I am not sure how to…

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013-4506

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21704

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Individual

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I am not sure how to interpret the phrase ‘provincially significant employment lands’ in terms of one stated goal, “Identifying provincially significant employment zones would also serve a longer-term purpose for the province and municipalities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe by providing a regional picture of some of the key employment areas that make up the region’s economic land base.“

The focus is only on the Greater Golden Horseshoe located in southern Ontario.

Posting 0134506 repeats a claim made in posting 0134507 about the Greater Golden Horseshoe being “one of the fastest growing regions in North America. Its diverse vibrant economy generates over 25% of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and by 2041 the area is forecasted grow to 13.5 million people and 6.3 million jobs.”

Since the GGH also includes the Greenbelt, growth in the GGH must necessarily impact the Greenbelt.

Let's understand the physical area of the GGH itself is NOT growing, though it has become a fairly congested area. With the human population in the GGH forecast to almost double to 13.5-million by 2041, we can predict growing congestion. But, can we predict jobs?

The area for this region measures about 31,562 km2, of which almost 5,660 km2, or 18% of the area, is covered by the Greenbelt, which has been the topic of many recent governmental proposals on the ERO website. At the same time, let’s remember the former Liberal government devised this second Greenbelt around 2004 (after Bill Davis introduced the first one in the early 1980s, which now forms the busy ‘spine’ of Highway 407 and the built-out congested towns of Markham, Vaughan, Markham, Mississauga, Milton and Burlington).

Overall, I really doubt the federal or provincial level of government can predict with any certainty how jobs will grow in Ontario or any other part of Canada during any set period of time now or in the future. Canada does not stand as a sovereign state with rigid domestic control over its domestic economy anymore.

Consider how domestic ‘employment’ has become so precarious within the context of globalized trade. These matters MUST be considered before politicians make plans, which might be partially fulfilled later, but only through the use of more ill-fated subsidies that continue to inflate debts and deficits at all levels of government. Ontario must review Canada's current job market in terms of global competition.

Currently, many workers exist in a ‘just-in-time’ workplace where many ‘on demand’ workers operate in the ‘gig’ economy. According to the Canadian edition of Deloitte’s 2015 Global Human Capital Trends report, 47% of the of 118 Canadian business and HR leaders surveyed said they planned to increase the use of contingent, outsourced or contract workers in the next three to five years (or by 2020 when Canada plans to bring in 340,000 immigrants/year). Several related themes emerged in this human resources capital report: the need to reinvent human resources to adapt to the needs of a changing work force; the continuing transition to a “contingent” work force, meaning temporary, contract, hourly and outsourced workers. These sporadic workers are even referred to as ‘off balance sheet’ since their presence is no longer a required domestic input item. TAKE NOTE, ONTARIO.

Many issues regarding the future of work were outlined again in this 2017 Deloitte report https://dupress.deloitte.com/dup-us-en/focus/human-capital-trends/2017/… It concentrates on the augmented workforce where artificial intelligence, robotics and cognitive computing intersect with ‘contingent labour’. One of the questions in this report asks “How can we crowdsource activities—and use contingent, freelance, and gig economy talent—to save time and money, increase quality, and improve operational flexibility and scalability?” In other words, how can human labour be minimized.

How can Canada’s job market support more workers when competition for jobs is already so intense, and we know outsourcing and technology have already displaced many jobs and will continue to do so? Employment has become more sporadic and insecure in the private sector, and government itself cannot resist the lures of outsourcing and automated systems to save money, though the quaint system of ‘rep by pop’ means automatic increases in numbers of politicians are tied to population growth. That is a problem.

An example of the ‘fluidity’ of Canada’s jobs’ market is provided by the banks. Canada’s banks use a combination of outsourcing, as well as the government-approved ‘intra-company transfer visa’ ( ITC), which allows multinational firms to shift workers around the globe easily. In 2013, the Royal Bank (RBC) was caught replacing Info Tech (I.T.) workers with ITC workers through its partnership with iGate, a high-tech company based in Bangalore, India but nominally headquartered in the U.S. (iGate has branch offices in Toronto, Mississauga and Calgary, and it complies with Canadian laws). At that time, 45 RBC I.T. workers in Canada were told to train their replacements from India prior to their own lay-offs. They complained to the CBC, including one I.T. worker, a Jamaican immigrant, who had been accepted to Canada, based upon his I.T. skills. In a CBC interview, this man wondered why Canada included I.T. as a desired job category for immigrants if it is going to allow those same jobs to be outsourced. Is it because Canada does not and cannot control its domestic job market within a globalized system where corporations manage the Corporate Global Value Chain? Global corporations decide where jobs will go, for how long, and at what cost. Similar concerns relate to Legal Process Outsourcing, and other outsourced sectors of Canada’s economy.

