Canada’s Free-Market Example for the SEC
Op-ed by Peter St. Onge, Senior Fellow at the MEI, and John Hartsel, Director of Research & Portfolio Manager at Donald Smith & Co., published on May 17 in The Wall Street Journal.
Viewpoint showing how labour laws, interprovincial trade barriers, and the tax burden affect jobs and wages
We are constantly told that there is a shortage of labour in Canada. In 2018, the economy added 163,000 full-time jobs, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.6%, a historic low that can be qualified as full employment. The participation rate for people of prime working age, 25 to 54 years, is 87%. The winds are shifting on the labour market. Employers used to have the upper hand; now, it’s workers who have it.
Viewpoint detailing some of the effects of the minimum wage increase in the province, including the loss of more than 56,000 jobs in under a year
Many politicians and interest groups advocate a rapid increase in the minimum wage in the name of social justice. Yet this ignores the results of past experiments. Ontario’s new Minister of Labour, Laurie Scott, pushed back by cancelling the increase to $15 planned for January 2019, and by stating that the minimum wage should be determined “by economics, not politics.” Subsequent increases will be set based on the annual change in the cost of living. This is a reasonable compromise, which will avoid further harming workers at the bottom of the ladder, and more specifically the young.
Viewpoint showing that in Quebec, the population below the age of 45 has declined by about 230,000 since 1981, while it has increased significantly in the rest of the country
The real or perceived shortage of labour is a theme that comes back again regularly in the news. This spring, the Quebec government published its labour strategy for 2018-2023, one of the objectives of which is simply to have enough workers. The document, however, had nothing to say about a major historical phenomenon, namely the “disappearance” of Quebec’s youth over the past three and a half decades.