Alberta’s minimum wage cut for teens should just be the start

As workers get older and become eligible for more pay, they often lose their jobs. That means the overall wage floor is too high

Alberta’s minimum wage cut for teens should just be the startDuring the recent Alberta election campaign, with the province’s unemployment rate remaining stubbornly high, the now-governing United Conservative Party proposed reducing the minimum wage from $15 to $13 for workers below the age of 18. And now the government has introduced legislation to make that change, along with changes to overtime pay requirements. The benefits…

Mid-career workers are higher education’s next challenge

The traditional student no longer exists. That means we need to find ways to encourage and fund lifelong learning

Mid-career workers are higher education’s next challengeWith a host of transformational challenges putting pressure on labour markets, a line from Robert Atkinson and Jeffrey Brown’s latest paper struck me: “Nothing about the future of work is inevitable.” Their paper is intended to reaffirm that in the face of structural change, coming impacts can be mitigated through dedicated effort and smart policy.…

How high taxes create crime and hurt society

Excessive taxes that encourage smuggling and black market activity are a significant policy issue in Canada

How high taxes create crime and hurt societyIn The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith described a smuggler as “a person who, though no doubt highly blameable for violating the laws of his country, is frequently incapable of violating those of natural justice, and would have been, in every respect, an excellent citizen, had not the laws of his country made that a…

Immigration key to solving Canada’s looming labour market crunch

Due to its aging population and low fertility rate, Canada needs new sources of talent: Conference Board of Canada

Immigration key to solving Canada’s looming labour market crunchImmigration is central to countering the impending labour market crunch in Canada, says a report released on Friday by the Conference Board of Canada. The report, Can’t Go It Alone, said that by 2030 all 9.2 million of Canada's baby boomers will have reached retirement age – placing Canada under economic and fiscal pressure. “Can't…

Maple Leaf Foods, U.S.A.?

The iconic Canadian brand is expanding south of the border. The decision makes perfect sense and national dithering is to blame

Maple Leaf Foods, U.S.A.?Maple Leaf Foods, the largest pork processor in the country, has opted to build its new meatless plant south of the border. Unfortunately, the decision makes perfect sense. The iconic Canadian food company recently announced plans to spend US$310 million on a 230,000-square-foot processing plant in Indiana, where its Lightlife Burger and other products will…

Creating exceptional homes in workforce lodges

Rod Graham of Horizon North talks about why quality and consistency pays off when housing workers

Creating exceptional homes in workforce lodgesRod Graham is president and chief executive officer of Horizon North. What does Horizon North Logistics do? Graham: Horizon North has two sides to our business. Our industrial services division has been a key part of our business since our inception in 2006, providing workforce accommodations, camp management services, access solutions, maintenance services and utilities.…

The biggest mistake most small business owners make

We need to develop systems of hiring and monitoring our employees to ensure we have the right people

The biggest mistake most small business owners makeBob was frustrated, stressed and upset. One of his key employees, Keith, had just left to start his own business and had taken another staff member with him. I wasn’t surprised. I’d been working with Bob for several months and had met Keith several times. My impression wasn’t favourable and I had discussed this with…

Putting your best foot forward on your job search

Shannon Bowen-Smed of BOWEN Group talks about the win-win of an evolving economy in Alberta

Putting your best foot forward on your job searchShannon Bowen-Smed is president and CEO of BOWEN Group. Tell me a little bit about the company. Its history and what it does today? Bowen-Smed: Forty-five years ago this month, my mother took a $14,000 loan from my grandfather and opened BOWEN Group. The company originally started by solely delivering permanent placements in the Calgary…

How Manitoba can meet the challenges of a growing population

Government must cut public sector costs, taxes and fees. And become vastly better at providing needed and efficient services

How Manitoba can meet the challenges of a growing populationFor the first time in decades, Manitoba’s unemployment rate has risen above the national average. With the provincial economy growing (briskly for Manitoba) around two per cent a year, we might have expected some declining unemployment rates and labour shortages. But it’s not enough with record immigration and a slowdown in Manitobans leaving for Alberta…

Why economists can’t endorse minimum wage hikes

Economists believe that raising the price of low-skilled labour just eliminates many of those jobs

Why economists can’t endorse minimum wage hikesRaising the minimum wage is a popular policy among voters. But economists dispute the value of such a raise. Why the discrepancy? Recent polls from Ontario found strong support for the province’s minimum wage hike. And in the United States, a Pew Research poll in 2016 showed that by a margin of 52 per cent…