


Posted by CBC News

China's new leadership is trying to create a shift in it's economy from low-wage, investment-driven growth to a consumer economy driven by domestic demand and when that change happens, the rest of the world will have to change too.

Read More  

May 28, 2014 

Public Service: The looming fight over sick leave 


Posted by Kathryn May

The conservative government's plan to replace the existing sick-leave regime is likely to provoke a showdown with unions over the number of days public servants will get and what to do with the $5.2 billion in leave that they have already banked.

Read More 

May 28,2014
Alberta to raise minimum wage to $10.20 in September


Posted by CBC News

The Alberta government announced today that the general minimum wage will be raised to $10.20 on Sept 1.
The liquor server minimum wage will also increase to $9.20 from $9.05 an hour at that time.
Alberta is the last province to hit the $10 general minimum wage barrier.

Read More

May 27, 2014

Canada's inflation rate hits 2-year high of 2%

Posted by CBC News

The cost of living increased by the largest amount in 2 years in April, up to 2 per cent.
Statistics Canada reported Friday that the consumer price index (CPI) hit two per cent last month, an increase from 1.5 per cent the previous month.
The 2 per cent figure marks the biggest increase in two years.

Read More  

May 26, 2014
39% of unemployed have given up job search, poll suggests
Posted by CBC News

Almost 4 out of 10 Canadians who don't have a job have completely given up hope of ever finding one, a new survey suggests.
In a poll carried out by Harris Poll and published Friday by employment agency Express Employment Professionals, the company surveyed 1,502 unemployed Canadians. None of them had a job, and not all of them were receiving EI Benefits. 

Read More

May 15, 2014
Vote Compass for Ontario 2014 Election Launches
Matt Kwong, CBC News

Think you've got your partisan stripes sorted for next month's Ontario election? CBC's online democratic engagement tool Vote Compass holds a mirror to voters to help them better see their true political colours, according to developers.

Read More

May 14, 2014
Hudak's 'right-to-work' a scary prospect for working people

Tim Hudak is itching to take the reins in Ontario. Here are the risks of letting him do so:
  • he would wage a full-on war against unions, by implementing "right-to-work" (RTW) legislation (see below)
  • he would scrap Premier Kathleen Wynn's Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, a solid plan in a budget that's been widely applauded
  • his cost slashing (starting with wiping out 100,000 public sector jobs) would inevitably mean drastic cuts in services for Ontario residents
  • he would set a dangerous precedent in Canada

The "right-to-work" (for less)

Right-to-work (RTW) laws would make it illegal for unions to collect dues as a condition of employment. With potentially fewer workers involved in the collective bargaining process, the potential for under-mining each others’ interests and needs would be greater - and this would lead to lower wages and safety standards in both the short and long-term. Getting rid of safe jobs and decent wages is not the way to make Ontario “more competitive”.

These U.S. stats explain a lot:

Q: Which are the three states with union membership rates of 4 percent or less?
A:  North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia. (RTW states) Median hourly wages: $15.16, $14.45, $15.25.
Q: Which are the three states with union membership rates of 20 percent or more?
A: New York, Alaska, Hawaii. Median wages: $19.02, $20.65, $17.44.


Next question:

How will you vote? Vote strategically! Admittedly, this part is tricky because polls can be misleading, but if you pay attention you can make an educated guess. In your riding, look at which candidate has the best chance of beating the PC candidate and go from there. If you want to go a step further, sign up as a volunteer at your preferred candidate's riding office.

Paths to Prosperity??

The path to prosperity is not through the reduction of jobs that pay decent wages, through lowering safety standards or through shrinking services provided to citizens. When casting your ballot, consider not just the short-term, but the more impactful, long-term consequences of your choice. Together we can make a difference and ensure that the people of Ontario do prosper in this continuously changing and evolving economy.

May 9, 2014
How a little Alberta union helps temporary foreign workers become Canadian
By Amber HilderbrandtCBC News

Filipino butcher Eduardo Basa knew little about the small-town meat-packing plant in southern Alberta where he'd secured a job under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Read More

May 8, 2014
Bear attack at Suncor site kills 1 worker
Posted by CBC News

A Suncor employee has been killed by a bear at the company’s Oil Sands base, 25 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, Alta.

Read More

May 8, 2014
Climate change: 3 reasons businesses aren't seeking solutions
By Don PittisCBC News

It seems a strange disconnect. If climate change is really causing economic havoc, as outlined in a new blue ribbon Congressionally mandated report from the United States. why is business so insouciant?

Read More

May 2, 2014
Ontario budget 2014: Winners and losers
Posted by The Canadian Press

Here is a list of winners and losers in Kathleen Wynne's second budget since becoming premier...

Read More

May 2, 2014
Wynne's put up or shut up budget message to NDP: Robert Fisher
By Robert Fisher, CBC News

Premier Kathleen Wynne and Finance Minister Charles Sousa have delivered what can only be described as the the best NDP budget Ontario’s ever seen from a Liberal government.

Read More

May 2, 2014
Canadian economy chugs to modest GDP gain in February
Posted by CBC News

Canada's economy expanded by 0.2 per cent in February, in line with what economists were expecting.

Statistics Canada said Wednesday that goods-producing businesses boosted output by 0.5 per cent, while the service sector expanded by 0.1 per cent.

Read More

May 1, 2014
Ontario election destiny will be shaped by NDP and Horwath
By Robert Fisher, CBC News

The "political" honeymoon was over some time ago for Premier Kathleen Wynne  — with or without the 2014 budget — likewise for NDP Leader Andrea Horwath — with or without the ideas she has campaigned on.

Read More

April 29, 2014
Women in trades: Veterans say changes needed to boost numbers
By Karin Wells, CBC News

The B.C. government is encouraging young women to pursue blue collar careers, but has met with mixed success. The founders of Vancouver Women in Trades recently gathered to discuss the challenges they faced breaking into the trades over the past three decades, as well as some of the things that have changed and what still needs work.

