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Election Charter for Climate Justice and Good Green Jobs for All

In Ontario’s 2018 provincial election, we need to continue taking action against climate change.

The Good Jobs for All Coalition created the Election Charter for Climate Justice to support action now and after the election on June 7th. It contains nine great measures to be included in a proposed Climate Change Accountability Act.

Use the Charter at all-candidates meetings, in letters to the editor, on your doorstep when candidates ask for your vote, and in other ways you use to take action.

Here are three questions you can ask candidates and parties:

  1. Do you support a Climate Change Accountability Act that would include adequate measures to ensure Ontario’s legislated Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction targets are met?
  2. Do you agree that all revenues earned under the cap and trade system be spent on GHG reduction activities? (Note: The undesirable alternative approach is to give residents “dividends” or to put funds into general revenues.)
  3. Do you support “just transition” measures to reduce GHGs, so that the negative impact is minimized on workers and historically marginalized groups and they are involved in decision-making? This includes measures such as:
    • Just transition funds
    • Investing in publicly owned renewable energy, public transit, public building retrofits
    • Stopping privatization of Hydro
    • Community Benefit Agreements for all infrastructure projects over $50-million
    • Mandatory joint union/management environment committees in workplaces

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What’s Up With NAFTA, Jobs and Equity?

Find out what two well-known Canadians have to say about what’s at stake for us:

  • Indigenous activist, author and Ryerson professor Dr. Pamela Palmater
  • Monique Simard, Quebec labour activist, former politician, and cultural leader

Event co-sponsored by Good Jobs for All Coalition, Ryerson University’s Unifor Sam Gindin Chair and Jack Layton Chair. Recorded on March 20, 2018.
Continue reading What’s Up With NAFTA, Jobs and Equity?

VIDEO: Leap into a Green Economy

Leap into a Green Economy with Good Jobs for All!

The Good Jobs for All Coalition (GJFA) is an alliance of community, labour, social justice, youth and environmental organizations in the Toronto region. It was formed in 2008 to start a focused dialogue on how to improve living and working conditions in Canada’s largest urban centre.

The Coalition’s goal is to develop strategies that affirm the values of a truly just society – healthy communities, a sustainable economy, strong public services, equity, and decent work for all.

On February 29th the Good Jobs for All Coalition held a City of Toronto Forum on Green Jobs. Participants included:
* Moderated by Nigel Barriffe and Carolyn Egan.
* Welcome greetings by Winnie Ng.
* Rajean Hoilett Chairperson of Canadian Federation of Students (CFS-Ontario)
* John Cartwright President of TYRLC
* Cheryl Teelucksingh and Laura Zeglen, co-authors of the 2016 report entitled “Building Toronto: Achieving Social Inclusion in Toronto’s Emerging Green Economy” for Metcalfe’s Green Prosperity series.
* Prince Sibanda Toronto Community Benefits Network
* Ameen Binwalee

Recorded in Toronto, 29 February 2016.

Leap into a Green Economy

LeapIntoEconomyThe Good Jobs for All Coalition will be hosting a City of Toronto Forum on Green Jobs. Participants will include the Canadian Federation of Students (Ontario), Professor Cheryl Teelucksingh, co-author of the 2016 report entitled “Building Toronto: Achieving Social Inclusion in Toronto’s Emerging Green Economy” for Metcalfe’s Green Prosperity series, and the Toronto-York Labour Council. The Toronto-York Labour Council will speak to its January 2016 “Labour and Climate Change Statement”, prepared following the Paris COP21, which calls on the City of Toronto to transform its approach to energy and the environment.


When: Monday Feb 29, 6pm to 9pm
Where: Ted Rogers School of Management 55 Dundas St West, Toronto

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Employment insurance measures a must for fiscal stimulus


Angella MacEwen – January 26, 2016

Low oil prices have taken their toll on an already weak Canadian economy, where household debt levels are at record highs and business investment continues to lag. The Bank of Canada held off on a further rate cut this week, opting instead to wait and see the size and structure of fiscal stimulus in the upcoming federal budget.

This decision comes as economists are split between the need for “shovel-ready” infrastructure spending and longer-term investments. Alongside this debate are calls for stimulus targeted to oil-producing provinces, especially Alberta. That debate misses the fact that the most shovel-ready and targeted fiscal stimulus is employment insurance. Meaningful infrastructure spending can take months or years to get off the ground, but unemployed workers get (and spend) EI benefits within weeks. Money flows directly to hard-hit communities exactly when they need it.

This is why the optimal policy mix for our current economic situation includes temporary EI measures and faster implementation of some EI election promises. The temporary measures will act as stimulus, and the implementation of the election promises will make sure that access to benefits is fairer for unemployed workers.

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The Gender Wage Gap and Changing Workplaces in Ontario

A Good Jobs for All Coalition Submission:

The Gender Wage Gap and Changing Workplaces in Ontario

Submitted jointly to:

The Wage Gap Strategy Steering Committee
400 University Avenue, 12th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 1T7
By email:

~ and ~

The Changing Workplaces Review
ELCPB, 400 University Avenue, 12th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 1T7
By email:

January, 2016
The Good Jobs for All Coalition was formed in 2008 and brings together a broad base of more than 30 community and labour organizations in the Greater Toronto Area. We are working to develop strategies that affirm the values of a truly just society including equity, a healthy environment and decent employment.

