It pays to work in the oil patch. A recent study by Mercer said the energy sector will continue to boost salary increases in Alberta and across the country in 2015. It said new survey results show the average raise in base pay in Canada is expected to be 3.0 per cent in 2015 – the same as the actual increase in 2014.
In Alberta, the raise in base pay is expected to be 3.2 per cent in 2015, slightly lower than the 3.3 per cent reported in 2014. Salary increases in the energy sector are significantly higher than other industries at 3.9 per cent in 2014 and projected to be 3.7 per cent in 2015, said the report.
The energy sector, oil and gas, has typically been around one per cent higher than the national average. It’s primarily driven because of the oil and gas numbers and the energy sector employers that typically have bigger budgets. This could be because they’re trying to compete with each other for key talent or perhaps the cost of living in Alberta may be high.
Mercer’s 2014/2015 Canada Compensation Planning Survey, which has been conducted annually for more than 20 years, included responses from almost 700 organizations across Canada and reflects pay practices for approximately two million non-union employees. The survey results are captured for five categories of employees: executive, management, professional (sales and non-sales), office/clerical/technician, and trades/production/service.
After Alberta, the projected average salary increase was second highest in Saskatchewan at 3.1 per cent for 2015. Recently, Statistics Canada reported that Alberta continues to have the highest average weekly earnings of non-farm payroll employees among all the provinces. It said that Alberta’s average was $1,150.61 in May, up 0.6 per cent from April and a hike of 3.1 per cent from May 2013. Nationally, average weekly earnings were $936.64 in May. They were up 0.6 per cent month-over-month and increased by 2.6 per cent year-over-year.
The mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector had the highest average weekly earnings at $2,093.70, up by 15.5 per cent from May 2013, which was the highest year-over-year growth rate among all the employment sectors.
Source: Calgary Herald
According to one of Canada’s largest banks, the rise in part-time employment is nothing more than a pullback after companies hired more full-time workers than needed coming out of the recession. Economists Randall Bartlett and Derek Burleton wrote in a research note that there’s no reason to be concerned about the recent trend.
According to the latest official jobs data from Statistics Canada, the economy produced over 60,000 new part-time jobs in July, even as full-time employment decreased. Since the start of the year, more than 60 per cent of the 95,000 jobs created have been part-time work as opposed to full-time.
Some analysts are starting to worry about the long-term impacts of this trend since part-time work is generally associated with lower wages, less generous benefits and a much more temporary work force.
Typically in recessions, employers favour part-time workers over full-time positions, as companies like to keep their work force leaner to deal with impending uncertainty. When recessions end, companies tend to hire a lot of full-time workers as they expand and feel optimistic about their prospects in a growing economy.
There may be disproportionately more part-time jobs being created at the moment, but in the overall economy, full-time work still makes up 80 per cent of all jobs, the economists note. There are also numerous demographic reasons for the slight shift toward part-time work, and they, too, are nothing to worry about, according to TD’s economists.
Official data suggests about 70 per cent of part-time workers are female. Many more Canadian women are now in the work force than there have been historically, and as that trend continues “the part-time share of total employment could continue to head higher over the longer run as a result.”
Canada’s aging population is also playing a role. About eight per cent of part-time workers in Canada today are at least 65 years old. That ratio has doubled over the last 10 years, a time when the seniors’ share of the population as a whole has only increased from 16 to 18 per cent.
It’s a well-reported trend that Canadians are working later in life than they used to. But by and large, most of them are choosing part-time work when they do, which is skewing the overall ratio higher.
According to the economists, ‘Notwithstanding some of the structural trends at play that could lead to a gradual increase in the part-time share over the longer haul, we expect to see both stronger job gains and a more equitable distribution between full-time and part-time positions in the coming months.’
Source: CBC News
If you want to improve your odds of getting a high-paying job after finishing your education, forget that English degree. A new report by Workopolis suggests that nursing and pharmacy students are most likely to land employment in their field after graduation.