Read More

Apr 28, 2014
Temporary foreign worker moratorium: 'We will see some restaurants close'
By Marc Gollum, CBC News

A moratorium on hiring temporary foreign workers for the food service industry could force the closure of restaurants and put Canadians out of work, industry experts say.

Read More

Apr 28, 2014
Workplace safety by the numbers
By Daniel Schwartz, CBC News

Today is the National Day of Mourning to remember workers injured, killed or afflicted with an occupational illness while on the job. And if it turns out to be an average day for workplace safety in Canada, three workers will die.

Read More

April 23, 2014
Skilled immigrants to be offered 'express entry' to Canada in 2015
By Susana Mas, CBC News

The Canadian government is forging ahead with a new immigration system that will offer "express entry" to qualified immigrants starting in January 2015 as a way to help fill open jobs for which there are no available Canadian workers.

Read More

Apr 8, 2014
Temporary foreign workers have better work ethic, some employers believe
By Mark Gollom, CBC News

The issue of temporary foreign workers has again become a subject of controversy following a CBC Go Public story that revealed that restaurant chain McDonald’s
 is under federal investigation over possible abuses of the Temporary Foreign Worker program at a franchise outlet in B.C.

Read more

Mar 18, 2014

12 Most Effective Time Management Principles

Posted by Marc Andre

It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re in or what position you have, there are only 24 hours in a day for each of us. Mastering time management and maximizing efficiency can help you to feel like you have more time since you’ll be able to get more accomplished. Sounds good, right?

Read more

Mar 16, 2014

How low will Canadian inflation go? Perhaps too low for comfort - Early indicators show economic growth may soften, partly due to bitter winter

The Canadian Press
Does Canada still have a too-low inflation problem?

The recent upward drift in the consumer price index, which the Bank of Canada watches like a hawk, appeared to put to rest concerns that the country was headed for disinflation, a period of low and declining inflation.

But it appears the relief may have been premature.

This Friday's inflation reading for February is likely to again grab central banker Stephen Poloz's full attention, with some economists predicting the Statistics Canada report will show the annual CPI falling below one per cent, and even as low as 0.5 per cent, from January's comfortable 1.5 per cent setting.

Read more

Mar 7, 2014

Unemployment: Older workers waiting for the revolution

By Don Pittis, CBC News

There's a revolution coming. That's what employment experts are saying, and David Hurdon 
is one of the growing number of Canadians who can't wait.

"I need to work," he says.

ARP's job fair in Mississauga in February drew about 600 seniors. (CARP)

​Hurdon left his last full time "formal" job as vice-president of retailing at winemaker Kittling Ridge at age 54. That was 10 years ago, and since then he has been self-employed and never earned enough to set aside a retirement nest egg.  

When he heard about a job fair run by CARP (a group representing older Canadians) that is specifically aimed at people trying to get back into the workforce, Hurdon was optimistic about finding a good job.

Read more

Feb 28, 2014

Ottawa posts $1.1B surplus in December

The Canadian Press
The Finance Department says the federal government ran a budget surplus of $1.1 billion in December, compared with a deficit of $700 million recorded in December 2012.

In its monthly Fiscal Monitor, the department says revenues increased by $1.7 billion, or 7.9 per cent, in December, reflecting increases in most revenue streams.

Read More

Feb 28, 2014

Canada's economy expands at 2.9% pace, beating forecasts

CBC News

Canada's economy expanded an an annualized pace of 2.9 per cent in the last three months of 2013, Statistics Canada reported Friday.

That was better than the downward-revised pace of 2.4 per cent seen in the U.S. over the same period. It was also better than the 2.5 per cent growth rate that analysts had been expecting.

The gains were broad-based, as most industrial sectors showed expansion. Mining, oil and gas, manufacturing and the public sector all grew.

Loonie rises

For 2013 as a whole, the Canadian economy grew by two per cent.

That's about three-tenths of a percentage point higher than predicted by the Bank of Canada and the latest federal budget. It also makes 2013 the best year for the Canadian economy since 2011.

Read more

Feb 28, 2014

Canada Job Grant notably different from take it or leave it offer

By Susana Mas, CBC News

An agreement in principle over the Canada Job Grant was made possible because Ottawa's final offer was notably different from the take it or leave it grant sprung on the provinces during last year's federal budget, says one of the ministers who spent the last few months negotiating face to face with Employment Minister Jason Kenney. 

"The government's final offer is significantly different from the unilateral announcement the government made without consultation in last year's federal budget," Shirley Bond, B.C.'s minister of jobs, tourism, and skills, told CBC News in an interview Friday afternoon.

Read more

Feb 17, 2014
Middle class retailers dying a slow death

By Don Pittis, CBC News

Despite another commitment last week by Sears Canada president Doug Campbell that the chain would continue to target the middle class, the trouble at Sears is a sign that middle class retailing itself is in decline.

Aldwin Era is convinced that retailing is dividing in two, one for the rich and one for the poor. He has a simple theory about why: People no longer want to be seen as middle-class shoppers.

Read more

Feb 12, 2014
Jason Kenney: Canada Job Grant will lead to guaranteed jobs
By Susana Mas, CBC News

Details announced in Tuesday's federal budget aimed at delivering guaranteed jobs under the proposed Canada Job Grant shouldn't come as a surprise to the provinces, Employment Minister Jason Kenney told CBC News in an exclusive interview Wednesday.

"What we simply clarified in yesterday's budget is what I've said all along, which is that if provinces choose not to deliver the job grant, we will deliver it directly to Canadians so they get good jobs," Kenney said in an exclusive interview with CBC's Julie Van Dusen on Wednesday.

Tuesday's federal budget announced that in provinces or territories where a deal cannot be reached, the government will deliver the federal grant directly through Service Canada starting April 1.

