Umbrella companies: Why agencies and employers should be banned from using them

Unfree to Sell: How Trade Restrictions Hurt Farmers

Farmers in India are subject to excessive regulations at every point of their profession. Rules limit the amount of land they can use, the people they can sell to, how much they can sell for, and even their ability to sell off their land. This protective attitude is amplified when dealing with the international trade of agricultural produce. 

Nowadays, India remains a minor contributor to global agriculture trade. In terms of value,  India only contributes 2.15% to the total share of global exports. This low share is due to India’s history as a country dependent on aid and the various protectionist policies that have discouraged agriculture trade.

The Agriculture Export Policy states that it is important for India to frame a stable and predictable trade policy with limited interference from the state so that a positive signal can be sent to the global market. 

The policy lists down the following three aims that signal an intent of shifting away from agri-trade protectionism:

– providing assurance that the processed agricultural products and all kinds of organic products will not be brought under the ambit of any kind of export restriction;

– identification of a few commodities which are essential for food security in consultation with the relevant stakeholders and Ministries; 

– liberalized import of agricultural products for value addition and re-export.

While export restrictions provide temporary relief as an emergency measure, their effects on consumer protection tend to disappear in the long run. These constraints tend to distort incentives for farmers who shift land and inputs away from commodities facing frequent bans and move them towards other products for which policy measures are predictable.

[ > Center for Civil Society — July 27, 2021 ]

Staffing and Workloads in Alberta’s Long-term Care Facilities

In Alberta, 64 per cent of COVID-19 fatalities – more than 1,200 – were seniors in long-term care. Yet, even amidst this tragedy, the lesson has not been adequately learned: according to data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information released in March 2021, COVID-19 cases among residents of LTC and retirement homes increased by nearly two-thirds during the second pandemic wave compared with the first wave.

The reason for that being that many seniors continuing care centers are chronically understaffed and unable to meet the basic care needs of seniors.

According to a survey of LTC staff in Alberta, nearly half of LTC workers – 43 per cent – did not have adequate time to complete required tasks consistently every day. Consequently, staff are left with few options: leave important aspects of their job – including care tasks – undone, work through their breaks, or stay late to finish.

About half of respondents felt pressures on staffing were creating conditions of actual harm to residents:

– whose calls went unanswered for longer than was ideal;

– who were not helped to the toilet in time;

– who were not turned sufficiently;

– who received delayed assistance with meals.

Moreover, survey participants responded about their experience of various injuries and illnesses sustained while working in long-term care. They reported encountering a wide range of verbal, physical and sexual aggression from residents, residents’ family members, and also other staff. More than half (53 per cent) experienced mental distress or post-traumatic stress symptoms at work at least occasionally.

[ > Parkland Institute – May 6, 2021 ]