The study, which analyzed more than seven million resumes on the job search website, found that 97 per cent of those who studied nursing, whether it was at the bachelor, masters or PhD level, are working in jobs related to their education.
Other degrees that showed the highest return included pharmacy (94 per cent); computer science (91 per cent); engineering (90 per cent) and human resources (88 per cent).
Although health care jobs may be the most plentiful, data from Statistics Canada shows that engineering jobs are the highest-paying. Engineering graduates, on average, earned $76,000 as a starting salary, followed by healthcare graduates with $69,600; computer science graduates with $68,000 and law and math graduates with $67,600.
Tara Talbot, vice-president of human resources at Workopolis, says students need to follow their passions but should also be aware that their choice of study could affect how easy or difficult it will be to get a job.
It’s also important to keep in mind that along with hard skills such as a specific degree, employers also value graduates with “soft skills” such as communication, teamwork and problem solving abilities.
Meanwhile, the study also suggests that Canadians are more educated now than they were in 2000, even though the majority say their degrees are not relevant to their current jobs. Despite spending longer in school, 73 per cent of those who recently answered a poll on the job site say their degrees are not related to their jobs. More than half (56 per cent) believe they’re overeducated for their position.
Over a period of 2 weeks, over 3,600 people participated in the poll. The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error as they are not a random sample and therefore are not necessarily representative of the whole population.
Last week, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander issued a statement setting out the federal government’s opposition to Canadian municipalities becoming “sanctuary cities” for illegal immigrants.
The sanctuary city concept is one in which a city agrees not to take action against illegal immigrants. In Canada, at least two cities including Toronto and Hamilton, Ont. have declared themselves to be sanctuary cities. While some immigration enforcement laws are harsh and disproportionate, all immigration laws must be followed.
The Canadian government rightly points out that it is important for Canadians to have faith and integrity in the immigration system. Canadian cities have an obligation to respect Canadian laws and to enforce these laws when required. If communities are concerned about the way illegal immigrants are treated they should convince the federal government to change their laws so any punishment is suited to the actual immigration violation that has been committed.
When non-Canadians violate immigration laws, they are usually faced with deportation.
While this penalty may be appropriate for long-term repeat offenders, it is not appropriate for first-time offenders with minor violations. The problem facing Canadian immigration enforcement is there is usually no middle ground for penalties. While Canadian immigration law allows for the issuance of fines for immigration violations, this provision of the law has never been put to use.
What the federal government should do is introduce graduated penalties that can be assessed on non-Canadians for violation of immigration laws. For minor violations, a fine or an official warning may be more appropriate. These types of penalties could be recorded on the non-Canadian’s immigration file and, repeat offenders could be given harsher penalties.
The introduction of graduated penalties does not mean that ordering deportation should always be used as a last resort. Clearly, there are cases where deportation will be the appropriate penalty, even for a first offence. Immigration officers should be given the ability to exercise their discretion to assess what is an appropriate penalty under the circumstances.
Cities, first and foremost, have an obligation to their residents, if the situation calls for a city to enforce or assist in the enforcement of immigration laws, co-operation should be provided to the federal government.
Attorney Colin Singer Commentary:
The Harper Government has adopted harsh policies on immigration especially in the area of criminality. Canadians seem to support such a stand. Yet there is a disconnect by Canadians on the impact of such measures especially in the area of minor criminality which will affect Canadians who wish to sponsor members of the family class to immigration to Canada.
Source: CBC News
The recent announcement by US based Burger King to acquire Tim Horton’s and move its head offices to Canada, highlights the favourable tax policies in Canada.
According to a recent KPMG study, Canada is one of the most business-friendly countries in the world. KPMG examined the total tax costs of doing business in ten major economies including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Using the U.S. tax rate as a benchmark, the report found that Canada has the lowest overall tax costs, around 46.4% lower than those in the U.S.