Read more

Jan 28, 2014

Falling loonie means just more milking of Canadian consumers

by Neil Macdonald, CBC
Having lived for so long in the savagely competitive American marketplace, I'm always amazed when I return to Canada at how some of my more bovine fellow citizens are willing to rationalize being milked.

Whenever the discussion drifts to how just about everything in Canada costs more than it does across the nearby American border, some trusting soul pipes up with something like: "Well, that's just the price we pay for our health-care system."

Or: "If that's what it costs to have a more caring society, then I'm willing to pay it."

Even a few years ago, when the loonie was powerful and rising, you'd hear nonsense like that.  
Read more

Jan 11, 2014
Canadian Association of Professional Speakers Award

This past Saturday, I was honoured to receive the 2013 CAPS Ottawa President's Award from current President, Steve Lowell. I am a Past-President of the Chapter and have contributed in a number of capacities over the years. In 2013 I suggested we create a Board position called " Director of Participation" and I volunteered to take it on.

I really believe that, although I do contribute a lot of time to our Chapter's activities, that I get WAY more out of the experience! I have built strong relationships with other professionals whom I continue to learn so much from. If you are a member of an association, I really encourage you to get involved - I firmly believe that you will get more than you give and have a tonne of fun along the way.

Jan 6, 2014

If you don't design your career, someone else will

It is easy to become so consumed in our careers we fail to really think about our careers.

To avoid this trap, try carving out a couple of hours to follow these simple steps for reflecting on your career:

Step 1: Review the last 12 months. Review the year, month by month. Make an list of how you spent your time: major projects, responsibilities and accomplishments.

Step 2: Look over your list and reflect on what is really going on. Think like a journalist and ask yourself: Why does this matter? What are the trends here? What happens if these trends continue?

To read all 8 steps, click here

Jan 5

Knowledge Economy Index 2012 Rankings

The World Bank’s Knowledge Economy Index findings for 2012 have been released.

The Knowledge Indexes were designed to measure a country’s or region’s overall preparedness to compete in the Knowledge Economy. It was created by the World Bank Institute using the Knowledge Assessment Methodology. Find out how Canada compares to the rest of the world ... Click here.
Dec. 25

5 Countries You (Probably) Didn't Know Were Going Solar

Solar energy has the power to change lives.  In developing countries around the world, solar panels are offering a way to provide off-grid villages with clean electricity to drastically improve the quality of life among their inhabitants.  If you need inspiration to go solar in 2014, check out these countries that are installing solar and markedly improving the quality of life of their citizens. read more

Dec. 20
Northern Gateway pipeline: 6 things to know
Public hearings, environmental impact all part of the panel decision
The panel held hearings for more than a year throughout Alberta and B.C., listening to issues raised and information submitted by a number of people, including business leaders, environmental and aboriginal groups and members of the public. The panel's decision is supposed to be based on the information learned from those hearings, its examination of the potential environmental effects of the project and their significance. Read more

Dec. 12
Safety-concerned unions join to fight Bill C-4
18 unions says workers could be killed by changes

A coalition of 18 unions says they have worker safety in mind as they plan to sue the federal government over its proposed public service bill. The proposed legislation would take away some government union bargaining rights, rework the arbitration process and also change rules around worker safety.

Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, said the way the bill would redefine the concept of “danger” at work will get workers killed.

“What they've changed it to say is only if the danger is imminent, if there's an explosive or the building's on fire can you say ‘I'm not going to do that work.’”  read more

Dec. 12
6 things MPs didn't do before taking a 6-week break
By Katie O'Malley
In the interests of full transparency and journalistic disclosure, I'm going to level with you, readers.
Try though I might (and I did, I swear) to put together a definitive list on what your MPs accomplished this fall, I just couldn't come up with much in the way of concrete (or even ephemeral) parliamentary achievements.
Instead, here's my recap of what MPs didn't do on Parliament Hill this fall. read more

Dec. 6

Canada add 22,000 jobs in November

The Canadian economy added 22,000 jobs last month, but the unemployment rate held steady at 6.9 per cent for the third month in a row.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that increases in private-sector jobs were somewhat offset by a reduction of workers in the public sector.

The unemployment rate has declined by 0.3 percentage points in the past year, dropping from 7.2 per cent this time last year.

In 2013, the economy has created an average of 13,400 jobs per month. That compares to 25,400 a month, on average, in 2012.

read more

Nov. 27

The Evolution of the Knowledge Worker

First coined by Martin Feregrino in 1959, the term ‘knowledge worker’ describes anyone who develops, works with, or uses information in the workplace.

As information-centric services rise in the modern economic paradigm, knowledge workers are becoming the fastest growing sector of the world’s workforce, driving 70 percent of economic growth.

View an informative infographic that looks at the knowledge worker­ – then and now.

Nov. 5

One US town's battle over the minimum wage

Alternating blue and green signs  dot almost every lawn, billboard, and shop window of this suburb of Seattle, Wash.

The signs urge residents to vote yes - or vote no - for Proposition 1, a measure that, if passed, would raise the minimum wage here to $15 an hour.

That would be double the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Saba Belachew, an immigrant from Ethiopia, says she is desperately in need of a raise. She works two jobs at the airport and still cannot make ends meet. That's why she has added a third job to the mix...

read more

Oct. 22

The New Four Degrees of Separation

The six degrees of separation are a relic from our ancient past. In a world where Facebook maps the connections between hundreds of millions people, the chain connecting you to any other person on the Earth is now less than four humans long.

Researchers long suspected that social media tools like Facebook have decreased the number of links between any two individuals, but new research  shows “the average number of acquaintances separating any two people ... is 3.9.”

The magic 3.9 number is more of a worst case quantity. Between average people, the number is closer to 3.2.

read more

Oct. 19

5 ways Canada-EU trade deal will impact Canadians

Canada and the European Union have reached a "political agreement" on free trade that the federal government says could boost Canada's annual income by as much as $12 billion annually, and bilateral trade by 20 per cent.

