The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Ready to Go

Posted on April 28, 2016

AFTER SPEAKING AT A NUMBER OF UNIVERSITIES and colleges in these past three months I’m getting a clear sense of an uptake of interest in civic responsibility. Often the subject emerged in classes that, on the surface at least, seemed to have little to do with citizenship and engagement. When I talked to students following the sessions, I would ask them directly if they felt their respective educational institution offered enough instruction on the subject and the answer was most often in the negative. Another thing was repeatedly affirmed: all those commentators who lamented that the Millennial Generation, and those even younger, were retreating into their own private worlds were themselves living in some other universe. Mountains of research has emerged recently showing that…

The Real Duffy Dilemma

Posted on April 26, 2016

You can also read this post on National Newswatch here. DEPENDING ON THE PERSON YOU LISTEN TO, Mike Duffy has been fully exonerated, escaped conviction, or everything else in between. The failure of the Crown prosecution case to “bring it home” prompted Judge Charles Vaillancourt to veer from the anticipated criminal ruling into some unexpected observations of the political mess that formed the essential intrigue of the entire Duffy affair. One thing is certain: the manifest sins of the political elite in the highest places of the Harper regime tainted everyone involved, regardless of the trial’s outcome. Mike Duffy is free to get back to business in the Senate, his budget and participation now reinstated. Or as the CBC’s Rosie Barton poignantly phrased it: Duffy…

It’s 2016: Ideas on Implementing Equal Pay

Posted on April 19, 2016

SPEAKING AT A BUSINESS BREAKFAST LAST WEEK, I fielded a few inquiries in a Q & A session regarding my last week’s blog posts on the issue of equal pay for equal work. Nothing really surprising there; the corporate community increasingly explores evolving issues like social good, living wage, environmental upgrades, and wage parity between the genders. One medium-sized business manager asked how best would a business go about implementing an equal pay strategy. Obviously I’m no expert (30-year firefighter), but some lessons gleaned from the equal pay movement have a clear and pressing sense to them. The first thing to remember if you’re thinking of evolving a business into an equal pay employer is that there a clear business case for it. Three…

Nothing Less

Posted on April 15, 2016

THE U.S. CONGRESS JOINT ECONOMIC COMMITTEE put their conclusion in stark terms. Though some advances are being made, the gender pay gap will not close until 2059. Presently, women on average in the United States make $10,800 less than their male counterparts, based on median annual earnings. Over the course of a career, this loss adds up to nearly half a million dollars. Something else they found was equally striking: “Women make up only 26% of highly paid executives, but 71% of low-paid cashiers.” Writer Lydia Dishman from Fast Company noted that the Hired Group made its own discoveries from its recruiting platforms that others use: “Hired found that, on average, companies were offering women between 3% and 30% less than for men for…

Raising the Floor

Posted on April 14, 2016

TUESDAY OF THIS WEEK WAS EQUAL PAY DAY – a date missed by millions. We have the four main kinds of wages: minimum, subsistence, living, and fair wages. But the most important one is missing from this list – equal wage. According to Statistics Canada, women over 15 make up 48% of our national workforce. Yet when you add it all up, women working full-time make 72 cents for every dollar made by men undertaking the same responsibilities. So, yes, efforts at improving wages are vital for those in low-income situations, but our ultimate efforts must seriously embrace an equal wage between the genders. It’s one thing to recognize gender equality and elevate women’s issues in public consciousness and in politics, but until equal pay…

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