Dammit Jim! Where’s the waiter?

The use of robots can make the restaurant sector more robust financially and more secure from a public health perspective

Dammit Jim! Where’s the waiter?Canada’s first server-free restaurant has opened its doors in Toronto. Box’d is a fully-automated restaurant designed for life during a global pandemic. It’s an interesting concept but it makes you wonder what role humans can and should play in the food industry. Being aware of the new risks, we need to boldly move forward to…

How robots could help injured workers recover

Training robots to guide people through tasks could improve return-to-work evaluations and treatment: U of A researchers

How robots could help injured workers recoverTraining robots to guide injured workers through simulated tasks could make return-to-work evaluations and treatment programs more effective and accessible, according to researchers at the University of Alberta. In a review of scientific literature on efforts to use robotics for occupational rehabilitation, the researchers reported that robots with machine learning capabilities have the potential to…

Polytechnic education critical to the front-line workforce

Government needs to be thinking about smart investments to make applied education safe and accessible

Polytechnic education critical to the front-line workforceThe important role of front-line workers has never been more apparent than over the last several weeks. They include nurses and personal support workers, paramedics and other first responders, technology professionals and skilled tradespeople, and those working in advanced manufacturing or supplying us with food. These have been the people with the skills and know-how…

Grocers move away from ‘hero pay’ model for staff

The economics of pay increases in the retail sector are always weak, especially in food retailing, which has low margins

Grocers move away from ‘hero pay’ model for staff‘Hero pay’ is quietly fading away in grocery stores and food distribution centres. That’s quite the reversal from 10 weeks ago. The American-based Kroger supermarket chain, among others, even asked employees to return the extra money they received. It has since backed off. It appears higher salaries in grocery stores were short-lived. It’s not overly…

Human cost high from pandemic-driven joblessness

As government responds to COVID-19, it needs to think about the non-financial consequences of being out of work

Human cost high from pandemic-driven joblessnessGovernment needs to keep the non-monetary aspects of work in mind while supporting those rendered jobless by the COVID-19 pandemic. Concern about COVID-19 has ravaged Canada’s labour market. Staggering unemployment numbers and the number of applicants for federal aid for laid-off workers dominate headlines. The unprecedented effort to make up for lost wages has been admirable and…

Will the economy ever recover?

The economy will bounce back, even if some businesses don’t. But don’t expect a rapid recovery after COVID-19 recedes

Will the economy ever recover?What will happen to the economy once we get through this pandemic? We’re coping day to day with social isolation and, for those of us lucky enough to still have work, the challenges of working from home or being out there in an infected world. First, we want to know when all this will end.…

Ease temporary layoff laws during COVID-19 crisis

Allowing employers to adjust quickly will improve the chances jobs are waiting for returning workers when the crisis subsides

Ease temporary layoff laws during COVID-19 crisisBy Alex Whalen and Niels Veldhuis The Fraser Institute Aside from the enormous health-related challenges due to the COVID-19 virus, employers and workers are feeling major economic pain with job loss, reduced income and revenue. The ability of businesses to adjust quickly will be key to stabilizing the economy and laying the foundation for recovery.…

CEO pay: when they deserve it and when they don’t 

CEO pay has increased over the last decade but the increase is perfectly related to the value of their skills

CEO pay: when they deserve it and when they don’t In debates about inequality, some people – including some economists – claim the salaries and compensation of chief executive officers aren’t linked to performance. Essentially, they don’t really earn their money. This claim, repeated ad nauseam in recent years, is misleading to say the least. As noted in my recent study published by the Fraser…

Federal government tax cuts miss the mark

We need smart tax cuts that improve incentives for workers, entrepreneurs and investors, along with a balanced budget

Federal government tax cuts miss the markBy Jason Clemens, Jake Fuss and Tegan Hill The Fraser Institute Finance Minister Bill Morneau recently confirmed the federal government’s intention to reduce personal income taxes for everyone except “higher-income earners.” With total taxes (federal, provincial and local) consuming 44.7 per cent of the average family’s income in 2019, it’s easy to see why Canadians…

Put robots to work so humans can be more productive

While robots replace human workers on the factory floor, better-paid jobs are created to design, build and maintain the robots

Put robots to work so humans can be more productiveThe robots are coming, the robots are coming! They may not be an unstoppable evil army ready to take over the world as in a bad sci-fi movie, but they’re definitely making headway on factory assembly lines and increasingly in other industries. A United Kingdom research firm, Oxford Economics, did a study that covered seven…
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