While the deal is not expected to be ratified for at least two years, it is expected to remove 98 per cent of EU tariffs on a wide range of Canadian products.

1. Cheaper goods
When CETA comes into force, Canadians will pay less for items including food, wines and spirits, and even high-end European cars — if retailers and European manufacturers pass on the savings from the elimination of tariffs.... Read more...

Oct. 16

Law will force balanced budgets: throne speech
The federal government says it will bring in a law forcing future governments to balance budgets during "normal economic times," freeze its operating budget and reform the way the government manages spending, Gov. Gen. David Johnston said in the throne speech Wednesday.

The speech, which lays out the government's agenda for the next session of Parliament, also promises to open up Canada's liquor laws so that Canadians can take beer and spirits across provincial boundaries. read more

Oct. 15

Janet Stewart with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne

Pictured at the 2013 Ontario Liberal Women's Caucus Golf Tournament.

Oct. 10

1 in 6 new medical specialists can’t find work

More physicians competing for fewer resources
such as operating room time

About 16 per cent of newly graduated medical specialists in Canada say they can't find work, according to a new report suggesting that the economy, hospital resources and personal preferences are driving the unemployment problem.

In a recent report from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, researchers interviewed more than 40 people with in-depth knowledge, such as deans of medical schools and hospital CEOs, and conducted an online survey of 4,000 newly graduated doctors. read more

Sept. 28

Ontario's youth unemployment among worst in Canada

Young people in Ontario — especially Toronto — are among the least employed in the country, according to a new report that shows the province’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average.

The report, released Friday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, shows that for those under 24 years of age, joblessness is more common in Ontario than anywhere in Canada, aside from Atlantic Canada. read more

Sept. 27

Saskatoon, Regina expected to lead growth, Conference Board says

Cities in Western Canada are expected to lead the country's metropolitan areas in economic growth this year, a report by the Conference Board of Canada says.

Saskatoon, Regina, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver make up the top five in the board's latest outlook for 13 Canadian metropolitan areas while Ottawa-Gatineau and Victoria are at the bottom of the list as government spending cuts take their toll. read more

Sept. 26

Canadian population surpasses 35 million
Canada's population is estimated at 35,158,300, an increase of 404,000 over the last year, with growth generally higher in the western provinces, according to Statistics Canada.

"The trend is showing that we are growing but not by too much or too little," Frank Trovato told CBC News. Trovato is a professor of demography and population studies at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. The 1.2 per cent increase is similar to the annual growth in the country over the last three decades. read more

Sept. 26

Canadian businesses most confident since 2005

Canadian private companies are forecasting a 7.6 per cent growth rate for the coming year, according to a survey by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, an outlook PwC warns might be overly optimistic given that Canada’s GDP is forecast to grow just over two per cent in the coming year.

The management consulting firm surveyed 350 leaders of privately held Canadian businesses from a wide range of sectors during the summer for its Business Insights survey. read more

Sept. 20

Labour 'apprentice for each foreign worker' scheme

The British Labour Party has said it plans to make large companies train a new apprentice for each skilled worker they hire from outside the European Union.

The policy would create up to 125,000 high quality apprenticeships over the next parliament, the party said.

Labour leader Ed Miliband also pledged to increase the minimum wage to help with the cost of living.

He was speaking ahead of the start of the Labour Party conference in Brighton. read more

Sept. 20

Older women face 'outdated policies'

Despite women in their 50s and 60s being healthier and more accomplished than ever, they face "public policy... rooted in the past", a report in the UK says.
Labour's Commission on Older Women calls for better careers support and workplace flexibility to deal with them taking on caring responsibilities.
It claims unemployment among women aged 50-64 rose 41% in two-and-a-half years, compared with 1% overall.
It warns of "double discrimination" based on gender and age. read more

Sept. 19

Number of EI recipients drops

The number of people receiving employment insurance benefits fell in July to a level not seen since before the start of the 2008 recession, Statistics Canada said Thursday.

The number of EI beneficiaries fell  2.1 per cent in July to 503,900 and was down 5.7 per cent from July 2012. Quebec, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador saw the biggest declines while Ontario and British Columbia saw little change in the number of people receiving benefits. read more

Sept. 16

American poverty figure edges up to 46.5 million

Fast-food workers protest for higher wages across the country

The number of Americans in poverty rose slightly last year to 46.5 million, according to US Census data, despite a stock market recovery.

The figure edged up from 46.2 million in 2011, meaning the national poverty rate remains unchanged at 15%.

It is the sixth year in a row that the rate failed to improve, despite the US being out of recession since 2009.

The poverty threshold last year was income below $23,492 for a family of four.

Some analysts blame the lingering poverty on changing employment patterns and tightening of the social safety net.

read more

(Unions can do much to ensure that the distribution of wealth happens through the protection of well paid jobs in safe workplaces. -- Janet)

Sept. 16
Open concept office may lower productivity
Open concept workplaces may not be the bustling hubs of creativity and colleague collaboration that many employers wanted them to be, a new study suggests.

Australian researchers who examined the preferences of 40,000 workers across the world found that private offices "out performed open-concept layouts" when it came to acoustics, privacy and all-around satisfaction. read more

Sept. 12

The Evolution Of Work

Check out this column and infographic from Jacob Morgan in Forbes magazine:

Work is clearly evolving which means that we are seeing new technologies and behaviors enter our organizations.  These new behaviors and technologies are largely being fueled by the consumer web and now organizations are struggling to adapt.
read more 

Sept. 12
Quebec's proposed law banning religious symbols defies Canada's religious-freedom laws

Quebec's proposed "charter of values," if passed, would bar public servants, bureaucrats, teachers, hospital workers, daycare workers, etc. from wearing "conspicuous religious symbols."

We think this is in blatant opposition to the respect and tolerance for religious freedom that Canada has entrenched in its human rights code, and that it has traditionally shown for minorities in this country.

The federal government is being too careful in its response, worried no doubt about losing votes in Quebec in the next election, while the Parti Québécois government is making a cheap play for more votes.

