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Spending on public schools across Canada increases while student enrolment falls

February 27, 2015 Comments off

Spending on public schools across Canada increases while student enrolment falls
Source: Fraser Institute

Despite a steady decline in student enrolment, spending on public schools in Canada has skyrocketed, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

The study, Education Spending in Canada: What’s Actually Happening?, examines changes in spending on public schools in Canada over the last decade.

For example, between 2001/02 and 2011/12, the most recent years for which data is available, spending in public schools across all provinces rose to $59.6 billion from $38.9 billion—a 53.1 per cent increase.

Yet despite these spending increases, during this 10-year period public school enrolment dropped in almost every province. Subsequently, on a per student basis, for that time period, spending on public schools increased 63.2 per cent, rising to $11,835 from $7,250.

Burger King’s Inversion: A Whopper of a Tax Dodge

February 17, 2015 Comments off

Burger King’s Inversion: A Whopper of a Tax Dodge
Source: Americans for Tax Fairness

This new Americans for Tax Fairness report shows that Burger King and its leading shareholders will dodge an estimated $400 million to $1.2 billion in taxes between 2015 and 2018 from its planned merger with Tim Hortons, a Canadian company. This contradicts the assertion by CEO Daniel Schwartz that Burger King’s plan to become a Canadian company (known as an inversion) “is really not about taxes.”

The ATF report finds that by renouncing its U.S. corporate “citizenship” Burger King could dodge $117 million in U.S. taxes on profits that it held offshore at the end of 2013. Burger King has been able to indefinitely defer paying taxes on those profits under U.S. law; by becoming a Canadian company it may never pay U.S. taxes on those profits. In addition, Burger King may avoid an additional $275 million in U.S. taxes between 2015 and 2018 because under Canadian law it will no longer have to pay (even on a deferred basis) U.S. taxes on future worldwide profits.

The report also reveals that Burger King’s largest shareholders could save as much as $820 million in capital gains taxes because of the way the company has structured the inversion.

Government of Canada Reveals New Research on Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Use

February 6, 2015 Comments off

Government of Canada Reveals New Research on Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Use
Source: Health Canada

The Government of Canada published today the results of the 2013 Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs Survey (CTADS), which demonstrate progress made in sustaining all-time lows in smoking rates, while also highlighting the need for continued attention to issues such as marijuana use among youth and prescription drug abuse.

The CTADS is a national general population survey of tobacco, alcohol and drug use among Canadians aged 15 years and older, with a focus on 15-24 year olds. More than 14,500 Canadians were interviewed for the survey, conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of Health Canada.

The survey includes the first national data on e-cigarette use, which will add to the growing body of knowledge Health Canada is gathering to determine next steps in regulating this product. Last fall, Minister Ambrose asked the Standing Committee on Health to study the potential risks and benefits of e-cigarettes and to seek the advice of a variety of health stakeholders. The Standing Committee report is expected to be released in early 2015.

Understanding trends in tobacco, alcohol and drug use is vital to the effective development and implementation of strategies, policies and programs. The CTADS data will contribute to sources of evidence as the Government of Canada continues to create policies and programs that respond to the needs of Canadians and protect health and safety.

This is the first release of the CTADS, which merged two previous survey tools – the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS) and the Canadian Drug and Alcohol Use Monitoring Survey (CADUMS), streamlining federal efforts and representing the first time that tobacco, drug and alcohol data has been reported together.

NAFTA at 20: North America’s Free-Trade Area and Its Impact on Agriculture

February 6, 2015 Comments off

NAFTA at 20: North America’s Free-Trade Area and Its Impact on Agriculture
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

This report examines the integration of North America’s agricultural and food markets as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), implemented in 1994. NAFTA has had a profound effect on many aspects of North American agriculture over the past two decades.

Affordable Access to Medicines: A Prescription for Canada

February 5, 2015 Comments off

Affordable Access to Medicines: A Prescription for Canada
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

This report reviews research detailing the financial and social impacts of national pharmacare implementation abroad, and shifts in policy in Canada. It finds that implementing pharmacare for at least the 80 most commonly prescribed generic drugs would save governments almost a quarter of a billion dollars annually, while allowing everyone who needs those medicines to access them at little or no cost.

Mentoring Practices in Europe and North America: Strategies for Improving Immigrants’ Employment Outcomes

February 5, 2015 Comments off

Mentoring Practices in Europe and North America: Strategies for Improving Immigrants’ Employment Outcomes
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Mentoring—an experienced individual coaching or advising a more junior partner or peer—is increasingly recognized in Europe as a tool for advancing the labor market integration of disadvantaged individuals, including immigrants. Employment-oriented mentoring programs have the end goal of employment for the mentee, but also aim to achieve important objectives along the way that can promote employment success, including development of social and cognitive skills, expansion of socioprofessional networks, and improved self-confidence and self-reliance.

For many countries in Europe and North America, the labor market outcomes of immigrant populations are worse than those of the native population. In addition, young adults and the low-skilled have been hit hardest by the economic crisis: among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, 26 percent of foreign-born youth and 20 percent of native-born youth are not in employment, education, or training. For highly skilled immigrants who do not enter an OECD country through a labor migration scheme, the pathway to suitable employment may not be straightforward, in which case mentoring initiatives can help new immigrants overcome the challenges posed by recognition of qualifications and lack of professional networks.

This report, commissioned of MPI Europe by the King Baudouin Foundation, highlights a number of relevant “classic” one-on-one mentoring practices in Europe and North America, focusing on the role of different initiators and stakeholders, forms of collaboration, methods, and target groups. It focuses exclusively on apprenticeship and business or employment-related mentoring efforts that aim to generate sustained employment. The report also provides a case study of mentoring practices in Belgium, where the unemployment rate of people with an immigrant background is significantly higher than that of the native born. Finally, the report summarizes a number of key “ingredients,” or elements, that several promising mentoring initiatives share.

Canada’s crime rate: Two decades of decline

February 3, 2015 Comments off

Canada’s crime rate: Two decades of decline
Source: Statistics Canada

Crime.

It’s reported in the news every day. Sometimes, it’s the leading story.

We read about it, talk about it, and wonder how the news stories relate to the overall picture.

And the numbers tell us that the overall police-reported crime rate in Canada has been falling for more than 20 years.

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