In a profound meeting of history and a brighter future the Grey Bruce Labour Council hosted its annual BBQ in Kincardine on June 10th. The BBQ is an annual tradition with the Labour Council where in the confines of sun and warmth the Union Delegates to the Labour Council along with their guests get to look back at the work of the pervious twelve months and the work ahead of us that speaking for and representing workers in the Grey Bruce Region entails.
Labour Council President, Kevin Smith notes “that nothing is more important than taking time to thank the delegates for the work that has been done and for the time away from family while ensuring that workers’ rights are protected and enhanced across our region”.
Labour Council Vice-President, Dave Trumble, says “a quick review of the previous year sees the potential for even bigger and better changes for workers than just the improved Ontario minimum wage as Labour across Canada and the Grey Bruce Labour Council push for the progressive changes noted in the Changing Workplaces Review that would begin to unravel the precarious work dilemma and enhance the ability of workers to unionize”.
While the hard work of the year and that yet to come is examined, the Labour Council is pleased to cheer on the presenting of awards celebrating both the socially responsible and social justice contributions of graduating secondary school students from across Grey and Bruce Counties. The Robert White Social Justice Awards have been awarded in Robert White’s name by the Labour Council since the mid nineties. “Doing so is to honor Brother White, a pioneer in connecting Labour and Social Justice. This first year after the passing of Robert White made the presentations this year all the more meaningful” says Labour Council Secretary, Anna Morrison. This year the Labour Council supported such students by awarding $1250 to five students, five students who submitted amazing essays about their accomplishments. Pictured are three of the students, Hanna Lynch, Umar Azmi and Raza Hussein.
In the midst of this the Grey Bruce Labour Council continues to foster and grow the sixty plus year relationship between Labour and the United Way as the Labour Council donates $500 to the United Way of Bruce Grey Backpack Campaign and challenges all our Union Affiliates to do the same. Kevin Smith proudly motivates us by saying, “Lets send our students back to school with love and support and make sure that the world knows that Organized Labour continues to be an energetic engine of positive social change.
The Municipality of Kincardine will show it’s colours later this month as they hold their 1st ever Kincardine PRIDE Parade and celebrate diversity and the LGBTQ community.
It’ll be the first time an event like this has ever happened in Bruce County or this part of the province.
Fort Papalia, a retired Port Elgin school teacher and President of Kincardine Pride, tells 98 The Beach (Bayshore Broadcasting News) news of their first ever event travelled as far as Ottawa garnering support from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Papalia says they’re excited just to be having the event noting the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We’ve received positive support from all over; you know, on Twitter, Facebook, people out of town, businesses, sponsors, it’s been just overwhelming, we’re very excited,” says Papalia.
Papalia says he spent time talking with colleagues, friends, and other communities, some smaller than Kincardine, that celebrate PRIDE and he thought why not give it a try.
“We thought, hey, we’ll give it a shot, see where it goes and if it fizzles and there’s no interest that’s fine, we gave it a shot,” says Papalia, adding, “if it flies, so much the better, we’ll see where we can go from here.”
The Kincardine PRIDE Festival goes Saturday, June 24th, 2017 at Connaught Park in Kincardine. The parade portion of the event will travel along Broadway St. to Queen St., then along Queen St. to Victoria Park starting at 11am.
While the event has the full support of many including the Municipality of Kincardine and large employers like Bruce Power, Papalia notes there has been some opposition to the event.
One Huron-Kinloss man told the Kincardine News in an interview, he’s planning to protest the event while waving a “confederate rebel flag.”
Papalia tells Bayshore Broadcasting News they will continue to march on despite negative anti-gay and homophobic comments in local media.
Meanwhile Ontario Provincial Police say they recognize a person’s right to free speech and a ‘peaceful’ demonstration but should any laws be broken, they will be enforced.
We’re glad you asked!
Every June, the Fraser Institute proclaims a “Tax Freedom Day” to make the misleading claim that Canadians face an ever-growing tax burden. The Broadbent Institute’s new study, The Brass Tax, busts this myth. Here are a few key facts from the study to clear the air.
A typical Canadian family pays a total tax rate of 24%.
That includes income taxes, payroll taxes like CPP and EI contributions, and consumption taxes like GST/HST. Every tax paid by a typical Canadian family, added up.