We think this issue goes beyond political game-playing, and should be opposed with the strongest language possible.

Charter of Quebec values on collision course with Constitution?

The move most affects Muslim women who wear any sort of headdress, Sikh men who wear the turban and/or the kirpan, Jewish men who wear the kippah, and possibly even Hindu women with a bindi... read more

Sept. 10

Wealthiest earn 10 times more than average Canadian

Statistics Canada has published the final batch of data from its new and controversial National Household Survey — the survey meant to stand in for the long-form census scrapped by the Conservatives in 2010.

It shows that the median individual income is just $27,600. That means just as many individuals earn less than $27,600 as earn more.

And the very rich — the 272,600 individuals who make up the top one per cent — are making an average of $381,300 each. The large discrepancy between the median and the average suggests there is a very small percentage of the super-rich....  read more

Sept. 10

Energy East pipeline may create 10,000 jobs

TransCanada Corp.'s proposed west-east pipeline could create 10,000 jobs and generate $10 billion in additional GDP during the development and construction phase, according to an economic analysis released on Tuesday.

And during its estimated 40 years of operation, the project could generate an additional $25.3 billion in GDP  and sustain 1,000 direct full-time jobs, the independent report prepared by Deloitte & Touche found... read more

Sept. 10
Toronto Foundation promotes more equitable pay

A new Toronto-based foundation aims to narrow the gap between the highest and lowest-paid employees in any organization by offering a certification to employers who have more equitable pay scales.

The Wagemark Foundation, formed this July, offers its certification to companies and non-profits who keep the pay differential between their CEO and their lowest paid worker to below 8:1.

"It’s saying if you’re going to pay some people in the organization really, really well, you should bring up the bottom along with them, because ultimately a company is a team. Everyone needs to be motivated in order to perform,'' says Peter MacLeod, executive director of the Wagemark Foundation, said in an interview. read more

Sept. 1

New union leader wants to take labour movement on offensive

The president of the new Unifor super-union says he wants to take the labour movement on the offensive.

Jerry Dias says he hopes to use his position as president of Canada's newest — and largest — private sector union to turn the tide for Canada's labour movement.

"It's the smartest way for us to survive," said Dias. "The smaller unions today don't have the infrastructure and they don't have the resources to really have an impact."

Dias was elected president Saturday with about 87 per cent support at the union's founding convention in Toronto.


USW, Telecom Workers unions to merge

The United Steelworkers and the Telecommunications Workers Union have reached a tentative agreement to merge.

The unions announced Thursday that they will be following in the footsteps of two other large unions that joined forces earlier this summer.

The Telecommunications Workers Union represents employees at Telus, Shaw Communications and other telecommunications companies.

The United Steelworkers union represents 225,000 workers across several industries while the TWU has 13,000 members who work for Shaw Communications, Telus and other telecommunications companies.

The TWU said a merged union will put its members on firmer footing domestically at a time when Canada's telecommunications industry is in flux.


Canada's July inflation 1.3% as gas prices jump

Canadians are paying more for shelter and much more for gasoline than they did last year, putting the inflation rate for July at 1.3 per cent.

The biggest increase was in the cost of gasoline, up 6.1 per cent from the previous year, with consumers in every province feeling the pain at the pumps.

That helped push transportation costs 2.7 per cent higher, though higher prices for cars also contributed to that increase. Statistics Canada estimates prices to buy passenger vehicles rose two per cent in the year... read more

Permanent residency part of new skilled labour program
The federal employment minister has announced a new skilled labour program that will grant applicants permanent residency in Canada more quickly.

Aug. 6
The pension downside
of living longer

Canadians are living longer than ever before, which could pose new funding risks for many pension plans and their members.
The Canadian Institute of Actuaries has just released a new draft set of mortality tables that suggests that the average Canadian woman at age 60 can now look forward to another 29.4 years of life...
read more

Aug. 6
Construction Sector Council report, 2013–2021: Key Highlights

Economic growth in Saskatchewan has been leading Canada over the past decade. Non-residential construction has been leading other industries, and this resource-led expansion has its roots in new and expansion mining developments....
download pdf

July 28
Workers deserve better
than this warehouse

We may think of as a forward-thinking company, but when it comes to treatment of employees in Rugeley, England, it isn't.

Back in the day, a mine employed the good people of Rugeley. But it closed down in 1990.

Amazon came in, built a "fulfillment warehouse" where books are stored, sorted and packaged to be mailed off to customers… and it hired people from the town.

It sounds like a story with a happy ending, but conditions in the warehouse say otherwise: workers do repetitive, monotonous and unchallenging work and they can be fired for talking to one another. A photographer documenting the enormous barren warehouse, called it "shockingy quiet" and the workers "human robots".

In addition, these jobs have no future. Most jobs there are temporary, and can disappear overnight if Amazon says so. Not great for the employees, and not the great boost to the local economy that Rugeley residents had no doubt hoped for. Jobs in the mine were no picnic, but at least they were solid.

Miners have fought, and died, to establish unions and to defend their rights as working people – including better pay, benefits and safer workplaces – through Collective Agreements. But workers' rights are also about humane workplaces, where employees can feel they are making a meaningful contribution, rather than being treated like mindless, emotionless automatons.

Amazon's version of the workplace, at least in Rugeley, is not forward thinking at all – it's 1984.

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July 24
Working women have kept Canadian economy strong: IMF

More favourable taxation policies for families with two incomes and an increase in child-care benefits  have helped bring thousands of Canadian women into the workforce since 1995 and that has had a direct benefit to the economy, according to a working paper by the International Monetary Fund.

Female participation in the workforce increased to 73.5 per cent in 2004, from 67.7 per cent in 1995, putting Canada behind only a few countries like Sweden, Norway and Denmark in the percentage of women working

read story

July 20
G20 backs plan to stop tax avoidance

This news item is further evidence of our on-going shift to a single, global economy:

Finance ministers from the G20 group of leading nations have formally backed plans to tackle international tax avoidance and evasion.
A statement issued earlier supports the automatic exchange of tax information between countries.
The head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, said the agreement was a positive step for all of the countries involved.

