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Found 7 results

  1. http://www.wintercities.com/ On Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WinterCitiesInstitute Those who live and work in northern cities recognize the need for better planning and design. The sustainability of winter cities requires a creative approach that addresses the problems of snow and cold while enhancing the advantages, opportunities and beauty of the winter season. A positive approach benefits the attitudes of residents, and bolsters the community’s ability to attract new business and residents. The Winter Cities Institute was organized in 2008 to identify, promote and share the positive attributes of winter living, new concepts in architecture and urban design, and success stories from those places that are thriving in the north. The Institute was founded by Patrick Coleman, AICP, recognized for his work with the Livable Winter Cities Association (WCA). From 1982-2005, the WCA organized conferences, published books and the quarterly magazine “Winter Cities”. A totally volunteer staff made the WCA difficult to sustain and in the end it struggled with its mission. As Coleman incorporated winter enhancement strategies in his planning practice with multi-disciplinary design firms in Alaska and northern Michigan, he found enthusiastic reception to the idea of making winter a better time of year. “People are looking for answers to common winter problems and issues”, he said. “I experienced firsthand and heard from many the need for a source of information, networking and resources, and decided to launch the Institute as a web-based network and resource sharing project”. The Winter Cites Institute offers a place for those looking to improve the quality of life in wintertime and need information on what is being done in other northern places. Our members are from around the world and include: cities and towns architects planners engineers parks and recreation professionals economic development and tourism officials Welcome to the resources available on this site and consider joining the network to get even more benefits.
  2. Canada falls behind in basic worker benefits: McGill study Doesn't measure up to other countries on sick leave, vacation time and breastfeeding breaks MIKE KING, The Gazette Published: 6 hours ago mike king the gazette Canada is perennially a top-10 finisher in United Nations rankings as one of the best countries in the world to live in. But a new McGill University study indicates that Canada lags behind many other countries on some basic worker benefits. The school's Institute for Health and Social Policy conducted recently an international survey that is the first research of its type to measure Canadian laws and practices vs. those of 180 other countries in such areas as maternity leave, annual paid vacations, sick leave and breaks for breastfeeding mothers. The Work Equity Canada (WECan) index, conducted by the institute's Jody Heymann, Martine Chaussard and Megan Gerecke, found Canada scores well for having policies that guarantee paid leave to care for dependents with serious illnesses. But Canada fared worse in other areas. The 78-page report notes: - In nearly 90 other countries, workers are guaranteed three weeks or more of paid leave a year, while most Canadian workers with a year's tenure are guaranteed only two. In Ontario, Prince Edward Island and the Yukon, even workers with long service are guaranteed just two weeks of vacation. - At least 156 countries provide leave for sick workers, 81 of them offering full wage replacement. Canada guarantees just more than half as much, 55 per cent of insurable income, with most provinces and territories not guaranteeing job protection during leaves of more than 12 days. - More than 100 countries officially provide new mothers in the formal workforce with complete wage replacement during maternity leave. Most women in Canada are only guaranteed 55 per cent of their insurable income during maternity leave. Quebec is the exception, with women receiving 70 to 75 per cent of their insured income. - Since breastfeeding has been proven to dramatically reduce illness and death among infants and toddlers, 114 countries have laws guaranteeing women the right to a break to breastfeed at work. Not a single province guarantees the same benefit. On leave for dependents with serious illnesses, Canada is one of 39 countries with such leaves with pay and among them one of only 16 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development members making the guarantee. Institute director Heymann notes there's a wide variation in laws and practices from province to province, especially when it comes to helping parents handle pregnancy and childbirth. "Quebec offers parents more choice, higher wage replacement rates and five weeks paternity leave for men's exclusive use," Heymann said. "In addition, Quebec allows self-employed workers to opt out into parental benefits," she added. "No such provisions exist for self-employed workers in the rest of Canada" - a group that makes up 15 per cent of the employed workforce. René Roy, secretary-general of the Quebec Federation of Labour, said he's studying the McGill report and isn't ready yet to comment on it. To view the full report, visit http://www.mcgill.ca/ihsp [email protected]