As part of that work we seek public policies that put an end to conditions which are eroding equality in the labour market and endangering good jobs with decent working conditions, pay and benefits. Instead we seek policies that help build an economy with good jobs for all, now and for the next generation.


Employment Insurance in Canada hits rock bottom

To mark the first contributions made to the unemployment insurance fund more than 73 years ago (July 1, 1941), the Public Service Alliance of Canada is launching “Employment Insurance in Canada: Hitting Rock Bottom”, a short animated video on the decline of the EI program over the last 25 years.

“Since the 1990’s, the Employment Insurance Program has been decimated by successive Liberal and Conservative governments to the point where it no longer fulfills its mission to protect Canadian workers from the hardship of unemployment,” said Robyn Benson, PSAC national president.

Full item

Joint Statement by Community and Labour Groups

Concerning Federal Changes to Employment Insurance


To the Prime Minister of Canada:

Our unemployment insurance program has served this country well since 1940. When the Great Depression gave rise to mass unemployment and large public demonstrations, workers demanded a program of unemployment insurance to address the obvious, painful need. They were supported by mayors, business leaders and others who understood how important an income replacement program was for families trying to weather bad times and for communities trying to maintain economic stability. The program has continued this vital role in the decades since and especially during periods of economic crisis.

It is deeply disturbing to watch your government now make such destructive, harmful changes to our EI program. There is no excuse for such unilateral action. The people directly concerned have not given their agreement or even been consulted. Since 1990 workers and employers have entirely funded the UI/EI program without any government contributions. What’s more, between 1994 and 2009, the funds of the EI program were used for other purposes than the protection of workers; those funds should be restored.

We are united in calling on your government to Scrap the EI Changes!

We believe that:

  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes our fundamental human right to economic supports in case of unemployment as well as the freedom to choose our own employment;
  • Unemployment is an economic and social phenomenon. It requires a collective response;
  • Unemployed workers have a right to a fair and worker-friendly appeal system when contesting EI Commission decisions;
  • EI requires improvements that improve access, duration and benefit levels. Less than 40% of unemployed people are now collecting EI benefits.

We say NO to:

  • the impoverishment of workers and degradation of working conditions;
  • changes which are not necessary or desirable, and for which no impact studies have been provided;
  • new rules that reinforce the myth that Canadians do not wish to work and abuse the system when they are unemployed. In fact, fewer than a third collect the total benefits to which they are entitled;
  • the attack on communities throughout Canada especially rural communities and those which rely on seasonal industries;
  • the erosion of coverage for people without full-time, full-year employment. Temporary, part-time and migrant jobs mean insecure, erratic employment, especially for aboriginal workers and workers of colour, women and youth.
  • an obligation to accept work regardless of training, experience or willingness;
  • the focus on individual rather than collective responses to unemployment;
  • intimidation, surveillance and intrusion into our private lives;
  • a new Social Security Tribunal which will gravely restrain access to justice;
  • the attempt to dismantle our EI social insurance program by stealth.

We seek Employment Insurance reforms that benefit workers and their
communities. We therefore urge the PARLIAMENT of Canada to:

  1. Rescind all 2012 and 2013 Budget measures related to EI.
  2. Improve EI benefits:
    • Improve access by reducing qualifying hours in all regions to the lesser of 360 hours or 13 weeks.
    • Increase duration to at least 50 weeks in all regions. Provide a Special Extension when unemployment exceeds 6.5%, paid from federal general revenues.
    • Increase benefits to at least 60% of earnings using workers’ 12 best weeks. Raise the maximum benefit. And eliminate severance pay allocations and the 2 week waiting period.
    • Provide EI income benefits so long as workers are in approved training.
    • Expand supports for work-sharing arrangements under EI to reduce layoffs, and build links between work-sharing and training.
  3. Provide Temporary Foreign Workers with meaningful EI entitlements.

Download PDF in English | French | Endorsements

Scrap the changes – Fix EI

At the Toronto Labour Day parade, Good Jobs for All members distributed 2000 flyers and got over 200 signatures on a petition to stop the Harper government’s changes to the Employment Insurance program.   If you didn’t sign the petition or get a flyer, and need information, please ‘read more’.

Many more jobs in Canada are temporary, part-time and many Canadian cities and communities have still not recovered from the recession.  As many  of the marchers in the Toronto Labour Day Parade said “We all pay into Employment Insurance, and we need to be able to depend upon it when we need it!“

Good Jobs for All has been fighting to change Employment Insurance since 2009]  Because of the work of committed activists, EI was extended in 2009, but then the Harper Government decided to try to gut the program.   Right now premiers across Canada are speaking out against the EI Changes and the Canada Jobs Grant. Work in Canada is changing, and too many people are not able to collect Employment Insurance when they need it.   Join us and let’s fight to fix Employment Insurance

Contact if you know someone who has been cut from the EI program or needs help collecting EI and if you want to join this campaign.