We're fighting for decent work.

We’re the Atkinson Foundation — a Canadian charitable foundation that has been fighting the good fight for more than 75 years.

We’re supporting once-in-a-generation legislative reforms to modernize employment standards and labour relations.

We’re experimenting with bold strategies to build equity into public infrastructure projects.

We’re mobilizing investors to make sure workers are treated like the engines of successful companies, not the fuel.

If this fight is yours too, let us know. Sign up to show your support and to connect with us.

Tanya Talaga Begins Her 2018 CBC Massey Lecture Tour

2017-2018 Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy Tanya Talaga begins her 2018 CBC Massey Lecture tour in Thunder Bay on October 16, 2018. Her five-part series, All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward, explores the connections between colonization and Indigenous youth suicide in Canada and internationally. She will travel to Halifax, Saskatoon and Vancouver. The tour ends in Toronto on October 30, 2018. CBC Ideas will broadcast the lectures on the week of November 12. Her book is available for purchase from House of Anansi here.

Tanya is the first Atkinson Fellow to be named the Massey Lecturer. This is also the first time the Atkinson and the Masseys have been devoted to the same topic in the same year. If Tanya’s work has inspired you to apply for an Atkinson, you’ll find more information here.

Introducing the Power Lab!

Generated by the Atkinson Foundation and the Broadbent Institute, the Power Lab is a different kind of innovation lab. It’s led by community organizers concerned with equity in  local economic development.  Learn more here.

Armine Yalnizyan to focus on the Future of Workers

Armine Yalnizyan, one of Canada’s leading economists, has accepted a two-year fellowship with the Atkinson Foundation, aimed at policy innovation for inclusive economic growth in an era of rapid technological change. 

As the new Atkinson Fellow on the Future of Workers, Armine will contribute to collaborative initiatives, help curate events, and provide advice to the Foundation and its partners on a wide range of economic and social issues related to the changing nature of work.

Here’s the full text of Executive Director Colette Murphy’s announcement.

Are you the next Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy?

The 2019 – 2020 Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy application process is now open.

The Atkinson Foundation, the Honderich Family and Toronto Star provide a seasoned Canadian journalist with $100,000 and a year to investigate a critical public policy issue. Atkinson Fellows write a series of articles for publication in the Star at the conclusion of their fellowship.

The deadline for letters of intent is  Monday, February 11, 2019, at 5:00 pm (EST). All submissions are accepted online. You can upload your three-page letter of intent and curriculum vitae as a single PDF to our confidential online portal. If you have not registered before, please do so before the end of day, Monday, February 4, 2019.

This is Atkinson’s brand new platform for podcasts and live events about decent work by and for millennials.  We’re talking about the gig economy, democracy, side hustles, unions, technology, activism, innovation, power and much more here.

There are a lot of myths about millennial workers: frivolous, entitled, avocado toast. How many are true? In this first series, we look for answers with some help from insightful guests and host Ausma Malik, Atkinson’s Director of Social Engagement.

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The second series is about community organizers who are creating the conditions for decent work. They talk about their realities as well as their motivations and aspirations for the communities they organize.

In this third series, to be taped at a live event in November 2018, our special guests will talk about the future all of us are creating for workers today. We’ll have some fun with futuristic characters and storylines from the Jetsons — one of the first colour cartoons produced in the transition from black and white television in 1962. The show was set in the year 2062.



Atkinson Field Notes are your best source of information about what we’re up to and what’s on our minds. Check out Executive Director Colette Murphy’s most recent post .



The Atkinson Decent Work Fund is a grants program that takes aim at growing income and wealth inequality. We’re always open to opportunities to help build the decent work movement. Share your idea with Atkinson’s Director of Social Investment Jenn Miller.