  3. Jobless claims soar 21% in Canada Financial Post March 24, 2009 1:02 Lukas Stewart, with his resume strapped to his body, uses a megaphone to attract the attention of potential employers on Bay Street in Toronto's financial district.Photograph by: Mark Blinch/Reuters, Mark Blinch/ReutersOTTAWA -- The number of people receiving employment insurance benefits rose to 567,000 in January, a 21.3% jump from the year before. British Columbia saw the biggest percentage increase, rising 47.7% from last year, followed by Alberta, 46%, and Ontario 43%, Statistics Canada said Tuesday. But Ontario, where the manufacturing sector experienced heavy layoffs, suffered the biggest number increase with claims rising by 54,570 from the year before. “In recent months, labour market conditions in Canada have deteriorated significantly,” the agency said in its report. “Through the early part of 2008, employment growth weakened, only to fall sharply later that year and into 2009, causing a spike in the unemployment rate. By February 2009, the unemployment rate hit 7.7%, up almost two percentage points from a record low at the start of 2008.” The number of beneficiaries is a measure of all persons who received employment insurance benefits from Jan. 11. to 17. In Alberta, 23,300 people were receiving regular EI benefits in January, up 10.5% from the month before. British Columbia had 56,100 beneficiaries, up 9%, while Ontario had 181,500 people receiving EI, which was a 6.2% increase over December. The agency noted year-over-year figures shows the increase in the number of men receiving regular was double that of women. © Copyright © National Post
  4. Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/Quebec+immigration+consultant+arrested+fraud+ring/4070879/story.html#ixzz1B9IRBxSU I just wonder how many people out there do this
  5. Skip GST cut, use cash to fight child poverty: report The Canadian Press November 26, 2007 at 12:19 PM EST OTTAWA — A social action group is calling on the federal government to cancel the next one-percentage-point cut to the GST and divert the money toward efforts to eliminate child poverty. In releasing its annual report Monday, Campaign 2000 said the level of child poverty in Canada has not improved since 1989, despite repeated promises by governments to tackle the issue. “Eighteen years after the 1989 all-party resolution of the House of Commons, the child poverty rate is exactly the same,” said the report, which received endorsements from all three federal opposition parties. “Some important initiatives in child benefits, early-learning and child-care services and affordable housing were started. Some of these have been stalled and others have been rescinded. Related Articles Proportion of poor families skyrocketing in Toronto, report says The Globe and Mail “It is time for Canada to adopt a poverty-reduction strategy that will honour the commitments to children and their families.” The group says 788,000 children — 11.7 per cent of children in Canada — live in poverty, despite a growing economy, a soaring dollar and low unemployment. Government undertakings have lacked specific targets, timetables and other specifics, undermining political will to take effective action, the group said. The Conservative government has opted to cut the GST and implement billions of dollars in corporate tax cuts while Canada has failed to honour numerous commitments to children: — the unanimous, all-party resolution in the House of Commons, calling for an end to child poverty by 2000. — the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child ratified by Parliament and all provinces by 1999, recognizing an adequate standard of living for children. — the Early Learning and Child Care Agreements signed by the federal government and all provinces in 2005 that laid the foundation for a universally accessible system. — an agreement among first ministers and First Nations leaders in Kelowna in 2005 that promised to improve quality of life for First Nations, Métis and Inuit children and their families. Quebec is the only province where child poverty rates have been consistently declining since 1997, the report said, partly because of a package of family-support benefits implemented in 1997. Despite the province's booming economy, Alberta's child-poverty rate has fluctuated between 14 and 15 per cent since 1999, the group says. British Columbia remains the province with the highest child-poverty rate, at 23.5 per cent. “There are too many working-poor families in B.C. who are unable to get jobs with sufficient pay, hours and benefits to lift them above the poverty line,” the report says. Indeed, the group says jobs are not always the answer — 41 per cent of impoverished children in Canada live in families where at least one parent works full-time all year. “More parents are working, but they're still poor,” the report says, calling for increases to the minimum wage. “Full-time work at minimum wage is not an escape from poverty. “The economy is growing, but prosperity doesn't benefit everyone equally.” Child care is a critical element of poverty reduction, it says, and notes that affordable housing leaves more money for food, clothing, school supplies and transportation. And the group says the risk of living in poverty is higher in First Nations and recent-immigrant communities.
