January 19, 2009

January 19, 2009


Policy Options – the Obama issue

The Institute for Research on Public Policy’s current edition of Policy Options features articles on Obama, now the 44th president of the United States. Articles include: "The Obama campaign: 10 lessons for Canadian politicians" by Robin V. Sears and Joseph Lavoie; "Canada in Obama's world: a cork in a stormy sea" by Derek H. Burney; and "Obama and the future of Social Security" by Daniel Béland.

Policy Options, December 2008/January 2009



Quebec Guarantees Private Pension Plans

The Quebec government has passed a bill that will guarantee benefits to pensioners and workers when their company’s private pension plans are bankrupt.

(Alternative sources for the same article provided in case links no longer work)
Globe and Mail, January 15, 2009: “Quebec promises to guarantee pension plans”
Reuters Canada, January 15, 2009: “Quebec to guarantee private pension plans” 
NUPGE, January 15, 2008: “Quebec government promises to protect pension plans

Les travaux parlementaires, Les projets de loi publics: Loi modifiant la Loi sur les régimes complémentaires de retraite et d'autres dispositions législatives en vue d'atténuer les effets de la crise financière à l'égard de régimes visés par cette loi



Best Small and Medium Employers

Fifty organizations from across the country have been singled out as the Best Small & Medium Employers in Canada by Queen’s Centre for Business Venturing in conjunction with Hewitt Associates. Canadian organizations with between 50 and 399 permanent employees are eligible to participate in the ranking.

Top 50 Share Four Critical Success Factors

Globe and Mail, January 14, 2008: The 50 best employers to work for in Canada: teamwork and innovation could mean the difference between thriving and merely surviving


Work Life Balance Suffers

The Vanier Institute of the Family has released two reports concerning the difficulties Canadians are having in striking a healthy balance between work and family responsibilities. One study titled, Work/Family Balance: What do we Really Know?by Jacques Barrette, Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management, found that work/family conflict has progressively worsened in the last 10 years. The second study, Family Life and Work Life: An Uneasy Balance, by Roger Sauvé tracks key employment indicators which underline that family time has suffered at the expense of work time.

Study: Work/Family Balance, January 15, 2009 (29 pages, PDF)

Study: Family Life and Work Life, January 15, 2009 (30 pages, PDF)

News release

Vanier Institute of the Family website


Too Much Homework?

A study titled, Trouble at the Border? Gender, Work, and the Work-Home Interface , by University of Toronto sociology Professor Scott Schieman with Paul Glavin found that workers with the most job autonomy and work schedule control were more likely to bring extra work home with them. “Generally, people who had more schedule control and job autonomy had more work-family role blurring, and that’s a big predictor of stress for most people. It’s also a key indicator of work-family conflict,” Schieman said.

Metro News, January 13, 2008

Study: Trouble at the Border? Gender, Work, and the Work-Home Interface (36 pages, PDF)


Pay for Performance for Teachers

The Society for the Advancement of Excellence in Education has released a report titled, Beyond the Grid: A Canadian Look at the Terrain of Teacher Compensation. The paper examines six models of teacher compensation currently used in the United States with a view to assessing their design, implementation and effects. This information is examined in the Canadian context by presenting a snapshot of opinions held by parents, teachers and principals on the issue.

Executive Summary

Report, January 13, 20009 (168 pages, PDF)


Healthy Employees and Healthy Profits Linked

Conference Board of Canada has released a report titled, Healthy People, Healthy Performance, Healthy Profits: The Case for Business Action on the Socio-Economic Determinants of Health, by Daniel Munro. The report makes the case that employers and businesses should take action on the socio-economic determinants of health because of the benefits such action will have on the organization’s performance and profits. The report provides examples of successful initiatives and practical guidance for implementing new programs.

Media Release

Report, December 2009 (64 pages, PDF)


Employee Guidebook to Working with Cancer

Benefits Canada has released a publication titled, The Road to Recovery: A guidebook to living and working with cancer. It is a guide for employees with information on cancer treatment, side effects, workplace support, disability leave, drug coverage and return-to-work strategies.

New release

Guidebook, January 2008, (24 pages, PDF)


Canadian Immigration Policy and Business Mobility

The Conference Board of Canada has released a paper titled, Barriers at the Border: The Costs of Impediments to Business Mobility by Michael Burt. The paper suggests that to ease the international mobility of business people and thus boost our trade, investment, and visitor numbers, Canada should reallocate overseas office resources, reduce wait times for visas, and increase the use of multi-entry visas.

Media Release

Report, January 2009 (31 pages, PDF)


The Financial Crisis and Government Budgets

The C.D. Howe Institute has released two papers on Canada’s current economic challenges. The most recent titled, What is the Ideal Monetary Policy Regime? Improving the Bank of Canada’s Inflation-targeting Program, by Michael Parkin, and an e-brief titled, Boomer Bulge: Dealing with the Stress of Demographic Change on Government Budgets in Canada which looks at the challenge of demographic pressures on future program spending.

Monetary Policy Commentary, January 20, 2009 (28 pages, PDF)

E-Brief, January 13, 2009 (5 pages, PDF)


Productivity and Public Infrastructure

A research paper from Statistics Canada’s Canadian Productivity Review titled, “The Impact of Public Infrastructure on Canadian Multifactor Productivity Estimates,” examines the importance of public capital for private sector productivity growth. Most measures of multifactor productivity consider only the inputs of the business sector. This paper produces an alternate measure of multifactor productivity for the business sector that incorporates the impact of public capital.

Research paper, January 14, 2009.


Skill Needs in Europe to 2020

Cedefop, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, has released a booklet titled, Skill Needs in Europe: focus on 2020. Cedefop reviewed its earlier forecasts in New Skills for New Jobs and extended the time horizon from 2015 to 2020. The updated findings are outlined in the booklet.

Booklet, December 2008 (38 pages, PDF)

New Skills for New Jobs website with links to documents


Employment in Europe 2008

Employment in Europe is the main tool for the analysis of employment performance and labour market developments in the European Union, the Acceding and Candidate Countries. It provides the basic analytical and statistical background to underpin the Joint Employment Report as well as other instruments key to the European Employment Strategy.

Report, December 2008 (292 pages, PDF)


Book of the Week

Privatization: Successes and Failures, edited by Gérard Roland, foreword by Joseph E. Stiglitz. New York : Columbia University Press, 2008. 231 p. ISBN 978-0-231-14160-4 (hbk)

The privatization of large state-owned enterprises is one of the most radical policy developments of the last quarter century. Right-wing governments have privatized in an effort to decrease the size of government, while left-wing governments have privatized either to compensate for the failures of state-owned firms or to generate revenues. In this way, privatization has spread from Europe to Latin America, from Asia to Africa, reaching its zenith with Central and Eastern Europe's transition from socialism to capitalism.

About the Author:

Gérard Roland is professor of economics and political science at the University of California, Berkeley. A leading expert in the field of transition economics and institutional change, he is the author of Transition and Economics: Politics, Markets, and Firms. Joseph E. Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia University and former chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank. Among his books are Escaping the Resource Curse and Globalization and Its Discontents, which has been translated into twenty-eight languages. In 2001 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics.


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Copyright © 2008 Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, University of Toronto. All rights reserved.

Date posted: 
Monday, January 19, 2009