Hard lessons from Europe’s austerity agenda

By Lynne Fernandez

First published in the Winnipeg Free Press February 19, 2019

It’s been obvious since his election that Premier Pallister is committed to austerity. His government is cutting public services and staff, reducing funding to municipalities and obsessing over deficit reduction, ostensibly to deal with what he labels as a financial crisis. At the same time he is oddly insistent on cutting revenues by reducing the PST by one per cent.

A Closer Look at Childcare Affordability in Manitoba

First published in the Winnipeg Free Press February 13, 2019

A new report by CCPA National (Developmental Milestones:  Child Care  fees in Canada’s Big Cities) on childcare fees contains very mixed reviews of Manitoba and raises important questions about public policy. A closer look complicates the congratulatory confidence that Manitoba’s fees are among the lowest in Canada (“City second in daycare affordability,” Winnipeg Free Press, February 8).

Green New Deal Needed in Canada Too

By Hannah Muhajarine

First it was 44 million, then 66 million and now 78 million tonnes of C02: every year Environment Canada increases the amount by which Canada is projected to miss its Paris Agreement target [i]. “Transitions to a cleaner future are hard,” said Environment Minister Catherine McKenna in a press conference last December [ii]. If Minister McKenna is in need of guidance, I would respectfully direct her southwards, to newly elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal—the legislation of which was just released Thursday February 7, 2019.

The thin edge of the wedge: Privatization of Lifeflight

By Brianne Goertzen

First published in the Winnipeg Free Press, February 2, 2019

When it comes to evaluating the “value for money” in air ambulance services, the safety of patients and staff should be a key factor.

When the operators of the air ambulance are private companies, though, the bottom line is profit.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Indigenous Peoples and Unions in Canada

Jim Silver and Lynne Fernandez published this article in the International Center for Trade Union Rights Journal.

Poverty in the hometown of human rights

By Molly McCracken

How is it that the home of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights is also home to high and rising poverty? Can income inequality be reversed? Learn more about Make Poverty History Manitoba’s request to faith communities to act as a moral compass in Winnipeg in the face of systemic injustice.

Inconsistent Information For Environmental Review: Frac Sand Mining in Manitoba

By Don Sullivan

Update from “What the Frack is Happening in Manitoba” Nov. 22, 2018 https://policyfix.ca/2018/11/22/what-the-frack-is-happening-in-manitoba/

The corporation proposing a major mining operation on the shores of Lake Winnipeg is not providing accurate and timely information. This is putting the integrity of the public environmental review process at risk. Government need to do more to demand this information be provided in the public interest.

Q & A: Minimum Wage & $15/h Wage in Manitoba

  1. Who earns a minimum wage in Manitoba?

  1. What are the benefits to a $15 minimum wage in Manitoba?

The benefits of gradually phasing in a $15 minimum wage would be far-reaching:

  • The 5.4% of workers who earn minimum wage would benefit, plus the 13.1% of workers who earn 10% above minimum wage, for a total of at least 18.5% of workers
  • A full time workers’ pay would increase by $7,000/ year before tax.

Women are more likely to work part-time, care for children and parents and work in low-wage industries, which makes them more likely to earn less than $15 / hour and benefit from an increase.

Valuing the Voice of People Living with Disabilities in Manitoba

By Carlos Sosa

Recently the Manitoba Government made a decision to reject a core funding application from the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLPD) for the 2018-19 fiscal year. It can be very difficult for an organization to function without core funding which diminishes its capacity. The organization (formally known as the Manitoba League of the Physically Handicapped) has existed since 1974 as a consumer-based organization of people living with disabilities.

Social Impact Bonds: A Costly Innovation

by Jesse Hajer

Social Impact Bonds or ‘SIBs’ are a relatively new mechanism for governments to fund social services, but since being introduced they have been controversial, due to higher costs and payments to private investors. Despite funding some well-regarded, evidence-based interventions, SIBs have raised questions among both academics and community stakeholders as to whether private investors should be profiting from these projects, and what benefit government is getting from the higher costs.