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Finance committee  I think that the comparative context for understanding the deficiencies in Canada's model is vitally important, because when one looks at the rich countries in the OECD zone, one finds that for most countries that have universal health insurance, they also have a universal drug i

May 7th, 2019Committee meeting

Chris Roberts

Finance committee  Absolutely. Certainly, technological change and automation are not restricted to a single industry or sector. They're increasingly transforming work in occupations across a whole range of different sectors and industries. I would say there are very many unions, private sector but

May 7th, 2019Committee meeting

Chris Roberts

Finance committee  Yes, I think it's a very important social policy innovation, absolutely.

May 7th, 2019Committee meeting

Chris Roberts

Finance committee  I think it ranks very high. Although many of our members have workplace drug coverage plans, many of those plans are under pressure, as you know, from high drug costs, and employers not wanting to offer them to retired employees, constantly restricting the availability of drugs u

May 7th, 2019Committee meeting

Chris Roberts

Finance committee  That's certainly the position of the CLC and many unions, that this was a missed opportunity. Even if the government had been unwilling to grant straight-out superpriority status for the pension deficit claim, there are many ways in which the government could have entertained an

May 7th, 2019Committee meeting

Chris Roberts

Finance committee  The relatively modest amendments in Bill C-97 with respect to the CCAA and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act would have had little impact in the case of Sears. The problem in the Sears Canada fiasco was that despite the pension plan having a funding deficit since 2007, the dire

May 7th, 2019Committee meeting

Chris Roberts

Finance committee  Thank you very much, Chair, and good morning, committee members. Thank you for the opportunity to be here today. The Canadian Labour Congress is Canada's largest central labour body advocating on behalf of three million workers across Canada. In the brief time I have, I will foc

May 7th, 2019Committee meeting

Chris Roberts

Human Resources committee  I think the federal government is already taking important steps to modernize or improve labour standards in the Canada Labour Code. I think that goes not only to part III, which is unrepresented non-unionized employees, but also to part I. A good example is the contract-flipping

April 4th, 2019Committee meeting

Chris Roberts

Human Resources committee  I think another dimension of that is the health and safety risks in the workplace. When you get that kind of decline in job quality, that rise in insecurity, and the sort of fissuring that's being described elsewhere, where you have a whole chain of subcontractors, each responsib

April 4th, 2019Committee meeting

Chris Roberts

Human Resources committee  Yes, I think precarity represents a subsidy from employees to employers. When they drop pensions, when they remove benefit programs, that's the employers being subsidized by their own workers and by the taxpayers who have to pay those benefits in retirement and when workers get s

April 4th, 2019Committee meeting

Chris Roberts

Human Resources committee  Very quickly, I'm not aware of a single ILO definition of precarious employment. I do know that they think in terms of the transfer of risks and responsibilities from employers to individuals that I touched on. I think that the key components have to be a subjective and an objec

April 4th, 2019Committee meeting

Chris Roberts

Human Resources committee  I think it doesn't benefit employees. We saw that same kind of manoeuvre when Mike Harris came to power in Ontario. There was this attempt to flexibilize the rules, or change the rules under the guise of flexibility, in a way that meant it undercut and circumvented those entitle

April 4th, 2019Committee meeting

Chris Roberts

Human Resources committee  May I just respond very quickly?

April 4th, 2019Committee meeting

Chris Roberts

Human Resources committee  On the suggestion that basic income is a communist idea, I'll just point that it was Milton Friedman who was the originator of the modern idea of negative income tax.

April 4th, 2019Committee meeting

Chris Roberts

Human Resources committee  I'll try to be brief. I think it's really irreplaceable and invaluable as a way to ensure workers' rights in the workplace. I think we have a long way to go to improve the compliance and enforcement of labour standards in this country, but there's really no substitute at the end

April 4th, 2019Committee meeting

Chris Roberts