In income tax, a typical Canadian family pays a rate of just 11%. Only the wealthiest 2% of Canadians pay more than 30% in income tax.
A typical Canadian family receives services equivalent to 63% of its household income every year.
Stuff like: roads, schools, emergency services, parks, water quality testing, restaurant inspectors, garbage pick-up, healthcare, police.
Taxes pay for things that make our lives better, and in some cases, things that just plain make our lives functional.
The Canadian economy is growing, but the proportion of tax revenue is actually going down.
Canadians are not hugely burdened with taxes. Of the 35 countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada ranks 25th when it comes to total tax revenue as a portion of GDP.
That’s right, we’re among the lowest taxed in developed countries. And we’re trending downwards.
Let’s talk about those Tax Freedom Day calculations….
Tax Freedom Day calculations include business taxes, oil and gas royalties, and other surprises in the amounts paid by families. We’re pretty sure that the typical Canadian household does not directly pay for those things.
Also, small nerd fight: the Fraser Institute is conflating “mathematical average” with the more conversational way people use the word average to paint an inaccurate picture.
Really wealthy Canadians push the mathematical average upwards. Meaning that 70% of Canadians earn less than the average income, and 75% of Canadians pay less in taxes than the average amount. So the (mathematical) average income is in fact well above what the “average” Canadian earns.
When most of us use the word “average,” we’re talking about the typical (or median) household- a number that is closer to the income that most people in Canada actually earn.
So yeah, they come up with a number that’s nearly double what we found.
The myth that Canadians have a high tax rate sells our country short
If you’re constantly telling Canadians we’re paying super-high tax rates, no wonder people think of taxes as a burden rather than as the foundation of services we all rely on.
The myth of a high tax rate not only undervalues public services, it undermines our ability to invest in programs that are key to the well-being of all Canadians. Arguing about taxes in solely mathematical terms means that we lose sight of the very real, good and useful things that they pay for.
We can’t stress this enough: taxes pay for things.
Useful things. Important things. And even things that are quite impressive.
We don’t want to have a math fight with the Fraser Institute. We want to talk about what Canada can be and how we can make life better for every Canadian.
Want to improve healthcare? Want universal daycare? Just want the *$#! potholes fixed? Tax revenue does that. So let’s start talking about what we want to do, together.
A Brampton-based employer has been handed a rare 30-day jail sentence for failing to pay 43 employees more than $125,000 in wages, as the Ministry of Labour vows to ramp up enforcement.
Peter David Sinisa Sesek, who ran two GTA businesses — Academic Montessori in Brampton and WISE Summer Camp in Mississauga — was also slapped with a $20,000 fine for failing to comply with the ministry’s order to pay, originally issued in 2015.
Over the past two decades, the courts have imposed fewer than 10 jail sentences on bosses who ignore orders to pay. The last employer jailed for that offence in 2016 served a prison term of one day. The maximum sentence is one year.
In total, Sesek owed former employees — many of whom were university students — around $127,000, with individual claims ranging from $700 to $12,000 each. He was convicted Tuesday by Justice of the Peace Hilda Weiss.
Both businesses have since shuttered. In an email to the Star, Sesek said he was challenging the conviction.
In his notice of appeal, he says he was “denied opportunity to make a full answer to the charge” and that he filed a judicial review of the case with the Ontario Labour Relations Board in September of last year.
Last week, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Labour Minister Kevin Flynn proposed a range of updates to the province’s employment and labour laws, including beefed up fines for workplace violations. If passed, the legislation tabled last Thursday would also add up to 175 employment standards inspectors, doubling the ministry’s complement.
The measures would also allow inspectors to award interest on workers’ unpaid wages.
As previously highlighted by the Star, victims of wage theft across Ontario have lost out on $28 million over the past six years because the ministry failed to collect the money owed them by law-breaking bosses, statistics show.
A Star investigation also revealed that between 2009 and 2015, more than one-third of stolen wages in the province were never recovered by the government.
Since 2015, the number of Ontario employers facing prosecution for workplace violations has risen by more than 40 per cent.
Speaking Tuesday at an event in Brampton aimed at highlighting measures to protect temporary agency employees, Flynn said the government’s proposed labour law reforms were for “ordinary hardworking Ontarians.”
“The little guy’s turn has come,” he said.