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About kurtzfan

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  1. In the beginning of this season, Willie put Bo in the fourth line. Everyone was shocked, including me. (Why would you Bo in the fourth line? He doesn't deserve to be there. ) Last game, Jacob Markstorm helped the team win the game. He played well. But Willie decided to put Miller for the following game. (That's an irrational decision. You would let the goalie carry the next game since he had a terrific game.)
  2. Did anyone switch over to a different wireless the last few days? I was at Metrotown last night. A huge line up at Fido. The deal was expired yesterday.
  3. I also miss Sami Salo! Is there a d man that also has the heavy accurate shot in the league right now? I wish JB can make a trade and get a much better offensive d man.
  4. But why not Travis Green?! Let's give him a chance.
  5. Anyone think that it would work? Marc Crawford had tried it a few times when it is down by a few goals. It worked! At that moment, we have Trent Klatt, Bertuzzi, Naslund, Morrison. But right now, almost all of our current line up players just can 't score. WD should try to split the Sedins in order to generate some offence.
  6. The federal government has announced new measures to help recent post-secondary graduates manage their student debt. In a press release published Sunday, Employment and Social Development Canada revealed that, as of Nov. 1, Canadians wouldn’t have to repay their Canada Student Loan until they’re earning at least $25,000 a year. Under the Repayment Assistance Plan, students can request help to manage their debt. Depending on their income level and the size of their family, borrowers can apply for reduced monthly payments or no monthly payments at all. According to the 2016 Budget, the increased eligibility for the Repayment Assistance Plan will provide an additional $131.4 billion in student assistance over five years. In the release, Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk stated that the country’s future prosperity depended on young Canadians receiving good education and training for the job market. “As a result of this new measure, students will be better positioned to transition into the workforce after graduation,” Mihychuk said. The government said this financial relief is in addition to the changes to the Canada Student Grants program enacted on Aug. 1. Under those measures, full-time students from low-income families can receive $2,000 to $3,000 a year in support. Canadians from middle-income families are eligible to receive $800 to $1,200 a year and part-time student from low-income families can receive $1,200 to $1,800 in financial aid. The Canada Student Grant amounts have been increased by 50 per cent according to the release. From 2013 to 2014, approximately 750,000 students were repaying Canada Student Loans according to the government. Of those 750,000 borrowers, roughly 234,000 of them benefited from the Repayment Assistance Plan. Students struggling with the burden of debt are encouraged to contact the National Student Loans Service Centre to learn more about what financial assistance options are available to them. Based on the individual’s financial situation, a borrower can apply for a reduced Canada Student Loan monthly payment, or for no payment at all, the government said in the statement.
  7. It has been 3 games already. I notice that the Canucks hasn't upload goal scores on their youtube channel. The Canucks used to upload the goal scores on youtube once any Canucks player scored a goal. Is this going to be permanently? I would be disappointed if the Canucks made this decision. Many Canucks fans like to watch their favorite players to score the goal once again on youtube.
  8. Target in 2015, Sears, Staples, American Apparel , Sony http://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/news-analysis/four-reasons-why-aeropostale-has-lost-its-cool-with-shoppers BY ASSOCIATED PRESSMAY 4, 2016 21:23 Aéropostale Inc., once a popular mall destination for teens, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, becoming the latest victim in the fast-changing retail landscape. Aéropostale joins the ranks of teen retailers looking to reorganise under bankruptcy protection or have been forced to close over the past two years, including Wet Seal Inc., Pacific Sunwear of California and Delia's. And like many of these ailing merchants, Aéropostale had been struggling for several years. The chain, which generated sales of $1.51 billion last year, has racked up three years of annual losses and five straight years of annual sales declines for a key measure. Since the Great Recession, many teen chains have suffered because of fierce competition from the likes of online players and fast-fashion retailers such as Forever 21. But they're also wrestling with seismic changes in shopping behavior. Teens have always been fickle shoppers, but these days they're shopping differently, mirroring broader trends in the retail industry. They're no longer roaming around at the mall but researching deals and fashions on the Web before they go. And they're not looking to be carbon copies of their peers; instead, they're embracing