What has gone so wrong in Canada for working people?

By Ken Georgetti

President – Canadian Labour Congress

There was a time in Canada – not that very long ago – when a working person could expect

to have a family-supporting job throughout their life.

For an honest day’s labour, a worker could raise their kids, buy a house, pay off the mortgage,take vacations, have weekends off, help send the kids through college and retire with a modest but liveable pension.

Your job was relatively secure and the employer showed loyalty for good work. And employers
benefited too, because working families had the income to buy their goods and services.

Wherever and at whatever occupation you worked, these were common features for most
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Ontario nurses support CLC plan to expand CPP

December 17, 2010
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty urged not to sell out the majority of Canadians to the banks and insurance companies

TORONTO—Members of the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) are contacting federal Finance Minister The Hon. Jim Flaherty today, reminding him that the majority of Canadians support the labour movement’s plan to expand the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

“Minister Flaherty should be ashamed of himself for turning his back on the majority of Ontarians in favour of the few bank and insurance company executives who stand to profit from his pooled-savings gimmick,” said Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, President of the Ontario Nurses’ Association.

“A private, defined contribution gimmick isn’t a plan,” said Haslam-Stroud. “It guarantees workers nothing except what they’d pay in.”

“The daughters and sons of Ontario’s nurses, who are struggling with the worst labour market conditions in this recession, deserve better,” said Haslam-Stroud. “Everyone deserves retirement security and a phased-in increase of CPP contributions would cover all employees with our safe, portable and efficient national pension plan.”

The Canadian Labour Congress’ (CLC) plan to gradually increase CPP contributions by 0.43 per cent of pensionable earnings for workers and employers over seven years would effectively double the average earnings replaced by CPP pension benefits, to a maximum of $1,868 (in 2010 dollars) per month.

Expanding the CPP is the best option and it’s supported by pensioners, students, Canada’s mayors and Ontario Finance Minister The Hon. Dwight Duncan.

“Ontario nurses’ message to provincial and territorial finance ministers is: Don’t be bullied by the Conservative minority,” said Haslam-Stroud. “The majority of Canadians know that expanding the CPP is the right plan, so stand up for us and let Mr. Flaherty isolate himself as he shills for his unimaginably rich friends who can’t resist finding another way to gouge us with service fees.”

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For more information: Ontario Nurses’ Association
Ken Marciniec
Ruth Featherstone (416) 964-8833, ext. 2306 cell: (416) 803-6066
(416) 964-8833, ext. 2267

10,000 — a number worth investigating further

Compared to figures in the billions and even trillions we read about daily relating to deficits and bailouts, a number in the thousands is a minuscule drop in the bucket.
Take the figure 10,000 for example — a sum being bandied about in many quarters as the number of times the national gun registry is accessed on a daily basis.
It’s gospel according to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and front and centre in material being distributed by the Canadian Labour Congress in their campaign to maintain the long gun registry which could soon be dismantled if Bill C-391 passes final vote.
However, upon closer inspection, the daily figure of 10,000 just doesn’t pass muster. Yes indeed, the registry does receive that many daily hits on average, but closer scrutiny is warranted.
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An improved Employment Insurance program would provide a better stimulus to the economy

OTTAWA – An improved Employment Insurance program would provide a better
stimulus to the economy than anything the federal government has tried so
far, says Canadian Labour Congress President Ken Georgetti.

He was responding to the release by Statistics Canada of labour force
figures for June 2009, when a net of 47,500 workers lost their full-time
jobs. There are now about 1.6 million unemployed Canadians, an unemployment rate of 8.6%. Fewer than half of the unemployed are actually collecting benefits due to rules, regulations and obstructions embedded in the EI system.
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