November 17, 2008

November 17, 2008


Bargaining Rights for Agricultural Workers in Ontario

In the decision Fraser v. Ontario (Attorney General), issued November 17, 2008 by the Court of Appeal for Ontario, theAgricultural Employees Protection Act (AEPA), 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 16 was found to be constitutionally invalid. According to the decision, the AEPA will not be invalidated for another 12 months, so that the Ontario government can determine other statutory protections for the collective bargaining rights of agricultural workers. The decision includes: a history of labour relations in Ontario’s agricultural sector; a description of the key features of the AEPA; a review of the decision of the lower court; an outline and analysis of the legal issues raised by the appeal.

Decision, November 17, 2008 (33 pages, PDF)

Decision, November 17, 2008, (html)

Globe and Mail, November 18, 2008: “Farm workers' rights to bargain upheld”

Toronto Star, November 18, 2008: “Ontario farm workers can unionize”



Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board and the Wal-Mart store closing in Quebec

The Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board will hear a complaint by the United Food and Commercial Workers alleging that Wal-Mart’s closing of the recently organized Quebec store is an unfair labour practice because it intimidates any Wal-Mart employees from future attempts to organize.

Lancaster House Headlines, November 17, 2008

United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1400, Applicant v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp. operating as Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart Canada, Sam’s Club and Sam’s Club Canada, Respondent LRB File No. 038-05; October 24, 2008


Alberta Introduces a Foreign Qualification Recognition Plan

The Government of Alberta has released a plan to improve recognition of foreign-earned qualifications. A Foreign Qualifications Recognition Plan for Alberta includes: establishing a $1-million Innovation Fund to promote innovative and flexible approaches to foreign qualifications assessment; enhancing information and resources for employers, immigrants and potential newcomers; developing International Education Guides to provide comprehensive information on educational systems and credentials in other countries and comparisons to standards in Alberta; and developing occupational profiles detailing the licensing, certification or assessment process.

News release, November 7, 2008

A Foreign Qualifications Recognition Plan for Alberta, November 7, 2008 (24 pages, PDF)



Ivey Business Journal Looks at Innovation

The most recent edition of the Ivey Business Journal, November/ December 2008, is now available online. Innovation is the theme of a number of articles in this issue including: “Process Innovation: the crucial facilitator of product innovation,” by Chris Piper; “The Games that Innovators Play,”by Roger Miller and Marcel Côté; and "Changing Perceptions and Triggering Innovation," by Terri L. Griffith and John E. Sawyer

Ivey Business Journal Online


Perception of Corporate Responsibility Linked to Reputation

The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship has released its report The Most Respected U.S. Companies 2008. The report ranks the top 50 companies in the United States which the public distinguishes for corporate social responsibility. The data used focused on the public perception about a company’s corporate citizenship, governance and workplace practices. The top ten companies were: Google, Campbell Soup, Johnson & Johnson, Walt Disney, Kraft Foods, General Mills, Levi Strauss, UPS, Berkshire Hathaway and Microsoft.

Report, October 2008 (14 pages, PDF)

Press release


Excessive Rewards Hinder Performance

A research paper featured in Rotman News titled, "Large Stakes and Big Mistakes," found that, although performance pay is seen as a motivational tool, excessive rewards can cause a decline in performance.

Rotman News, November 18, 2008

Paper, August 2008 (46 pages, PDF)


Are Higher Wages Luring Canadian Graduates to the U.S?

A study titled, “Revisiting Canada's Brain Drain: Evidence from the 2000 Cohort of Canadian University Graduates”, published in the current issue of Canadian Public Policy, compares the early economic returns of new graduates who stayed in Canada with those of new graduates who left to work in the United States. The study found annual earnings to be significantly higher for all individuals who relocated to the United States, particularly undergraduate engineers and computer scientists.

News Release, October 27, 2008

Study, Canadian Public Policy, V. 34, #3, 2008 – online access for the University of Toronto community

EconPapers: abstract and ordering information


Accommodating Mental Illness

The Canadian Human Rights Commission’s publication, Policy and Procedures on the Accommodation of Mental Illness, is available online. The policy outlines the accommodation process and provides guidance to help managers and supervisors take the initiative to ensure employees with a mental illness are offered appropriate accommodation when necessary.

Policy and Procedures, October 2008 (24 pages, PDF)


Ontario's Teacher Labour Market

“For the foreseeable future Ontario, as well as most other provinces, will be faced with a shrinking school system, staffed by an aging and static teaching workforce. Responding to this challenge will be complicated by factors such as high retirement levels, more restrictive collective agreement language, and pension solvency issues.” [From Queen’s University IRC]

Discussion paper, November 2008(11 pages, PDF)


Fending Off a Canadian Recession

A Conference Board of Canada paper titled, Fending Off a Canadian Recession: What More Can Be Done? calls upon the Canadian government for an active fiscal policy that will maintain domestic demand and ensure that firms have sufficient access to credit.

Report, November 2008 (5 pages, PDF)


Lessons from the Celtic Tiger

The Canada West Foundation has released a research paper titled, More Than Just Lucky Shamrocks: The Re-Invention of Ireland and Lessons for Western Canada. The paper explores the public policy lessons that western Canada can learn from the Irish experience over the last 20 years. It outlines four key public policy recommendations that could help western Canada achieve a much higher and more competitive status in the global economy.

News release, November 6, 2008

Research Paper, November 6, 2008 (27 pages, PDF)


Natural Resources and the Canadian Economy

“The Role of Natural Resources in Canada’s Economy” by P. Cross, is the feature article in the current issue of Statistics Canada’s Canadian Economic Observer, November 2008. The paper looks at the impact the seven year commodity boom has had on various sectors of the economy, and at the same time highlights those sectors that are most vulnerable to the recent bust in commodity prices.

Feature article, November 13, 2008 (html)


Producers’ Dilemma II

With Producers’ Dilemma II: Managing development in a world of scarcity, Deloitte has expanded the game theory model to include the participation of both industry and government. It builds on the first phase’s role-play exercise in which a group of Deloitte energy and resources professionals and associates simulated the strategic options and preferences of major oil sands companies and the Alberta government.

Producers’ Dilemma II, September 2008 (20 pages, PDF)

Producers’ Dilemma overview


Better Work Gathers Support for Fair Globalization

Better Work, a partnership between the International Labour Organization and the International Finance Corporation is seeking to improve labour standards and competitiveness in global supply chains.

Article, November 10, 2008


Book of the Week


International Trade and Labor Standards : a Proposal for Linkage, by Christian Barry and Sanjay G. Reddy. New York : Columbia University Press, 2008. 207 ISBN 978-0-231-14048-5

Progressive governments in poor countries fear that if they undertake measures to enhance real wages and working conditions, rising labor costs would cause wealthier countries to import from and invest elsewhere. Yet if the world trading system were designed to facilitate or even reward measures to promote labor standards, poor countries could undertake them without fear. This book propose ways in which the international trading system can support poor countries in promoting the well-being of their peoples.

About the Authors: Christian Barry teaches philosophy the Australian National University and Sanjay G. Reddy is an assistant professor of economics at Barnard College and at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.


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

Date posted: 
Monday, November 17, 2008