individualistic styles. Aéropostale was a bright spot during the downturn, as shoppers saw it as the cheapest option compared to the two other teen industry stalwarts: American Eagle Outfitters Inc. and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. But as the economy improved, teens went back to more expensive brands, though they still wanted fat discounts. Both American Eagle and Abercrombie have seen their sales improve recently as they have worked hard to reinvent their businesses. American Eagle, for example, has been able to scale back its discounting as it overhauled its fashions, including adding more stretch to its jeans. But Aéropostale has been slow to adapt to these changing times. "It has become increasingly clear that Aéropostale's business model is broken and cannot be fixed without major restructuring," writes Neil Saunders, chief executive officer of retail research firm Conlumino in a report published Wednesday. "In short, Chapter 11 buys Aeropostale time and space to undertake this rethink." But he added, "In itself does not provide a long-term solution." Here are four challenges that Aeropostale has struggled with: 1. Teens Don't Want to Look Like Each Other It used to be that teens wanted to dress exactly like their peers and were fixated on sporting anything with a logo from their favourite brands. Not anymore. Teens, inspired by Instagram and the like, are looking to personalise their looks, and prefer to grab items from different stores. That has been a big problem for Aéropostale, whose sales had been driven by logoed merchandise. Aéropostale started to shed its logoed clothing and began focusing on trendy items about three years ago. It teamed up with names like stylish American video blogger Bethany Mota. But its efforts were too little, too late. The new looks never failed to gain traction with shoppers. 2. Aéropostale Couldn't Wean Shoppers off Promotions: Teens like deals and they like to research online before shopping at the stores. But they're also willing to pay full-price for something they covet. However, Aéropostale was forced to constantly discount the entire store by as much as 70 percent off because they couldn't get shoppers to buy the clothes. "They were too caught up in the promotions," said Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics LLC, a retail research firm. 3. The Changing Mall: Aéropostale and other retailers benefited from being at the epicenter of where teens shop: the mall. But increasingly, kids are shopping on their smartphones and going to the mall for specific items, not just to roam around. And a rash of bankruptcies of mall-based retailers have left some holes and hurt traffic at the shopping centres, says David Tawil at Maglan Capital, a hedge fund that focuses on distressed securities. That's hurt Aeropostale, which is now closing 113 of its 739 US stores, or 20 percent of its store base. As of early January 2014, it had 1,100 stores. Analysts also say Aéropostale hasn't done enough to make their stores more exciting to shop. And some believe Aeropostale will need to close even more stores to restore profitability. 4. Intense Competition: Teens are buying their clothing and accessories at lots of different places, from Forever 21 to off-priced stores like TJ Maxx and online. And the competition is only getting fiercer. Amazon.com is quietly expanding its private-label fashion business, while teen stores face new rivals from overseas. United Kingdom-based Primark, which sells trendy cheap items like seven dollar jeans, made its first foray in the US. By: Anne D'Innocenzio.
  9. But if your income is lower than 20,000, you don t have pay anything for MSP
  10. My friend used to be international student here. He did not pay MSP the remaining months before he graduated. He still could manage to go back to his hometown. What's your thoughts? VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has dug up figures it says proves the BC government has been writing off MSP premiums that haven’t been collected. A Freedom Of Information request put the cost for MSP tax debt at $340 million over the last six years. Finance Minister Mike De Jong wasn’t able to say whether the government will be trying to recoup any of that cash. “We take the obligations seriously, and happily the vast majority of British Columbians take the obligation to remit MSP premiums seriously… now there are circumstances where people find themselves in distress.” De Jong believes MSP has been made as affordable as possible and calls the system fair but admits sometimes people can’t pay. “That can account for a portion but not all; we have obviously increased the premium assistance available to lower income British Columbians and seniors.” Jordan Bateman with the CTF disagrees, pointing out the government can legally try and get the money back, but writing it off in the meantime makes that unlikely. He says the hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid premiums prove the taxes are unfair and inefficient. “Now is the time for some substantial changes to make it fair,” he argues. “The premier herself has called the system antiquated; fortunately she has the power to change it.” The BC government hiked MSP premiums in the latest provincial budget.
