A snapshot of precarious work in Canada today

Francis Fong, chief economist with CPA Canada, speaks at an IRPP Policy Options event in Ottawa on the need for a new, shared definition and greater understanding of precarious employment in Canada.

Precarious work in Canada was the featured topic at this Policy Options event. As the impact of the “fourth industrial revolution” takes hold, the nature of work is changing. Increasing numbers of workers are subject to impermanent contracts and “gigs” that often lack the benefits of stable employment. A panel of experts explored what precarious work looks like in Canada and how policy-makers should address the issues that come with a loss of stable employment.

Panelists included Francis Fong, CPA Canada’s chief economist, Sunil Johal, policy director at the Mowat Centre and Wendy Vuyk, regional coordinator of the eastern region at the Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation. Jennifer Ditchburn, editor-in-chief at Policy Options, moderated the panel.

The discussion centred on the changing face of employment in Canada, which becomes more precarious in the face of automation, artificial intelligence and remote work. The lack of a clear definition of precarious work means there is little data on how many Canadians are affected by this situation. Ensuring that we have the most accurate data means that the proper policies can be implemented to address the challenges with this kind of work.

To view the full panel discussion, visit the Policy Options website.