youtube4facebooklogocolourtwitterlogocolourflickrlogocolourvimeologocolourrsslogocolour

Changes to Canada’s prostitution laws put sex workers at further risk

Sex workers protesting in front of the Supreme Court

A year ago, the Supreme Court delivered a landmark decision that struck down Canada’s antiquated prostitution laws for endangering sex workers far above “the aims of the law”. It is with a cruel irony that the Conservatives’ new prostitution laws came into effect on the 25th anniversary of the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre, particularly as the new laws will only put sex workers (especially women) at further risk of violence and unsafe conditions.

2015: The storm clouds are gathering

As they danced away the Old Year and welcomed the New with, as usual, copious quantities of the finest champagne, the bourgeois from New York to London must have felt a satisfying glow of confidence. Seven years after the 2008 calamity, are they not still firmly in command? All this reminds one of the mood of false confidence that must have existed in the ballroom of the Titanic just before someone on deck spotted the dim outline of an iceberg. Hovering over this merry carnival of money-making, those with eyes to see could already detect the gathering storm clouds.

 

Bank of Canada governor’s advice to unemployed youth? “Work for free”

The bankruptcy of the capitalist system was recently laid bare by Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz’s advice to unemployed youth who continue to struggle to find jobs in the stagnant economy. Rather than be discouraged, Poloz suggested that young workers “might as well go out and do something for free” until the economy improves. Youth and working people were rightfully insulted by his crass remark, which suggested they should not only bear the brunt of the bosses’ economic crisis, but be prepared to give up their labour for nothing! 

 

End Violence Against Women: End Capitalism!

25 years ago, a gunman targeted and killed 14 women, injuring another 10 women and four men at the École Polytechnique in Montreal. This horrific event brought the issue of violence against women into the public spotlight and many women’s rights groups pointed out that this was a symptom of systemic sexism, rather than the isolated actions of a deranged individual. While strides have been made in women’s rights since then, women remain unequal to men in almost every aspect of life. Formal equality under the law can never fully emancipate women under capitalism, which relies on the exploitation and oppression of women for its survival.

The crisis of missing and murdered Aboriginal women is a crisis of capitalism

Demands for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada have been reignited following the murder of Tina Fontaine, an aboriginal teenager, in Winnipeg.  Stephen Harper’s response to these demands is that the issue “should not be viewed as a sociological phenomenon”, but rather as crime and dealt with as such. Harper’s statement should not come as a surprise; further examination on the miserable conditions suffered by Aboriginal peoples — and especially women — would reveal that the terrible poverty and exclusion they face cannot be resolved under capitalism.

Tim Hortons-Burger King merger: What it means to workers

In light of Burger King’s recent acquisition of Tim Hortons, economic and political pundits on both sides of the border have been debating about the motivation of this $12.5-billion takeover.  In reality, there is no debate since it is clear that the deal — accompanied by the relocation of Burger King’s headquarters to Canada — is all about dodging taxes and increasing profits for the bosses while workers get left behind. 

Marx Was Right!

The Communist Manifesto opens with the lines, "A spectre is haunting Europe." Over 160 years later it appears that the spectre of Marxism is as potent as ever, with supporters and detractors increasing daily. Why is it that an old German philosophy student, buried over 100 years ago in Highgate cemetery in London, excites such controversy? In fact, Marxism reveals the truth about their system, capitalism, and they must do whatever is necessary to hide this fact from the mass of the people —  especially the workers and youth.

Stop the corporatization of Pride!

The increasing commercialization of today’s Pride parades has corroded and concealed the political nature of Pride’s roots in commemorating the historic and heroic Stonewall riots of 1969, which was a response to the endemic police brutality and repression suffered by LGBTQ people. Pride has now regressed into little more than a giant party, with massive corporate sponsorship from TD, Trojan, and Pfizer.  There is nothing wrong with a great party—but when the party stops, LGBTQ youth and workers continue to be amongst the most oppressed layers of society. This is why we must link LGBTQ issues to the broader struggle for socialism—so we can celebrate our victories while continuing to fight for genuine liberation.

100 years after the Komagata Maru — the war on refugees continues

The 100th anniversary of the Komagata Maru incident has brought into focus the history of Canada’s immigration policy. The anniversary of this mass deportation has been marked by coverage and specials in the mainstream press, by statements from politicians, as well as remembrance ceremonies, particularly in the Sikh-Canadian community. The same policies that caused the tragic events of 100 years ago are largely present today.

Toronto killer cop back on the job — Justice for Sammy Yatim now!

There has been a sense of outrage and betrayal with the news that Constable James Forcillo has returned to work for Toronto Police Services. Forcillo was responsible for the killing of 18-year old Sammy Yatim. The Syrian-Canadian youth was shot nine times and then tasered during a confrontation with police while he was isolated on a streetcar. The treatment of Forcillo stands in sharp contrast to the treatment meted out by the police in working-class communities in the city of Toronto. There is a feeling that there is one law for working people, and quite another for the police officers that are supposed to enforce the law.