  11. What do you guys think about these changes? 1. An increase of 50% to the Canada Student Grant (CSG) amounts: from $2,000 to $3,000 per year for students from low-income families; from $800 to $1,200 per year for students from middle-income families; and 2. For part-time students, the CSG increased from $1,200 to $1,800 In total, these measures will provide assistance of $1.53 billion over five years, starting in 2016–17, and $329 million per year after that. 3. An increase to loan repayment regulations The loan repayment threshold under the Canada Student Loans Program’s Repayment Assistance Plan has been changed to ensure that no student will have to repay their Canada Student Loan until they are earning at least $25,000 per year. Here’s a case study: Steven, a recent post-secondary graduate, earns $23,000 per year at his current job. He is finding it difficult to repay his outstanding Canada Student Loans debt of $12,000. Under the proposed changes to the Repayment Assistance Plan, Steven will not be required to make any immediate payments on his Canada Student Loan since his annual income is below the new $25,000 income threshold for repayment. The Government will cover the interest owing on Steven’s Canada Student Loan until he has the financial flexibility to repay his loan. 4. A new way of assessing eligibility for Canada Student Loans Announcement of a flat-rate student contribution to determine eligibility for Canada Student Loans and Grants to replace the current system of assessing student income and financial assets. This measure will provide assistance of $267.7 million over four years, starting in 2017–18, and $73 million per year thereafter. 5. The elimination of the Education and Textbook Tax Credits This will be effective January 1, 2017. But don’t worry, tax credit amounts carried forward from years prior to 2017 will still be claimable in 2017 and subsequent years.
  12. Post-Secondary Education Parents understand that their children’s future depends on the education and skills they get and that post-secondary education has become an important factor in our children’s future success. But every parent knows that post-secondary education is becoming increasingly expensive. The government must do its part to make post-secondary education more accessible. We will increase Canada Student Grant amounts by 50 per cent, from $2,000 to $3,000 per year for students from low-income families, and from $800 to $1,200 per year for students from middle-income families. 250,000 students across the country from low-income families, 100,000 students from middle-income families and 16,000 part-time students will get more help each year as a result of these measures. That matters. It can be the difference between getting a degree and dropping out. And that can change a life. To help these students gain experience, we will create up to 35,000 additional jobs for young Canadians in each of the next three years under the Canada Summer Jobs program. And through the Youth Employment Strategy, we will make new investments to create clean jobs. We will also strengthen co-op and on-the-job learning opportunities that will help students land that all-important first job after graduation.
  13. This article is outdated. But we can still discuss about that.http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/the-15-hour-workweek-canadas-part-time-problem/article20926986/ For years, Eileen Hasselhoff enjoyed her steady job as a cashier at a Toronto fast-food restaurant. She didn’t earn a lot, typically minimum wage, but at least she had regular hours that let her plan her life and save a little for retirement. That all changed a few years ago. Suddenly her hours were cut, her schedule thrown into turmoil and her income slashed. Now sometimes, she gets 15 hours a week. Other times, 12. Often she’ll get a last-minute call from her manager asking her to come in earlier, or stay later. She has no guaranteed minimum hours, her savings have evaporated and she’s lucky if she can pay her bills. “I know I should be happy I have a job. But I’ve done a lot of inner thinking, and I keep asking myself why?” she says. Ms. Hasselhoff is one of nearly a million Canadians who work part-time when they’d prefer full-time hours. Many have seen opportunities for traditional, full-time jobs with benefits fade, to be replaced by part-time or temp positions without health benefits or pension plans. This type of unsteady or precarious work is a quieter or less visible trend in Canada’s labour market, where muted job creation tends to grab most of the attention. But the growing number of reduced-hours and part-time positions, defined as less than 30 hours a week, as well as contract jobs, have widespread effects, not just for personal finances but for consumer demand and economic growth as a whole. For employers, more flexible staffing allows them to keep a lid on labour costs, improving their margins at a time of heightened competition and changing business models. It lets them be nimble in an era of fluctuating demand. But for workers, the shift to a just-in-time labour market creates a host of difficulties for long-term planning, eligibility for jobless benefits, and often results in a diminished ability to save. Erratic hours create challenges in pursuing an education, arranging child care and qualifying for a mortgage. Part-time work accounted for 80 per cent of net job creation in the past year and the share of people in part-time positions stands at 19.3 per cent, a percentage point higher than pre-recession levels. Back in 1976, that figure stood at 12.5 per cent. Plenty of part-time positions are great, regular jobs. And many people, especially older Canadians, choose part-time work by choice, not necessity. But not all. The share of involuntary part-timers rose in