The KPMG report weighed corporate income taxes, property taxes, capital taxes, sales taxes, miscellaneous and local business taxes in each country and found that the corporate tax rate in Canada is 13.5% lower than in the U.S. According to Burger King’s most recent 10-K, in 2013 the company’s effective tax rate was 27.5%, not much higher than the Canadian corporate tax rate of 26.5%. Burger King is run by a 33-year old alum of 3G Capital, a private equity firm which bought out Burger King in 2010 and took it public in 2012.
Source: Business Insider
Complaints that three McDonald’s franchises in Victoria were favouring foreign workers over domestic aired by the CBC in early April and quickly led to sweeping changes to the work in Canada program, affecting every sector in the country. Rapid response to problems by government is usually worthy of applause, but for a complex program that’s been part of Canada’s economic mosaic for four decades, it’s now clear that the politically driven haste has left serious unintended consequences.
One example is the skiing industry, which employs hundreds of temporary foreign workers, including instructors, which are in short supply in this country. The changes are seriously jeopardizing the coming season, as well as the longer-term economic viability of ski resort operators.
One of the government enforced changes will decrease the percentage of low-skilled temporary foreign workers from 30 per cent to just 10 per cent by mid-2016. The definition of “low skilled,” which has traditionally been tied to national occupation codes, will now be defined as workers earning less than a province’s median hourly wage.
Surprisingly, in Atlantic Canada provinces with unemployment rates above 6 per cent are seeing a complete phase out of temporary foreign workers. Nova Scotia Labour Minister Kelly Regan said, “There may be some fish plants that have great difficulty in getting in the harvest if they are not able to have temporary foreign workers.” Prince Edward Island is equally alarmed that the changes would prevent processing of its all-important lobster harvest. Some seafood plants are in rural communities with aging populations as younger people having no interest in working in a fish plant move to the cities.
Making matters worse, the 360-per-cent fee increase to $1,000 for bringing in a temporary foreign worker falls most heavily on employers whose jobs are actually temporary. The agricultural industry is exempt from the new rules because planting and harvesting requires large numbers of workers for short periods.
Still to come are new rules for so-called “live-in” caregivers, which mainly refers to nannies. Hopefully, these will receive more careful consideration including the fact that very few Canadians are interested in being nannies and restricting the availability of nannies would very seriously affect the ability of mothers to do skilled jobs.
Provinces with the highest unemployment rates share concerns with the province with the lowest unemployment rate serves to illustrate the hazards of precipitous, broad-brush policy changes that don’t consider our country’s complex employment mosaic. It’s important for Mr. Kenney to publicly recognize that rather than stealing jobs, the majority of temporary foreign workers recruited to work in Canada perform important jobs that otherwise just wouldn’t get done.
Source: The Globe And Mail
The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) claims its annual Liveability Survey could be used to “assign a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages,” among other things.
But that needn’t apply to those in Melbourne, which for the fourth year running has been declared the best city in the world to live.
The Australian culture hub was buoyed by superlative healthcare, infrastructure and education as well as a murder rate of 3.1 per 100,000 people, half the global average of 6.2.
Melbourne’s total score of 97.5, assessed on various factors such as “stability” and “culture and environment,” as well as those mentioned above, was just 0.1 points above Vienna, which scored identically across all categories to Melbourne except culture and environment.
The top 10 list hasn’t changed since 2011 and of the 140 cities surveyed, only 20 changed score in the last year. “Over half of the changes taking place over the past 12 months have been driven by deteriorating scores,” said the report, “with instability re-emerging as a key factor in influencing global scores. “Events in Ukraine, in particular, have had significant knock-on effects for cities such as Kiev, Moscow and St Petersburg. “Localized instability has also affected locations like Bangkok.
“The score of Damascus in Syria has continued to decline, although the escalation in Iraq is not reflected in our ranking because Baghdad is not included in the survey.”
Tehran in Iran, Tripoli in Libya and Amman in Jordan saw their scores improve, having “enjoyed periods of relative stability following significant falls in liveability.”