UK Chancellor George Osborne said the announcement, which came after a two-day G20 meeting in Moscow, was an "important step towards a global tax system that is fair and fit for purpose for the modern economy"

read story

July 21
Halifax coffee shop workers in unique drive to unionize
Could serve as a model for baristas elsewhere in Canada

Employees at one cafe in Halifax joined a union and workers at two others have launched efforts to do the same.

"We're seeing a real phenomenon in Halifax of coffee shop workers coming together and organizing," said Tony Tracy, Atlantic representative for the Canadian Labour Congress.
"In terms of the coffee shop industry, Halifax has been a bit of an anomaly."

read story

July 16
Jobless rates will decrease slightly

Unemployment rates in Canada and the United States will fall by the end of next year – but the overall rate among some of the world's advanced economies will remain high, the OECD forecasts in a report issued Tuesday.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development says overall unemployment is projected to fall slightly next year to 7.8 per cent from eight per cent.

read story

July 9
Unemployment rate remains at 7.1% for June

Canada's unemployment rate didn't budge last month, remaining at 7.1 per cent, Statistics Canada reported Friday.

While the economy lost a net of 400 jobs in June, the number was not statistically significant enough to change the unemployment rate.

read story

July 9
Skills gap has major economic impact: report

Skills gaps and mismatches are costing the Ontario economy billions of dollars each year, according to a Conference Board of Canada report.
“It’s not really ... a lack of’s not pointing to people toward the places where they can fully utilize their education...” said Sarah Watts-Rynard, of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum.

read story

July 1
Welcoming new Canadians into the fold

Sixty new Canadians were sworn in as part of the Canada Day party in Vancouver on July 1.

(read story at

It was all about inviting these newly-minted citizens into the fold.

Welcoming skilled workers from among these new Canadians is what unions must do as well. It's the right thing to do... on so many levels.

For one thing, it helps address skilled-labour shortages across Canada. With this country's aging population and declining birth rate, this shortage is not going away.

By encouraging union members to create an amicable environment for new Canadians, we become part of the solution. When cultural differences and language issues are met with tolerance, acceptance, and open minds, we all win! It comes down to recognizing people for their skills, and for the value that they bring to the workplace.

It was an emotional day for those newly-minted Canadians in Vancouver, with many saying tearfully how proud they were to call Canada home. And it was a good day for those of us who already call Canada home.

July 1
Workers in Nunavut
earning a bit less

StatsCan figures show that the average weekly earnings for employees in Nunavut in April 2013 were $951.62, which is three per cent less than in April 2012.

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July 1

Quebec sends construction workers back to work

Quebec's two-week long construction strike is over after a marathon 13-hour special meeting of the national assembly on Sunday night ended with back-to-work legislation.

read story

June 28

Canada's economy barely expanded in April

Statistics Canada said the service sector expanded by 0.3 per cent, while the goods-producing sector shrank by the same amount.

read story

June 27
10 tidbits about Canadians we learned from StatsCan today
Read some highlights from the second batch of figures from the 2011 National Household Survey, which was released today by Statistic Canada

June 26
Bill C-377: Tory Senators Gut Union Disclosure Bill Backed By Harper Government

June 25
Canadian Corporations Hoarding Cash? Federal Memo Says It's 'Legitimate'

June 21
Some may call them whiny and self-important, but when it comes to jobs, Generation Y's sense of entitlement is partly the result of being pointed down career paths that have led them back to the same opportunities they had when they were teenagers.

June 19
Unions can do much to help the more than 600,000 Aboriginal youth who will enter the Canadian workforce between now and fact, I would suggest that it is our responsibility to come up with tangible solutions to a country-wide, systemic problem.

Half of status First Nations children in Canada live in poverty, a troubling figure that jumps to nearly two-thirds in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, says a newly released report.

June 17

Quebec's construction sites will be idle on Monday because of a general strike called by unions.

June 14
Thousands of Saskatchewan manufacturing jobs have vanished over the past five years, as companies now try to do more with fewer people.

June 13
The federal government has agreed to smooth the way for more takeovers of Canadian companies and a possible deal on wine and spirits in free-trade talks with Europe, sources tell The Canadian Press.

June 8
B.C. Premier Christy Clark unveiled her 19 cabinet ministers this afternoon in front of a crowd of hundreds of supporters at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

June 8
Canada's economy had its best month for job creation in more than a decade last month, adding 95,000 new jobs, according to Statistics Canada.

June 2
The unemployment rate across the 17 European countries that use the euro currency hit a record 12.2 per cent in April, and the number of unemployed is on track to reach 20 million by year's end.

June 2
The CAW and Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions unveil their new name, Unifor, and logo in Toronto on Thursday.

June 1
Canada's gross domestic product expands in the first three months of 2013 at its fastest pace in a year and a half, with annualized economic growth at 2.5 per cent.

June 1
Official data released Friday shows the federal government's deficit shrank to $18.3 billion in the fiscal year that ended in March, more than $3 billion less than the deficit posted in the previous fiscal year.

May 31
Canadian officials are preparing to announce "an agreement in principle" has been reached in free trade negotiations with the European Union and that technical issues will be worked out later.

May 31
Americans have recovered only 45 per cent of the household wealth they lost since the onset of the economic downturn in 2007, a new report by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis says.

May 30
Public sector unions are concerned a new performance-review system introduced by Treasury Board President Tony Clement Tuesday could potentially be abused by managers as a tool in downsizing departments.

May 28
Consumer confidence still low but rising - Canadians less pessimistic about job market, latest Conference Board survey suggests.

May 22
The Federal Court of Canada has dismissed a challenge launched by two unions against a company that hired more than 200 temporary workers from China for its coal mine in northeastern B.C.

