Ontario has used the Constitution’s notwithstanding clause to strip an education workers union of its right to strike in an attempt to avoid disrupting classrooms, but the province now faces the closing of many schools on Friday as the union vows to defy the government and walk out.
After contract talks broke off Thursday, the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Doug Ford passed fast-tracked legislation that imposes a contract on the union, a wing of the Canadian Union of Public Employees that acts for 55,000 education assistants, custodians and other support staff.
Several large school boards, including the Toronto District School Board, have said they would be forced to close schools, leaving parents scrambling for child care. Under the legislation, the union and its members face the threat of hefty fines for striking: up to $4,000 a day for individual members and up to $500,000 a day for the union, which has said it will cover those costs and attempt to fight the fines in court.
The legislation imposes a contract on the union that includes 2.5-per-cent annual wage hikes for workers earning less than $43,000, and 1.5 per cent for those earning more, raises far below the union’s demands. It also blocks the union from striking. And it uses the Constitution’s notwithstanding clause to exempt the legislation from sections of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- CUPE’s initial wage ask ambitious but expected when inflation is considered, labour relations experts say
- Our children are in crisis. School closures will make things worse
- Educational assistants make it possible for children to learn. For that, they deserve a living wage
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Freeland’s economic update warns of 2023 recession, announces new tax on corporate share buybacks
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivered a fall economic update Thursday that warns of a potential recession next year, and includes plans for a tax on share buybacks, significant incentives for green energy investment, and spending on students and low-income workers.
All Canada student and apprentice loans would be interest free, at a cost of $2.7-billion over five years, and another $4-billion over six years would be automatically issued in advance payments of the Canada Workers Benefit to people who had qualified the previous year.
But the overall message that Ms. Freeland sought to deliver is that the federal government is preparing for harder times ahead.
- Five highlights from the government’s fall economic statement as Canada nears a recession
- Ottawa to regulate credit-card fees if financial industry refuses to lower costs for small businesses
A perfect storm of RSV, lack of doctors and a medication shortage have created a pediatric health care crisis
Some of the largest pediatric hospitals across the country are completely overwhelmed, forcing them to keep families waiting for hours in emergency departments, cancel surgeries and transfer some patients to adult facilities amid an unprecedented surge in sick children.
An unusually early upswing in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections is partly to blame. But other problems – including the inability of many families to find primary care providers and a shortage of over-the-counter fever and pain medication for infants and children – are adding to the crisis. With emergency rooms seeing far more seriously ill children than normal and pediatric intensive care units at or near capacity, doctors say they are concerned that the health care system will struggle to cope when cold and flu season hits its peak in the next few months.
Meanwhile, Associations representing Canada’s doctors, nurses and health organizations have issued a list of measures governments can take to stabilize the country’s strained health care system, including creating a pan-Canadian licensing model to enable health professionals to work anywhere in the country.
Also on our radar
On U.S. reservations, an increasingly pitched fight to protect voting rights: Nathan VanderKlippe reports on an Indigenous group in Montana fighting state restrictions on voting in court, as midterms are approaching.
North Korea missile tests could revive calls for Japan to rearm: People across Northern Japan were ordered to take shelter Thursday as North Korean missiles flew over the country, part of a barrage of launches in response to joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises.
Glencore hit with $314-million in penalties for elaborate Africa bribery scheme: A British judge has ordered a subsidiary of commodities giant Glencore to pay US$314-million in financial penalties for its “significant criminality” in an elaborate bribery scheme to gain access to oil from five African countries.
Mark Carney says his green banking alliance will survive after dropping UN climate initiative requirement: A global alliance of financial institutions aiming for net-zero carbon emissions can still reach its goals even after relaxing its criteria for membership, says Mark Carney, the multitrillion-dollar group’s co-founder.
Netanyahu set to return to power in Israel after PM concedes: Former prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday appeared set to return to power as head of Israel’s most right-wing government ever after winning this week’s national election, with the current caretaker prime minister conceding defeat.
Convoy protests raised $24-million, but the vast majority was refunded or placed in escrow: While fundraising efforts for the convoy protests raised roughly $24-million, only about $1-million was actually spent by organizers, according to a report produced for the Emergencies Act inquiry, as several organizers testified on Thursday about their motivations to fundraise and get involved.
Markets await jobs numbers: Global stocks rose on Friday for the first time in three days ahead of key U.S. jobs data, as investors took heart from reports China may relax its COVID rules. Around 5:30 a.m., Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.94 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 gained 0.90 per cent and 1.40 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.68 per cent after being closed Thursday for a public holiday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 5.36 per cent. New York futures were up. The Canadian dollar was higher at 73.35 US cents.
What everyone’s talking about
How many reports will we ignore before we do the work that reconciliation requires?
“Every minister has reconciliation in their mandate letter, and the Prime Minister has widely declared that he is committed to it. Yet the hard work that needs to be done urgently consistently gets filed away for another day.” – Tanya Talaga
A new pay model for family doctors might make B.C. the GP place to be
“Nearly a million people in a province of a little more than five million are without a family physician. That statistic is responsible for a host of ancillary issues, including emergency rooms filling up with non-emergency health concerns. Meantime, others with no access to a doctor ignore their problems until they progress to a stage requiring expensive hospitalization.” – Gary Mason
Today’s editorial cartoon
Make lemonade from your market lemons before year-end
For those who might have experienced declines in their portfolios this year, you probably know that if you sell an investment for a loss, you’re generally going to gain some tax relief. If you want to realize your capital losses before year-end, one idea to consider is donating a losing investment to charity. You’ll be entitled to a donation tax credit for the fair market value of the investment, and you’ll be able to claim the capital loss to boot. Here are several other ideas for you to consider before year-end if you’re an investor.
Moment in time: Nov. 4, 1960
Jane Goodall observes a chimp making tools
He was the chimpanzee that forever changed the way many humans relate to animals.
David Greybeard, so named for his telltale chin full of silver hair, was the first in his community to lose fear of British ethnologist Jane Goodall, who had arrived at the Gombe Stream chimpanzee reserve in Tanzania in July, 1960.
What he allowed her to witness on Nov. 4 of that year astounded her. He created a tool, stripping leaves off a twig, and used it to catch termites.
Until then, no non-human animal had ever been formally recorded using tools, and Goodall’s observation forced many to recognize their similarity to other animals.
He also allowed Goodall to watch him interact with others, eventually becoming her friend.
Time magazine called him one of the most influential animals that ever lived. He is believed to have died in a pneumonia epidemic in 1968. But his lasting impression on Goodall is reflected in the message she continues to share with the world.
As she wrote in The Globe in 2020: “Let us recognize that the health of people, animals and the environment are connected. Let us show respect for each other, for the other sentient animals and for Mother Nature.” Wency Leung.