But over the last five years, global liveability has declined overall, “highlighting the fact that the last five years have been characterized by heightened unrest in the wake of the global economic crisis.” Kiev (Ukraine), Tripoli (Libya) and Damascus (Syria) have seen the biggest falls in liveability over the last five years, says the report.
|10 most liveable cities||10 least liveable cities|
|1. Melbourne||1. Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire|
|2. Vienna, Austria||2. Tripoli, Libya|
|3. Vancouver, British Columbia||3. Douala, Cameroon|
|4. Toronto||4. Harare, Zimbabwe|
|5. Adelaide, Australia||5. Algiers, Algeria|
|6. Calgary, Alberta||6. Karachi, Pakistan|
|7. Sydney||7. Lagos, Nigeria|
|8. Helsinki, Finland||8. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea|
|9. Perth, Australia||9. Dhaka, Bangladesh|
|10. Auckland, New Zealand||10. Damascus, Syria|
The Alberta Federation of Labour says nothing short of scrapping the temporary work in Canada – foreign worker program is sufficient to protect the rights of Canadian workers. President Gil McGowan says temporary foreign workers have been used as pawns by Canadian companies and paid below the median wage.
In June, federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney announced changes to limit the number of foreign workers that large- and medium-sized companies can hire. He also toughened penalties for companies that violate the new rules and promised inspections to uncover abuses.
“The temporary foreign worker program is a train wreck and should be scrapped. This is not a program that can be tweaked or reformed around the edges,” said Mr. McGowan. “As long as this program exists, whether it’s tweaked at the margins or not, employers are going to find ways of using temporary foreign workers as pawns to drive down wages and conditions.”
Mr. McGowan released documents that he says show that Alberta companies were given the green light to underpay thousands of temporary foreign workers in 2013. It notes that it’s acceptable to pay higher-skilled temporary workers up to 15 per cent less than the median if the employer can demonstrate that it pays its other workers that same rate. The manual says that, in lower-skilled occupations, the wage can be up to 5 per cent lower.
Employment and Social Development Canada says it’s important to note that Mr. McGowan is talking about a time period before the government’s reforms in June. Spokesman Jordon Sinclair also points out the wage flexibility provision was eliminated more than a year ago.
Mr. McGowan said even though safeguards aimed at allowing the government to clamp down on businesses abusing the system were in place since 2013, they weren’t working. Mr. Kenney has come under fire from business groups and Western politicians who have complained the crackdown is unduly hurting provinces with a shortage of skilled workers. Mr. McGowan is concerned that Mr. Kenney will bow to public pressure and restore the program to what it was in the past.
Mr. Kenney has made it clear he won’t compromise on the core goal of the controversial overhaul to the work in Canada program: to make sure employers don’t use it as a cheap source of labour when they could be hiring unemployed Canadians.
Source: The Globe And Mail
For many Canadians, France is a dream country with the name of the country bringing to mind the fantasy of rain-soaked Paris cobblestones, Monet-like fields of lavender and kisses in the moonlight. It has become almost a right-of-passage for young people fresh out of university to stop over as they backpack through Europe.
However, it may come as a surprise that for the French, especially for French youth who’ve grown disenchanted with their country’s brutally competitive job market, Canada has become a dream destination too.
Since the economic meltdown of 2008, French immigration to Canada has exploded. Between 2008 and 2012, there were 34,619 new permanent residents from France to Canada — a 38 per cent increase over the five-year period immediately before the crash. Meanwhile, temporary foreign workers who work in Canada nearly doubled with 78,267 workers entering the country between 2008-12. French student visas to study in Canada have been issued at a steadier rate, with only an 18-per-cent increase since 2008. However, since 2003, Canada has had a 50 percent increase in students from France.
Coming to Canada has become so popular that the French magazine, L’Express Reussir publishes an annual edition on immigrating to Canada: Moving to Canada. Laurence Pivot, once an immigrant herself, has been the editor of this special edition since 2007. The Canada issue of L’Express is part travel brochure, part immigration crash course. Although it paints a pretty rosy picture of Canada as a multicultural haven where individual differences are celebrated, it also offers a fairly exhaustive explanation of the complex immigration process.
