11.03.2019

We’re on the Up and Up

Toronto Daycare Workers Protest for Maternity Leave and Equal Pay, 1983

Last week, CIBC Economics compiled newly released data from Statistic Canada about women in the workforce. By and large, things are looking… better.

First, women are controlling more personal financial wealth than ever before -$2.2 trillion CAD to be precise. CIBC’s economists predict that by the end of the decade, women will control over one-third of total Canadian financial assets. As the report states, “for the wealth management profession, this won’t be business as usual”.

Second, women are making gains in full time employment. With national jobs numbers growing in the past few years, women have been taking the lead in newly created jobs. That’s good news, but women still make up the majority of part-time jobs. While part-time positions offer benefits in terms of flexibility for childcare and education, they’re also more precarious, and are less likely to provide benefits.

Finally, the gender wage gap is slowly shrinking in both high-paying and low-paying professions. However, it goes without saying that the wage gap is heavily influenced by other factors of identity, like race, sexuality, and socio-economic background. For example, visible minority newcomer women have the lowest median  income of all newcomer groups at $26,624 – approximately $4,000 less than non-visible minority newcomer women.

What can you do to continue the fight against workforce/pay inequality? Offer support and mentorship to another woman or a person in your industry from a marginalized background. Speak up when you hear or witness discrimination, and encourage your organization to implement or uphold diversity and inclusion initiatives.

And if you have the chance to negotiate your salary, do your research first. Btchcoin contributor Sydney Piggott offers her experience with salary negotiations here.


Just When Ya Thought it Couldn’t get Worse for CDN Oil & Gas…

There was yet another gigantic collective groan from oil execs across Alberta last week in response to Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. announcing an unexpected delay in the construction of their Line 3 pipeline replacement.

The $9-billion pipeline project – which will carry 760,000 barrels per day between Alberta and Wisconsin, connecting with pipelines bound for the US Gulf Coast – has been delayed by a full year due to permitting issue in Minnesota. The news comes just weeks after Enbridge ensured that the pipeline would be fully-operational by the end of 2019, a big ‘whoops’ moment on their part.

It almost goes without saying that this will have a major impact on the already struggling oil and gas sector in Canada, with analysts and government officials calling the move ‘disappointing’ and ‘depressing’.

It’s already causing a majorly-negative ripple effect across a crucial O&G projects in Alberta – specifically, MEG Energy’s Christina Lake oilsands project in north of the province. As a subsequent result of the Enbridge delay, MEG CEO Derek Evans said that they are ‘highly unlikely to complete the expansion of the $275 million project that would see the pipeline’s capacity increased to 113,000 barrels per day, as there’s ‘no point’ in doing so if there isn’t pipeline capacity to bring the oil to market. Makes sense – fair play, MEG.

The Enbridge delay also dealt a major blow to their share value, falling by 6% to $44.52 per share. Many other major oilsands producers also felt the sting; MEG dipped to $5.19 per share, CNRL tumbled down to $35.68, Cenovus dropped to $11.44 – a 6% decline for each company in just one day.

Enbridge isn’t the only pipeline encountering delays – as we have previously touched on, the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansions has stalled due to regulatory delays and Bill C-69, and TransCanada’s Keystone XL has battled numerous legal challenges.

In short, the Enbridge delay is basically just more of the same old type of bad news for CDN oil and gas.


What’s the Green New Deal, and Why Is Everyone Talking About It?

Leave it to Fox to un-ironically say ‘wacky’

You might have heard people debating the the “Green New Deal”; a recently released American congressional resolution that intends to simultaneously address climate change and social inequalities in the United States. The non-binding resolution contains no specific policy proposals, and has been branded as a ’10-year national mobilization” to combat climate change.

Introduced by Fox News’ #1 Public Enemy, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) and Senator Edward J. Markey (MA), the resolution would build a framework to “achieve net-zero greenhouse emissions”, and transition to sustainable energy, while creating stable employment, economic security, and securing clean water, housing, fair wages and social equity for Americans.

The “Deal” (named in reference to FDR’s “New Deal”, a WWII-era package of social and economic policies to bolster the American economy) is only a resolution and not a specific set of policies. Despite this, it has been criticized for being a “wish-list” for a progressive agenda, and is being questioned for issues of the cost of putting this “rapid mobilization” into place, specifically its effects on the agricultural, food and transport industries.

Many opponents, including Trump, have cited the costs predicted by the centre-right think-tank, the American Action Forum, of $93 Trillion USD to implement associated policies, and a 2-3% loss in GDP should the resolution be passed.

Those in favour of the resolution claim that despite its lofty ambitions, it is a necessary step towards dealing with climate change.  They also argue that a price tag on the Green New Deal must account for economic losses due to the devastating effects of climate change – one UN report estimated a global cost of $69 trillion in association with only a small rise in temperatures.

One of the primary sales points for the Deal itself is to stylize the US as a “climate leader”, given its current status as a nation which accounts for 15 percent of current global carbon dioxide emissions. In a Canadian context, the question of climate leadership is also ongoing, as the topics of carbon pricing and the viability of renewable energy sources are consistently central debates in the lead-up to our next election.

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