the recession and remains elevated. Rubeni, 41, has worked on call for several years at a daycare. Kevin Van Paassen for The Globe and Mail The greatest portion of involuntary part-timers are those between the ages of 25 and 54, men and women in their prime working years, according to data compiled by Statistics Canada. Temp work, defined as jobs with a fixed end date, has grown to 13.4 per cent of the work force from 11.3 per cent in 1997, those figures show. And within the temp category, contract positions have increased the most, up 83 per cent to 1.1 million people since 1997. Statscan has noted that temp workers tend to see lower pay, fewer benefits and less on-the-job training than permanent staff. The tilt to unstable work – temp jobs, shift work or erratic part-time positions – shows “these are not the 1970s jobs any more. There’s no sense of permanence to them. That’s the area that’s really changing – the lack of commitment by employers to employees in the long term,” says Wayne Lewchuk, professor at McMaster University’s economics and labour studies departments. In prior decades, workers were seen as investments for companies, an asset to be developed over the long term. Now, he says, they’re often viewed as a liability or a cost to be minimized whenever possible. “The reality is, our economy is much more competitive now than it was 40 or 50 years ago. It’s a brutal world out there if you’re a firm, and so they are looking for ways to cut costs. … So we’ve seen a movement of firms to protect a core [of employees] and surrounding that with a periphery of less permanent employees or tasks that are contracted out,” Prof. Lewchuk says. He has surveyed 4,000 people in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area and found that nearly half now work in jobs with some degree of insecurity – from short-term contracts to self-employed, working for temp agencies or without benefits. That has clear consequences for finances, his research has found, but the impact also spills into family, health and community involvement. The trend also has implications for demand in the broader economy. A worker on irregular hours, or on a six-month contract, is less likely to make major purchases and shore up savings, and more likely to delay forming relationships, buying homes or starting families. “It’s logical that people put the brakes on those aspirations,” Prof. Lewchuk says. It’s not just low-wage workers who are being affected. He has found “it’s creeping into middle-income occupations too,” with insecure work growing in the arts, education, health care and information technology sectors, in both the private and public sectors. Rubeni, 41, a single mother in Toronto who asked that her last name not be used to avoid jeopardizing employment chances, worked on call for several years at a daycare and an after-school program. Her hours varied between six and 35 hours a week. The variability created havoc at home, where sometimes she’d have to wake her seven-year-old son up at 6 a.m. to get him to daycare before starting her own shift at a daycare, 45 minutes away. In months when hours are thin, she’s been late paying rent and incurs a $45 penalty. “It’s a stressful life,” she says. The rise of non-standard work isn’t unique to Canada. It’s growing in many developed nations, sparking much public debate. In the United Kingdom, the growth of “zero-hour contracts” means there’s no obligation for companies to offer even minimum working hours. In the United States, fast-food protests have sprung up across the country to demand better pay, while retail workers have launched campaigns against “just-in-time” work scheduling. Many Group of 20 countries are seeing deteriorating job quality and stagnating real wages, which in turn is constraining economic growth, according to an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development study released last month. Some countries, such as Australia, have adjusted policies to fit the new reality, and to protect workers from the harshest effects of an on-call labour market – which may offer lessons for Canada. ‘Labour when they need it’ For employers, a work force that expands and contracts with the ebbs and flows of demand is a way to keep labour costs down, especially in the services side of the economy, where a majority of Canadians work. Temp jobs have become more prevalent at employers that have finite projects, such as in engineering, and for junior positions, says Rowan O’Grady, president of Hays Canada, a recruitment firm. The other area is in unpredictable environments, where it’s hard to gauge demand. “They don’t know how many people they’ll need or how busy they’ll be, and they can respond quickly, without carrying the cost of having a bench of people sitting there, waiting for work to come along.” New technology is also making it easier to adjust staffing, with laser-like precision, to fit demand. Scheduling software can detect when to staff up as the coffee shop gets busier, or when to reduce hours as the grocery store empties. OTHER COUNTRIES’ SOLUTIONS Several countries have introduced policies that aim to balance the need for a flexible labour market with better security for workers. Here are some measures: DENMARK Denmark is known for both high productivity and a flexible labour market, meaning it is relatively easy to hire and fire people. But under its “flexicurity” approach, workers who lose their jobs have a stronger safety net – workers receive more generous jobless benefits and have better access to job training and skills upgrading. AUSTRALIA Australia has a higher minimum wage of $16.52 (Canadian) an hour. Casual workers are entitled to extra pay of about 25 per cent to make up for a lack of sick leave and other benefits. The country also has a federally-funded Fair Work Commission, an