Of the more than 30,000 French citizens who applied for Canadian permanent residence and immigrated to Canada in 2012, about 80 per cent settled in Quebec, where French is the predominant spoken language. Although it may be easier for French people to live in Quebec, because of the language laws, many still experience a culture shock. In Quebec, Laurence Pivot says, people speak directly and candidly, while in France, conversations about everything from politics to coffee can quickly develop into long, circuitous arguments.
For many, however, the difference between the two cultures is what makes the province so attractive. Anne-Laure Piaraly and her best friend Lisa Renault moved to Montreal in 2007, hoping to practise their English and enjoy a “friendlier” scene. When asked if Quebecers are more similar to people from Vancouver or France, Renault says: “I think more like people from Canada … I like that. I don’t want to speak badly about my home … but the people are very aggressive, while here they are very friendly,” she says.
Because of the language, many French citizens don’t think about moving to other places, like Toronto or Vancouver. In Ottawa, for example from 2006 – 11, only 305 French immigrants came to the city. In order to encourage francophones from across the world to settle outside Quebec, the federal government created ‘The Francophone Significant Benefit Program’ in 2011. The program aimed to give skilled francophones a fast-track to a temporary work permit if they wanted to settle in cities with francophone minority communities.
Leafing through the l’Express’s pages, peppered with adds for RBC and immigration services, one sees Canada through new eyes. In France’s Canada, economic opportunity, wide open spaces and yes, Rob Ford, all offer French citizens the chance to stretch their legs and be someone new.
Youth unemployment in France is at an all-time high, climbing to 26 per cent in 2013, up about 45 per cent since just before the market crashed in 2008. In Paris people must live in the city’s more affordable suburbs, and commute long distances every day just to stay afloat.
Source: Ottawa Citizen
Immigration officials have recommended that Ottawa remove citizenship rights to babies born in Canada to non-citizens and non-residents despite the small number of cases not justifying the costs.
The proposal, with inputs from various federal departments, found less than 500 cases of children being born to foreign nationals in Canada each year. The issue of citizenship by birth on Canadian soil has again raised concerns among critics over the current government’s policy considerations being based on ideologies rather than evidence and objective cost-benefit analyses.
According to a 17-page report prepared for former immigration minister Jason Kenney, “Eliminating birth on soil in order to ensure that everyone who obtains citizenship at birth has a strong connection to Canada would have significant cost implications.”
The office of Chris Alexander confirmed that the government is still reviewing citizenship policy with regard to the issue of “birth tourism” — a term referring to foreigners travelling to give birth in Canada so the baby can claim automatic citizenship here. Dubbed “anchor babies,” these children are eligible to sponsor their foreign parents to Canada once they turn 18. It is unknown how many of them actually return to their birth country with their parents, but it’s believed the number is low.
Currently Canada and the United States are the only countries to have birth on soil provisions. The United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and most European countries restrict citizenship by birth on soil to children born to parents who are either citizens or permanent residents.
The 17-page report recommended the removal of the birth rights by suggesting “there may be some support for a restrictive policy” despite the “significant operational and cost implication” for Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
In the 1990s, the then Liberal government also toyed with the idea of removing citizenship as a birth right but was met with public opposition, and a letter campaign to then immigration minister Lucienne Robillard opposing the plan was launched.
The letter was signed by more than 230 national organizations and said that, “Canada has signed international conventions that commit us not to make people stateless. There is a very real risk that some children will be stateless as a result of this proposed change. A move to end automatic citizenship for babies sends xenophobic messages to the public. Such a legislative change would send a message to newcomers about whose children count and whose children are not welcome. It would reinforce feelings of exclusion and marginalization making integration even more difficult.”
Attorney Colin Singer Commentary:
These developments if pursued will represent a continued trend by the current government to restrict Canada’s immigration policies.
Source: The Star