Friday, December 05, 2014

Are there no workhouses?

Some holiday cheer from the Canadian neo-liberal think tank, Frontier Centre for Public Policy :

 Transcript :
"Labour laws in Canada are supposed to protect workers from exploitation and ensure their safety. But they are not always helping teenagers who are entering the workforce for the first time. Most provinces require that anyone younger than 16 or 14 obtain a permit to work or have written permission from their parents. Children under 12 are almost never allowed to work unless they might be helping on a family farm.  Teens who do work face many restrictions, including how many hours and which hours they're allowed to work. 
Some of these rules seem rather unnecessary. In Alberta, 12 to 14 year olds are forbidden from working more than 2 hours on a schoolday. Two hour workshifts four days a week are more disruptive than 4 hour shifts two days a week.
Minimum wage laws also make it more difficult for young people with no experience to find their first job. In the UK there's a lower minimum wage for people between the ages of 18 and 20 and for those under 18.  
Teenagers who live at home are often able to accept lower wages than adults.
It's time for governments to show more consideration for the needs of young people when developing labour policies."
Yes, why aren't more 12 year olds working four days a week for less than minimum wage?

I first got interested in FCPP back in 2007 when the Cons tapped them for policy advice on electoral reform. This was amusing because FCPP didn't seem very keen on electoral reform, although they were pretty big on private health care, denying the existence of climate change, disbanding the Canadian Wheat Board, and promoting bulk exports of water to the US.

Harper liked them well enough to give a guest speech at one of their fundraisers in Winnipeg in 2009 . This was the same year FCPP and the Fraser Institute co-sponsored the first Canadian tour of Lord Christopher "Global Warming is a Hoax" Monkton 

Currently on their main page they are featuring one of their research fellows, Wendell Cox,  also a fellow at the Heritage Foundation and Heartland Institute, and author of The Wal-Mart Revolution: How Big-Box Stores Benefit Consumers, Workers, and the Economy.

Our media seem pretty comfortable quoting and reprinting them. From just the past few days :

   Climate change denier and not founder of Greenpeace Patrick Moore is environment chair at FCPP

 by a senior FCPP research fellow

while Global News is running a half-hour weekly podcast on Alberta politics with the VP of FCPP 

Yet somehow I'm not seeing any big media interviews and guest spots with Michael Harris of Party of One or Donald Gutstein of Harperism  - two authors who have recently written about how think tanks repackage neo-liberal ideas for easy public consumption through a media chain.


Beijing York said...

I only learned of the Frontier Centre when I moved to Winnipeg and found them providing all sorts of experts for radio interviews, including critics of the single desk Canadian Wheat Board - bullshitting about market choice.

One of my bosses went to one of their sponsored talks for business leaders and he came back impressed with the anti-climate change talking points he heard. Amazing given that our bread is buttered by renewable, clean energy. Can't remember the arsehole's name and their web page seems out of commission so I can't check.

Shortly after that, they had another one of their 'thinkers' on some segment about Aboriginal governance. I remember him being a right wing blowhard on constitutional and treaty rights and claimed he was First Nation and new first hand how dysfunctional their governance was. It turns out that he no longer had status because his FN kicked him out for his treacherous behaviour (and good on them). He was also the go to person the CBC went to when the Supreme court came down with a favourable ruling on Metis rights (of course he was against the ruling but for right wing conservative reasons).

Anytime someone at work quotes or refers to them, I roll my eyes and bite my tongue before trying to offer a contrary opinion in a even-leveled tone.

Alison said...

Was it Tom Harris of Friends of Science, Kenneth Green of American Enterprise Institute, David Henderson, or Senior Fellow Tim Ball?
All are or were climate change *skeptics* at FCPP.
Here's a list of their advisors and fellows from 2012

Nice to see the Byfields still represented on the national stage and you'll remember Navarro-Genie from his ... work ... at Rights and Democracy.

afaik, Don Sandberg is still the director of Aboriginal Projects for FCPP.

Beijing York said...

You are a master researcher - it was climate change skeptic Tim Ball who gave the luncheon and it was Don Sandberg who tried to sue Norway House Cree Nation for denying him Membership who is their go to guy on all things Aboriginal. Oh and the other go to "fellow" is Joseph Quesnel, Metis from N. Ontario now residing in AB, who is championing individual property rights over the communal system of land ownership and stewardship.

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