Business lobbyists oppose plans in Ontario, Alberta and B.C. to increase the minimum wage to $15, claiming they will destroy jobs. And in the lead-up to the Ontario legislature’s looming vote on the matter, a rash of new reports has been issued by businesses or business-friendly think tanks to buttress these claims, including from the Fraser Institute, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the C.D. Howe Institute, and TD Bank. Oddly, an Ontario agency with no special labour economics expertise (the Financial Accountability Office) even joined the dogpile, with a somewhat more balanced but still negative forecast. The studies predict job losses measured in the tens or hundreds of thousands.

There are numerous flaws in these predictions, exposed in detail by other economists (including Michal Rozworski, Jordan Brennan, and Trevor Tombe). None of the studies provides new insight into the employment impacts of minimum wages; instead, they selectively invoke previous academic research in back-of-the-envelope calculations of what could happen if those previous findings were valid.

High rates of food insecurity, difficulties accessing traditional foods and water contaminated with trace metals and pharmaceuticals are prevalent among Atlantic Canada’s Indigenous communities, according to a new study.

“We should stress more the rights to food and that being a human right. We’re sad that Canada, a rich country, still allows these high rates of food insecurity to be occurring in particular communities,” said Dr. Malek Batal, one of the principal investigators in the First Nations Food, Nutrition and Environment Study.

Waleed Abu-Manneh’s smiling face is an enduring presence behind the counter of his popular Meridian Rd. N.E. eatery.

Having opened Shawarma Barlow a little over a year ago, its success has led to a second location on 17 Ave. S.W. to open its doors this week.

This comes with the customary long hours small business owners endure to chase their dream — which in Abu-Manneh’s case means manning the counter instead of bringing on workers he can’t afford to hire.

It’s class war in the 604.

Vancouver is a tale of two cities: the mansions and the marginalized. The poor, working and middle classes are being forced out, leaving a skyline of vertical filing cabinets for parking investor’s portfolios.

In August, punk author Chris Walter joined the exodus. “I’d lived in an apartment for 25 years, then it was sold to developers,” he said. “We looked around. Rent was double what we were paying. We couldn’t afford to live in East Van anymore.”

Minimum wage earners will receive a boost as the third step to the NDP’s gradual minimum wage increase is effective today.

As of today Oct. 1st the new minimum wage in Alberta is $13.60/hr, and next year the provincial minimum wage will increase again, to $15/hr.

Labour Minister Christina Gray says through the minimum wage increase, they are supporting the province’s economy.

“All hard-working people deserve to earn enough money to support themselves and their families. Our government is staying true to our commitment to make life better for those Albertans who earn the bare minimum. This increase will boost the spending power of low-income people, which supports Alberta’s economic recovery.”