May 14
Former U.S. vice president Al Gore talks to CBC Radio's The Sunday Edition about his latest book, which  takes on the weightiest of subjects - nothing less than the future of our civilization.

May 9
The debut of Canada's controversial census replacement survey shows there are more foreign-born residents than ever before. Statistics Canada's National Household Survey (NHS), released today, says there are 6.8 million residents originally from outside the country, mainly from Asia.

May 9
Youth unemployment is set to rise around the world, creating a "generation at risk" that faces lower earnings and job prospects years into the future, the United Nations' labour office warns.

May 8
While labour force survey figures suggest that Canada overall has recouped all of the jobs it lost in the last recession, a new analysis suggests that many medium-sized cities have still not seen their employment levels return to pre-recession levels.

May 6
Canada exported more goods to the rest of the world than we brought from others in March, as the economy swung from a $1.2 billion trade deficit to a small, $24 million surplus.

May 6
U.S. employers added 165,000 jobs in April, and hiring was much stronger in the previous two months than first thought.

May 1
The federal government's most recent "jobs and growth" budget will wind up costing Canada both jobs and economic growth over the next few years, the Parliamentary Budget Officer says in a new report.

May 1
Canada's gross domestic product expanded by 0.3 per cent in February, the same pace as the previous month, as the mining, oil and gas industries drove growth.

April 30
The federal government unveiled changes to the temporary foreign workers program today that will require employers to pay a fee for a permit to hire workers from outside Canada and to do more to find Canadian workers in the first place.

April 29, 2013
Employees across Canada are earning bigger gross pay than they did a year ago, but earnings of people working in the accommodation and food services sector have dropped, according to Statistics Canada.

April 18, 2013
The case for job shortages in Canada became thinner Tuesday with the most recent data showing vacancies actually fell to 200,000 at the start of the year, meaning there were 6.5 unemployed workers chasing each opening.

April 18, 2013
Porter Airlines has launched a lawsuit against the union representing 22 striking fuel workers for comments made on Twitter

April 11, 2013
A welder hurt on the job working for a subsidiary of a Saskatchewan company has been awarded $4.95 million in compensation to be paid by two insurance companies who were found to have acted maliciously in handling his claim, a judge has ruled.

March 7, 2013
Negotiators from the federal and provincial governments are spending a second week in Brussels for intensive negotiations toward a Canada-EU Free Trade Agreement.

February 28, 2013
The head of Mexico's teachers' union, Elba Esther Gordillo, appears in court and is charged with the use of illicit funds and organized crime.

February 27, 2013
A new report says there are steps the government can take to ensure Canadians have enough money in their retirement - and they don't have to be sweeping measures to make a difference.

February 20, 2013
Sporadic violence has broken out in India at the beginning of a two-day strike by labour unions protesting rising prices and government policies to open the economy.

February 10, 2013
Canada's economy shed 22,000 jobs in January, but a corresponding drop in the number of unemployed people looking for work caused the jobless rate to also drop, to seven per cent.

February 6, 2013

A landmark federal court decision that states workplaces are obliged to accommodate reasonable childcare-related requests from their employees suggest that significant changes lie ahead for the country's employment law landscape.

January 21, 2013
*Canadian businesses spend an average of nearly $6,000 per employee each year on regulatory compliance, or red tape - about 45 per cent more than their counterparts in the United States, according to a study released Monday.

January 16, 2013
*Many companies struggling to find the right employees are overlooking a talented pool of disabled workers, a government-commissioned panel has found.

January 15, 2013
*Canadian employers and unions wishing to promote mental health in the workplace can now turn to a new national standard to help boost the well-being of employees.

January 15, 2013
*For the first time a study was able to identify a specific DNA sequence associated with leadership. The findings estimate that a quarter of the differences in leadership behaviour among individuals can be accredited to the genotype rs4950.

January 4, 2013
Canada produced a surprising 40,000 new jobs in December, built on the back of a larger-than-expected 30,000 increase in Ontario.

January 1, 2013
Working Canadians can expect a hit to the wallet in 2013, mostly in the form of higher payroll deductions.

December 12, 2012
*As more Canadian employers ranging from fast-food outlets to skilled trades turn to temporary foreign workers, questions arise over who is making sure the immigrants are treated fairly while they're in the country.

December 12, 2012
*A Conservative backbencher's bill to force unions to publicly disclose how they spend the dues they collect has passed the House of Commons 147-135.

December 11, 2012
Union-busting right-to-work laws have swept across the U.S. South and West in recent decades. In a sign of the times, one is about to be passed in Michigan, the state where the American labour movement was born.

December 10, 2012
*Labour brokers may be charging Chinese miners up to $16,000 for the chance to work in Canadian mines as temporary foreign workers, a CBC investigation has found.

November 28, 2012
*CBC News : Canadians value more vacation over pay hikes.
Canadian workers would rather get an additional week's paid vacation than be paid more to do their jobs, according to an international report released today.

November 21, 2012
*International Trade Minister Ed Fast and European Union Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht are in ministerial talks today and tomorrow in Brussels, trying to close the deal on a free-trade agreement between Canada and Europe. Here's a quick guide to what's at issue.

November 16, 2012
*The federal government has cut 10,980 jobs as part of its bid to balance the budget, Treasury Board president Tony Clement says.

November 15, 2012
*Hundreds of Chinese workers hired to work in a mine in northern B.C. could have their trips delayed or even cancelled while two unions challenge their jobs in court.

November 13, 2012
*A wave of retirements among business owners over the next few years could pose a significant risk for the Canadian economy as the country undergoes the biggest transfer of economic control in its history, according to CIBC World Markets.

November 9, 2012
*Canadian food processors fear thousands of jobs will be lost if Ottawa passes a law that would deregulate food package sizes in Canada.

November 9, 2012
*The Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development predicts Canada will lead the Group of Seven industrialized economies in growth over the next half century.

