June 29

Canadian workers’ paycheques
in 30-year holding pattern : Study
For immediate release June 28, 2007

OTTAWA – Canadians are working harder and smarter, contributing to a growing economy, but their paycheques have been stagnant for the past 30 years, says a new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
Rising Profit Shares, Falling Wage Shares finds that Canada’s economy grew steadily and workers’ productivity improved by 51 per cent in the past 30 years, but workers’ average real wages have been stuck in a holding pattern all this time.
“Canadians are constantly being told they need to improve their productivity and grow the economy – which is exactly what they’ve done, but their paycheques aren’t growing to reflect their work effort,” says study co-author Ellen Russell, CCPA senior economist.
The study finds that Canadian workers’ wage share of national income is the lowest it’s been in 40 years.
If workers’ real wages had increased to reflect improved productivity and economic growth, they could be earning an average of $10,000 more each year on their paycheques (in 2005 dollars).
Instead, corporations – not workers – have been banking the lion’s share of the benefits of economic growth and improved productivity.
“Corporate profit shares are the highest they’ve been in 40 years – and we’re not talking peanuts here,” says Russell.
“In 2005, corporations banked $130 billion more in gross profits than they would have if the profit share had remained at 1991 levels. Sharing those earnings with workers could have gone a long way to reducing Canada’s growing income gap.”
The full study, co-authored by Ellen Russell and Mathieu Dufour is available at and
— 30 –
For more information contact: Trish Hennessy, CCPA, (416) 263-9896.

June 28
A police crackdown in the slums of Rio de Janero? What’s up? Why attack the poor, while using the excuse that the police must move in on drug dealers?

Because the Pan-American games are going to be in Brazil in July, silly.

War on Rio’s drug gang slums
By Gary Duffy
BBC News, Rio de Janeiro

The police in Rio de Janeiro are engaged in a war on drugs that the authorities are determined they should not lose.

_42440042_riopolice_ap203x.jpg“Slum dwellers live on the frontline between the police and gangs”_42440054_policerio_ap203b.jpg

FEB 20

SOS Medicare 2: Looking Forward
A national conference on the future of health care

Hundreds of people, some from as far away as Europe and the United States will be gathering in Regina, Saskatchewan, the birthplace of Medicare, on May 3rd and 4th, 2007, for a historic summit on the future of Canadian healthcare.

The conference is being hosted by the Graduate School of Public Policy (GSPP) at the University of Regina and the University of Toronto Faculty of law and organized by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, The Canadian Health Coalition and the GSPP. This historic event is sponsored by a number of other organizations concerned that American-style private health care proponents are chipping away at Canada’s publicly funded Medicare system.

“Medicare works for Canadians and now is the time to expand and improve it as originally intended in Tommy Douglas” vision,” says Mike McBane, National Coordinator of the Canadian Health Coalition and one of the organizers of the event.

Featured speakers will include Stephen Lewis, former US Secretary General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, Monique B?gin, Commissioner with the World Health Organization and former Minister of Health under Prime Minister Trudeau, and some of the world’s leading health economics and policy thinkers like Dr. Uwe Reinhardt of Princeton University, Dr. Marcia Angell and Dr. Arnold Relman of the Harvard Medical School, Dr. Alan Maynard of York University in the United Kingdom and Dr. Josep Figueras, Director of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.

“This will be one of the most important gatherings of thinkers, policy-makers and activists concerned with the future of Canadian health care ever assembled in one place at one time,” says McBane.

The timing of this conference is critical, adds Bruce Campbell, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

“We believe that now is the time for proponents of Medicare to come together to push back the privatization forces and build on the success of one of the world’s most successful public health care systems.

Dr. Greg Marchildon, with the University of Regina’s Graduate School of Public Policy says this conference has already put Regina on the map.

“We had to move our conference from a smaller venue on campus to the much larger Queensbury Convention Centre because interest has been so enthusiastic,” says Dr. Marchildon.

“We haven’t even formally opened registrations and we’ve already received calls from organizations like the Commonwealth Foundation and the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation that wants to reserve spaces for 17 of their Harkness Fellows in Health Policy Research.”

For more information on the conference visit the CCPA web site

Click here to download the program and registration form.

For media enquiries, please contact: Lynn Gidluck at (306) 924-3372 or (306) 584-9807, email:

To register for the conference, please contact: Diane Touchette at (613) 563-1341 (extension 302), email:

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
410-75 Albert Street, Ottawa, ON K1P 5E7
tel: 613-563-1341 fax: 613-233-1458


Feb. 15, 2007

Every year, Laurentian University is closed to commemorate Founders= Day on the third Monday in February. Although all enjoy taking the day off, very few do know the origin of this holiday.

A few historical dates

In 1957, the Université de Sudbury – originally le Collège du Sacré-Coeur, founded by Jesuits in 1913- was established. Long before that, many discussions had taken place surrounding the creation of a post-secondary institution in Sudbury. A report submitted on September 2, 1959 constituted a major advance in the project. A Special Committee, called by invitation of the University of Sudbury and chaired by Ralph D. Parker of Inco, agreed that Athe requirements of higher education in Northern Ontario could best be met by one strong non-denominational university and recommended that the parties co-operate in seeking provincial authority for a university governed by a non-denominational board with a system of church related colleges within the university, each to give instruction in subjects such as philosophy and religious knowledge and to provide residence accommodation for its students.@

In January 1960, the United Church University was established in Sudbury and given the name Huntington University after the Rev. Silas Huntington, first missionary to hold services in North Bay and Sudbury. On March 28, 1960, Royal Assent was given to An Act Respecting the University of Sudbury, An Act to Incorporate Huntington University, An Act to Incorporate Lalemant College, and An Act to Incorporate Laurentian University of Sudbury. R.D. Parker and representatives of the Roman Catholic, United, and Anglican Churches witnessed the proceedings.