independent workplace relations tribunal that sets a safety net of minimum wages and work conditions and helps resolve disputes. NETHERLANDS Part-time work is prevalent in the Netherlands, especially among women, but even most part-time workers are eligible for benefits. This means they are covered for jobless benefits, pensions and leaves, similar to full-time workers, at rates that are proportionate to the hours they work. Kronos, a U.S. work force management company, offers one such service. Its Workforce Ready solution, available in Canada, lets businesses “control labour costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve work force productivity” using real-time employee data. Kronos didn’t respond to requests for an interview, but its website has video testimonials from several Canadian employers who say this software made scheduling easier, more automated and helped trim labour costs. But these lean staffing strategies might not pay off for companies in the long run, says Zeynep Ton, adjunct associate professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management who has studied retail operations. “It hurts them a lot more than what companies may realize.” Unpredictable scheduling “is just one part of the bad jobs umbrella,” which together mean “employee morale is lower, turnover is higher, workers are not engaged, they make more errors and they’re not as productive.” All this reduces sales and profits, she has found – so companies reduce their labour budgets, and then they can’t invest. The growth of a “just-in-time work force” as labour economist Jim Stanford puts it, reflects the view that labour is a flexible input to production – used and disposed of when not needed. Technology, he says, is tipping the balance of power in the employers’ favour, “opening up more opportunities for them to hire labour when they need it with no responsibilities or guarantees.” This may work in a labour market with an excess supply of job seekers who are hungry and desperate for work. “But there are constraints in this strategy – retention is one, and if you’re treating people like a disposable input, you’re not going to elicit a lot of loyalty and creativity,” says Mr. Stanford, an economist at Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector union. Both Target Canada and Loblaw have come under fire from workers for cutting hours. Neither company responded to a request for comment Friday. So has IKEA, where workers in Richmond, B.C., have been off the job for more than a year in a dispute partly over hours and scheduling. Several hundred part-time workers are facing either the prospect of scaled-back hours or no guaranteed minimum hours per week. Keifer Winkelmans’ fluctuating hours hurt his school efforts. Rafal Gerszak For The Globe and Mail Keifer Winkelmans, 22, who worked in the restaurant, says it was impossible to juggle fluctuating hours, often on call, with going to school, where he was trying to upgrade his skills to enter the trades. “At IKEA, both full-time and part-time roles are necessary to both address the cyclical nature of our business and to provide flexibility to employees through their various stages in life,” says Madeleine Lowenborg-Frick, a spokeswoman for IKEA Canada. “Part-time employees are an important part of our business and we pay them wages that recognize their contribution to the business.” As for the labour dispute; “IKEA has remained committed to reaching a collective agreement that provides wages and benefits that exceed industry standards and supports the long term success of the IKEA Richmond store.” ‘A 24/7 economy’ The overall labour market took a hit in the recession, but by 2011 it had recovered all of the jobs lost during the downturn. But it’s an altered world. Long-term unemployment has stayed high and the job market for young people hasn’t improved. About 15 per cent of the work force calls themselves self-employed, many of whom face below-average or unsteady pay. The Bank of Canada has highlighted several areas of weakness in recent months, from ebbing participation rates by young and prime-aged workers to the prevalence of involuntary part-time work, long-term joblessness and wage gains that are below historic averages. Taken together, there is more labour market slack, or underutilized human capital, than the unemployment rate suggests, Timothy Lane, the central bank’s deputy governor, said in a Sept. 24 speech. A host of factors are eroding job quality. Globalization and competition has heated up. The labour market has become more polarized, with rich rewards for those with desired skills and diminished returns for workers elsewhere. And a larger pool of labour is hunting for scarcer opportunities. “From one perspective – from those who think liberal labour markets are a strength – this is a dynamic economy,” says Dr. Cameron Mustard, president and senior scientist at the Toronto-based Institute for Work and Health. “But from the perspective of a 30-year-old, who is trying to maintain a household, has a young child and a partner who’s not in the labour force … and the person can’t find work that pays more than $15 an hour, that’s a problem,” particularly when there are no guaranteed minimum working hours. We’ve moved to a “24/7 economy,” especially in the services industries, he says. Yaa Nimako and her daughter: ‘The salary is not enough.’ Rafal Gerszak for The Globe and Mail Evidence shows that unsteady work and economic insecurity hurts health. Lower wages make it more difficult for families to maintain good nutrition and afford decent housing. Rotating or irregular shifts are associated with more illnesses and fatigue. Temp work spells heightened risk of on-the-job injuries. Studies have shown people who are in their first 30 days of work, especially in places like warehousing, are at a higher risk of incurring a work injury. Monica Mckenzie has worked irregular shifts for 11 years. The single mother works as a dishwasher at the Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel. Sometimes, she has had 40 hours of work, other times just 15. She’s used temp agencies to plug the gaps, at times cleaning hotels for up to 17 hours a day. Helping her son through homework, or attending parent-teacher meetings, was often impossible. The worry over hours caused sleep loss, stress and migraines. “I cannot sleep at night,” she says. Her situation has taken a brighter turn – her hours have since stabilized, which she says has helped her health, and her son is now in his last year of college. Union density, meantime, has dwindled. Canada’s coverage rate ebbed to 31.2 per cent last year, Statscan data show, down from 33.7 per cent in 1997. Wages also reflect how the balance of power has shifted. Pay hikes from major settlements between unionized staff and employers fell to the lowest level since 1997 last year, averaging 1.4 per cent. Average hourly wages for all workers are barely keeping up with inflation. At the same time, wage trends are splintering, with those in top occupations, such as managers or finance professionals, seeing above-average gains and those in low-wage occupations, such as cashiers, seeing little improvement in real terms. A disproportionate number of low-wage earners are immigrants. As of last year, recent immigrants were three times as likely to be minimum wage earners as Canadian-born workers, according to Statscan. Yaa Nimako has worked part-time and on-call work for months. It’s not due to a lack of qualifications: She has two masters degrees and 20 years of teaching experience in the U.S. and in Ghana, her home country. One job teaching English as a second language gives her 3.5 hours a day, another is on call. But she needs more hours. “Of course, the salary is not enough for me and my family,” says Ms. Nimako, a single mother who wonders whether employers aren’t recognizing her experience outside of Canada. Overall wages in Canada have risen by $12.59 a week since 2010. But for restaurant workers – the lowest-paid in the country – wages have fallen by $13.55 a week, according to Statscan payrolls data compiled by the Canadian Labour Congress. Jonethan Brigley, 27, is one such worker. He works full-time at an A&W restaurant in Dartmouth, N.S., prepping, making fries, working the grill. His boss makes the schedule on the weekends, and his hours and days change, often ending at 11 pm. He can’t afford transport, so he bikes home – and worries about the danger – late at night. If he gets two days off in a week, they are not consecutive. He’s one of the working poor – despite his full-time status, he lives on a minimum wage of $10.40 an hour and occasionally has to visit the food bank. He would vastly prefer more regular hours. He, too, can’t save. “After paying for rent, basic food and all the other bills, I don’t really get anything for myself,” Mr. Brigley says. Jonethan Brigley can’t afford transport to his work at a fast-food restaurant. Paul Darrow for The Globe and Mail ‘If you invest in your people …’ One way to bring back good jobs would be a sustained pickup in demand. As the pool of available workers shrinks, employers will have little choice but to compete for workers, which – in the past – has meant stronger benefits, better pay hikes and more steady hours. Even now, not all employers take the same approach. Costco guarantees its part-time staff a minimum of 25 hours a week (with some exceptions depending on provincial regulations) and also posts its work schedules two weeks out from the workweek. About half of its near-30,000 Canadian staff are part-time, and they’re eligible for partial benefits, sick pay and pensions. It also pays its Canadian workers wages that are above the average for the sector. Costco and several other retailers including Trader Joe’s in the U.S. show the business benefits of treating staff well, says Prof. Ton of MIT, who has compiled case studies of companies that see workers as “strategic assets” rather than liabilities. “If you invest in your people, and complement that with a great work design so that people are productive and can do work without making errors … the result is better jobs, higher customer service, lower prices and great returns to shareholders.” Several provinces, such as Ontario and Nova Scotia, have raised minimum wages this year, to between $10 and $11. Some campaigns are calling for further hikes, to $15, a level that the NDP has proposed for federal workers. Some economists say minimum wage hikes do little to alleviate poverty and may discourage hiring, while other studies have shown little impact on jobs and benefits for the working poor. A system of proportional benefits, so that even part-time workers have better protection, would help workers, Mr. Stanford says. And employment insurance should be adjusted to fit the new reality, making it easier for workers to qualify for jobless benefits, he says. In fact, Canada ranks below its peers in terms of jobless benefits, according to OECD senior economist Alexander Hijzen, who has studied job quality across countries. Many minimum-wage workers, such as Mr. Brigley, simply say they need better pay so life isn’t such a struggle. But even higher wages won’t do much good if people don’t get more hours, preferably steady ones. “I would like full-time hours,” Ms. Nimako says. “And the chance to get a paycheque at the end of the week and know that I earn so much … rather than wait and hope to be called, with all the hope and stress involved.”
  14. Any Canucks fans going next Sat morning ? Canucks is trying to help the team to gain the confidence back by having open practice. LET S support the team!