November 6, 2012
*Greek trade unions launched a general strike and nationwide protests on Tuesday against a new package of austerity measures, to be voted on this week, which would condemn Greece to more years of hardship in exchange for rescue loans.

October 31, 2012
*Teamsters Canada, the national branch of the extremely strong Teamsters Union, has announced a boost in strike pay for its members.

Union president Robert Bouvier said the weekly pay for striking teamsters would be increased by 50 per cent, from $200 to $300 per week. That gives Teamsters Canada the highest strike pay rates of any union in the country. Read more...

October 26, 2012
*CBC News: Paycheques are getting bigger at a faster pace.

"The average weekly paycheque of a salaried Canadian worker was $907.19 in August, a slight increase from the previous month's level but 3.6 per cent higher than the same month a year earlier."

This story, appears on at the following URL:

October 17, 2012
*CEP votes overwhelmingly in favour of CAW merger - Politics - CBC News

"Members of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada have voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining forces to create a super-union with the Canadian Auto Workers."

This story, appears on at the following URL:

October 9, 2012
*Job Market Trends to 2015

I recently came across this document and thought you may find value in its content.

"As the Canadian economy emerges from the current recession, a number of industry sectors will see above average growth to 2015.  


Among these are occupations in the healthcare and IT fields.  


The demographics of the Canadian population will be a major factor in the Canadian economy, affecting both labour market demand and supply. Seventy percent of new jobs to 2015 will be as a result of attrition (retirements, deaths) of existing employees.  


At the same time, the aging population (and its disproportionate medical needs) will create even greater demand for jobs in occupations in the healthcare field (e.g., personal support workers).  


In the IT field, skills that are expected to grow in demand are those around wireless technology, web-based technologies (e.g., Web 2.0), and security, firewalls, and data privacy. In addition, the IT industry recognizes the importance of soft skills (e.g., customer service, project management) training for IT staff.  


As healthcare costs rise, that industry will continue to look at cost-cutting strategies. One of these is to "push down" duties currently performed by higher-cost employees (e.g., physicians) to lower-cost staff (e.g., medical assistants), creating more of these types of job opportunities.  


Another ongoing trend has to do with the ever-increasing use of technology in the healthcare field. This will drive the demand for those with a combination of IT skills together with knowledge of the healthcare field. Skills and knowledge around newer healthcare technologies, such systems for electronic medical records and electronic exam documentation, will become increasingly important as these technologies are more broadly embraced."
-  Academy of Learning Career and Business College


PS: Thanks to LTT Subscriber Igor Mandyuk for bringing this information to my attention!

October 3, 2012
*Heavy debt, weak job outlook key challenges for youth

Canada's young people are entering adulthood at a time of "seismic shifts" in the social landscape, an era in which the usual transitions from school to a career, family and home ownership have been drastically altered, a new report says.

This story, appears on at the following URL:

October 2, 2012
*Border agents asked about hookers, drugs, alcohol use

The Canada Border Services Agency wants to know about marital status, drinking, and internet habits of its employees as part of its new integrity questionnaire.

This story, appears on at the following URL:

Setptember 27, 2012
*Ontario wage freeze bill could be struck down by court

Ontario's governing Liberals have unveiled a plan to force restraint in public sector compensation.

The story, appears on at the following URL:

September 7, 2012
*Tory MP under fire from labour leaders over push for union dues law

Pierre Poilievre, an Ottawa-area Tory MP furious that a union representing federal employees endorsed separatists in the Quebec election, said this week he’ll push for a new law allowing union members to opt out of paying union dues.

This story, appears on at the following URL:

September 7, 2012
*Canadian economy cranks out 34,000 new jobs

An uptick in part-time jobs helped Canada expand its job market by 34,000 last month, beating what economists were expecting and reversing a decline in July.

This story, appears on at the following URL:

September 4, 2012

*Hyundai Motor ends costly strike

Hyundai Motor's labour union has voted to accept a deal for increased wages and the elimination of overnight shifts, ending one of the costliest strikes ever at South Korea's largest car maker.

This story, appears on at the following URL:

August 30, 2012
*CBC News: Canadians workers' average paycheque, up 3%

The average weekly paycheque of a salaried Canadian worker increased 0.6 per cent to $898 in June, official data showed Thursday.

This story, appears on at the following URL:

August 30, 2012
*CBC News: Ontario Bill to freeze teachers pay unconstitutional, critics say

With the Liberal government's bill to ban strikes and freeze the pay of Ontario's teachers moving towards final passage in the legislature, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association has warned it will challenge the legislation in court.

This story, appears on at the following URL:

August 22, 2012
*CBC News: CAW members vote to merge into super-union with CEP

Canadian Auto Workers delegates have voted unanimously in favour of merging with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, in a move that would create the country's largest private sector Union.

This story, appears on at the following URL:

August 17, 2012
*CBC News: South Africa mine clash kills 34

I thought you might be interested in this article.

South Africa's national police commissioner says 34 miners died and 78 were wounded when police opened fire on striking miners outside a platinum mine northwest of Johannesburg.

This story, appears on at the following URL:

August 16, 2012
*CBC News: Toews won't attend unions' public safety forum

Union leaders representing more than 33,000 workers say federal budget cuts are threatening public safety and they say they are upset they weren't consulted by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.

This story, appears on at the following URL:

August 15, 2012
* CBC News: CAW needs to be "more flexible," expert warns

With observers predicting tough negotiating ahead, at least one analyst says that the contract the CAW eventually negotiates will go a long way in determining the future of the auto industry.

This story, appears on at the following URL:

August 10, 2012
*CBC News : Canada lost 30,400 jobs in July

Canada's economy shed more than 30,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.3 per cent as employers cut back on part-time workers, contrary to expectations of employment gains.

This story, appears on at the following URL:

August 3, 2012
*CBC News : Critics call Ontario College of Trades a tax grab

I thought you might be interested in this article.

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