On May 7, 1960, the first Board of Governors meeting took place at the Nickel Range Hotel, in Sudbury. R.D. Parker was appointed Chair of the Board, which was made up to 24 governors nominated by the Roman Catholic, Anglican and United Churches and the provincial government. The only woman on the Board was Dr. Faustina Kelly-Cook, a government-appointed physician. Major business at this meeting was to appoint committees. Benjamin F. Avery of Espanola was chosen to chair the Executive Committee; Donald L. James, Finance Committee; and George C. Tate, Real Estate Committee. Father Émile Bouvier, s.j., was appointed the first President of LU.

Finally, in September 1960, Laurentian University of Sudbury opened its doors, offering programs through a Faculty of Arts and Science, and divisions of Engineering, Business Administration, and Nursing.

It took a lot of energy, dedication, and drive to lead to the creation of this institution, unique among Canadian provinces at the time because of its non-denominational, bilingual, and federated organization. For this, we are all indebted to its Founding Fathers:

* Robert James Askin
* Benjamin Franklin Avery
* Harold Bennett
* Robert Campeau
* William Stanley Cole
* Jean-Noël Desmarais
* Ernest Cecil Facer
* Horace John Fraser
* Donald Leslie James
* Nigel Mordaunt Kensit

* Joseph Armand Lapalme
* John William McBean
* James Wesley McNutt
* James Richard Meakes
* George Merle Miller
* Ralph Douglas Parker
* Alibert St. Aubin
* Adjutor Joseph Samson
* George Clement Tate

On January 15, 1976, at the Senate’s regular meeting, it was moved by E.J. Monahan and seconded by R.R. Wallingford that Acommencing in the academic year 1976-77 and thereafter, Founders Day shall be observed the third Monday in February, and the remainder of that week to be Study Week. The motion was carried unanimously.



For immediate release: February 15, 2007

(Ottawa and Vancouver) The BC and Alberta governments should not implement the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA), according to two new studies from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. TILMA is scheduled to come into effect on April 1, 2007.

The agreement is being promoted as a fairly innocuous deal that will ease the flow of trade and labour. In reality, it grants sweeping investor rights that could compromise provincial health, safety and environmental standards. The Harper government is aggressively promoting the deal to all provinces as part of its deregulation agenda.

The CCPA studies find that risks associated with the agreement greatly exceed any economic benefits. Of particular concern are provisions that allow corporations to sue governments over any measure that “restricts or impairs” their investment, with up to $5 million available for compensation for each alleged violation.

The first study, Asking for Trouble, by Ellen Gould, carefully compares the legal language of TILMA to existing provincial regulations and public enterprises. She finds numerous examples where democratic decision-making could be second-guessed, or important public policies overruled.

“This agreement is extremely broad. It will create pressure to deregulate in important areas of public policy,” says Gould. “The true meaning of its provisions will not be fully understood until the limits are tested by dispute panels.”

Gould says municipal planning regulations (such as heritage conservation and building height restrictions), environmental protection measures, and efforts to restrict private health care could run afoul of TILMA. The agreement does allow a handful of exceptions, but they are very limited.

Supporters of TILMA, in particular the Conference Board of Canada, claim it will boost provincial economies by eliminating barriers to internal trade. The Conference Board recently published a report endorsing TILMA that was commissioned by the BC government.

However, a second CCPA study shows that there are actually very few obstacles to inter-provincial trade and labour mobility. The Myth of Interprovincial Trade Barriers and TILMA’s Alleged Economic Benefits, by Marc Lee and Erin Weir, argues that business groups are falsely claiming that differences in public interest regulation amount to “trade barriers.”

“There is no evidence that differences in regulation result in significant economic costs,” says Lee, a Senior Economist at the CCPA. “Research on interprovincial barriers finds that they cost less than one-twentieth of one percent of Gross Domestic Product.”

The Conference Board report, however, makes the grossly inflated claim that gains to BC would be almost one hundred times that amount. The BC government has relied on that report as its principal evidence in support of TILMA. Lee and Weir note that the Conference Board makes no attempt to list, or estimate the cost of, trade barriers between provinces. And rather than using standard techniques of economic analysis, the Conference Board infers huge benefits on the dubious basis of a tiny survey of business organizations and government ministries.

Furthermore, the Conference Board doubles its estimate of TILMA’s benefits through a simple arithmetic error. Even after correcting this error, most of the projected gains are from industries exempt from the final agreement or from industries that barely engage in interprovincial trade.

Both CCPA studies recommend that TILMA not be implemented in BC and Alberta, and that other provinces resist pressure to sign on. Any real barriers to trade and labour mobility should instead be dealt with on a pragmatic case-by-case basis, rather than through TILMA’s sweeping and dangerous legalistic approach.

To arrange an interview, call Kerri-Anne Finn at 613-563-1341 x306 (Ottawa), or Shannon Daub at 604-801-5121 x226 (Vancouver). Both studies are available at



One response to “MEDIA ALERTS

  1. Quote

    “Hundreds of people, some from as far away as Europe and the United States will be gathering in Regina, Saskatchewan, the birthplace of Medicare, on May 3rd and 4th, 2007, for a historic summit on the future of Canadian healthcare.”

    Maybe the Americans can learn something from Canadians. Too many policies are written blindly without looking at successful models

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