In 2013, the TD Bank’s Economic Unit published a survey, ‘Jobs in Canada: Where, What and For Whom’, and it found no labour shortages, now or in the future: “While most of our focus in this report is on the here and now, many of the worries about supply constraints and skills mismatch look well into the future." This study can be viewed at https://www.td.com/document/PDF/economics/special/JobsInCanada.pdf

The consensus view from this bank study was that over the next ten years, demand for labour will ease compared to its historical trend rate.” This ten-year period when demand for labour will ease covers the period 2014 to 2024 – the same time period when the federal Liberal government is ready to raise immigration to its highest proposed level ever at 450,000 immigrants/year.

This report also questioned the jobs’ projections of various organizations, including the Conference Board of Canada, based upon faulty assumptions in Textbox 7: Caveat Emptor, under the section, Shortcomings in assumptions related to growth accounting, stating :

“Since there are many potentially moving parts that studies do not contemplate, it pays to be sceptical of the long-term predictions that they feature.

Forecasts that show large, long-term labour shortages usually assume trend labour force gains and productivity that are in line with the consensus (about 1% each annually).

However, they start with the notion of some predetermined overall growth rate that the economy “should achieve”, typically its historical rate of around 3%. The difference between that rate and the sum of the two components – or around 1% annually – represents the gap or labour shortage that accumulates each year.

Regardless of methodology used, the notion of an economy-wide shortage ignores the mission of the Bank of Canada, which is to set the level of interest rates in order to achieve balance in product and labour markets over the medium term.

In brief, these shortage forecasts turn the overall growth rate, which is endogenous, into an exogenous variable and let the shortfall represent the residual. This approach is likely to lead to expectations that will almost certainly be disappointed.”

As the TD Bank’s study indicated, the Conference Board has been predicting theoretical job growth based on past assumptions. This method is probably inappropriate when it comes to informing current or future economic policy, particularly in terms of the arrival of advanced technologies and A.I.

Benjamin Tal of CIBC’s World Markets Corp published an Annual Index of Job Quality in Canada in 2015, noting the continued downward trend in job quality and rapid rise in self-employment (Attachment 2). Mr. Tal reported Canadian job quality has been in decline since the 1980s. If the highest per capita levels of immigration in the world “drive innovation and strengthen the economy”, as claimed in 2017 by the current Minister of Immmigration, Mr. Hussen, then the past 25 years of continued high levels of immigration should have reversed this trend by now. Instead, job numbers and quality continued to decline.

There is a new word in the dictionary: deskilled: “to remove any need of skill, judgment, or initiative in: jobs being deskilled by automation.” The CBC’s business reporter, Tom Pittis, described this phenomenon at http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/jobs-advancer-minimum-wage-deskilling-1… Deskilling affects many workers, but skilled immigrants may feel particularly cheated by it after Canada provided a list of job categories that drew them to complete an immigrant application form. This article identifies a range of suspicions as to why immigrants to Canada have trouble finding work. Dwindling job prospects take a toll on everyone, but the Canadian governments continue to spout rosy forecasts based on hope, not evidence.

Instead of acknowledging problems with growth, politicians exacerbate the situation, grasping at straws to explain the jobs’ dilemma. Politicians claim they manage the economy, but they have very limited ‘control’ over a domestic economy within a globalized trade system. The modern economy is based on modern globalized practices, including the drive to increase corporate profits by cutting costs. Canadian governments serve this economic model, wanting corporations to become more profitable in the mistaken belief that growing chunks of those global operations and monies will be directed toward Canada.

Instead of setting aside employment lands, we should be taking a careful look at the reality of employment opportunities first. As recent surveys have shown, Ontario has a surfeit of employment lands. We know where they are. Let's take a clear-eyed view of the type of jobs Ontario can expect in the near future because it has become impossible to state that a 'factory' built in 2019 will still be operating within five or ten years -- the predictability of the 1950s is GONE. Modern 'factories' tend to be more modular and portable, so they can be assembled anywhere in the world. Then, fewer highly-skilled workers are needed to operate those new facilities. There is a government algorithm in this province that seems to assume if there are 'x' number of people in an area, then 'x/2' jobs will be created in the same area. No, that's just wishful thinking.

Like it or not, the tensions of job churn, sporadic and insecure work will continue to dog Ontario and the rest of Canada. Within the context of modern globalized trade, the USA, the UK, and the EU are also beset by the same problems with unemployment, under-employment, sporadic work and low wages despite their much larger populations. The huge nations of China and India have become ‘outsourcing’ giants, but they also struggle with their own employment issues.

I don't think this global reality will be changed by a policy review aimed at identifying employment lands in the GGH. There is something more fundamental at work here.