  6. Head offices are worth protecting High-value jobs come with territory DAVID CRANE, Freelance Published: Thursday, July 24 When Rio Tinto, the Anglo-Australian mining giant, made a successful $38.1 billion bid for Alcan a year ago, the Quebec government quickly intervened to make sure that Alcan's global head office remained in Montreal. Fortunately, the Quebec government not only had leverage but, in un-Canadian fashion, chose to exercise it. Those with longer memories can recall how, when Stone Container of Chicago acquired Montreal-based Consolidated Bathurst in 1999, the head office was quickly dismantled and most important functions were transferred to Chicago. Head offices clearly matter, and, with the number of high-profile foreign takeovers of Canadian companies, this has triggered fears of a "hollowing out" of the economy. That's why, just over a year ago, the Harper government asked a small group of talented Canadians, led by corporate executive Red Wilson, to tell it what to do. Wilson's panel - the Competition Policy Review Panel - has now delivered its report, with many important proposals to improve the competitiveness of Canadian companies and build more Canadian multinationals. But Wilson's panel has not been successful in designing an effective policy on foreign takeovers that balances Canada's commitment to an open economy with the need for a stronger business sector headquartered in Canada. Our experience tells us that head offices of large corporations bring many benefits, the panel says. "When a Canadian company is acquired by another Canadian company, Canada loses a head office but gains a stronger company. When the acquirer is foreign, Canada loses a head office and a company," it contends, arguing that foreign takeovers affect career opportunities for Canadians as well as many community benefits associated with large head offices. As the panel stresses, "the head office of an enterprise is its 'brain.' It is the place where strategy and other critical decisions are made by its key management personnel." When a Canadian firm is acquired by a foreign enterprise, decisions that once were made in Canada are now made in another part of the world where Canadian interests may have little importance. Head offices provide high-skill, high-paying jobs. And as the panel points out, head offices also support many other jobs "by attracting high-value business services - legal, accounting, consulting, information technologies, marketing and advertising - to the community." But the panel's solution to foreign takeovers is not to propose stronger rules on foreign takeovers but to advocate policies to develop a new generation of Canadian-based multinationals, companies like CAE, Bombardier and SNC-Lavalin, as well as making Canada more attractive for divisional headquarters of foreign multinationals, as happened with Alcan. These are important proposals and we should certainly do all we can. But even if we do a better job of creating new companies, the best of them could also become foreign takeover targets. So we would be growing seed corn for foreign multinationals or, as it has been put, "growing guppies to feed the sharks." Moreover, the panel would make it even easier for foreign corporations to acquire budding Canadian multinationals by limiting Investment Canada screening of foreign takeovers to companies with a value of $1 billion or more, compared with the current level of about $295 million. This would be a mistake - we should keep as much screening scope as possible. The panel does propose that instead of judging foreign takeovers on a vague test of "net benefit" to Canada, that negotiation of proposed takeovers be based on a test of "Canada's national interest." Australia, which uses the "national interest" test for takeovers of about $100 million or more, has shown it's possible to use this approach to negotiate strong terms or alternatively to say no. For example, according to Secor Consulting, when BHP Ltd. of Australia and Billiton Plc of Britain merged in 2001 to create BHP Billiton, Australia required that the company continue to be an Australian, managed in Australia and listed on the Australian stock exchange. The global headquarters had to be in Australia, both the CEO and CFO had to have their principal places of residence, offices and key supporting functions in Australia and the majority of all regularly scheduled board and executive committee meetings had to occur in Australia. So the "national interest" test could make sense. But it would have to be carefully defined to give Canadians confidence that Ottawa would really stand up for Canadian interests. The panel also proposes easing Canada's foreign takeover restrictions on foreign ownership of Canadian airlines, telecommunications companies and broadcasters. But it's hard to see clear benefits. One important recommendation the panel does make is to give directors of Canadian corporations more power to say "no" to foreign takeover bids. Today, directors are typically forced to become "auctioneers" and find an alternative buyer in response to an unwanted bid. In the U.S., directors have much greater capacity to simply say "no." Canada should continue to screen foreign takeovers, but with a more rigorous and more transparent negotiation of conditions and a greater readiness to say no, while improving the ability of corporate boards to reject unwelcome takeovers. Canada should also focus more on attracting foreign corporations to launch new businesses here, not take over our existing ones. David Crane is a Canadian writer who closely follows innovation and globalization issues. He can be reached at [email protected] interlog.com. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=65bbef64-3d8f-401e-8ad2-7790f7f4bcd1&p=2