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Is an Ontario election coming? NDP must stand with workers, not Bay Street

ndp-horwath-podiumAs this article goes to print, Ontario looks set to be plunged into an election campaign that will satisfy no one.  None of the political parties are offering any real solutions to the deep crisis that is afflicting the province.  The two bosses’ parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives, are thoroughly discredited and reviled, giving great opportunity to the NDP to rise to the fore.  However, the party’s hesitation to put forward working-class demands, as well as its courting of Bay Street, is likely to keep NDP supporters home and once again hand the keys to Queen’s Park to the Liberals or Conservatives.

Stop the (Un)Fair Elections Act!

harper-not-voteDuring the 2011 federal election, the Conservatives were linked to a series of voter-suppression tactics now known as the “Robocalls scandal”. In response to this scandal the call went up to amend the election laws in order to empower Elections Canada to stop such actions. Three years later the Conservatives have unveiled their amendments to elections law and, scandalously, the amendments are designed to facilitate voter suppression and actually weaken the ability of Elections Canada to investigate wrongdoing. Voter suppression is a tactic normally associated with the US Republican Party. Voters who usually oppose the right-wing — typically the poor, immigrant, and student population — are systematically excluded from the ballot. Now, the Canadian Conservative Party is heading down this road.

Liberals win majority in Quebec election: Charter rejected, austerity to come

Less than two years after it was kicked out from power, the Quebec Liberals have been returned to government with a crushing victory. The 33-day campaign started with premier Pauline Marois confident that her Parti Québécois would be forming a majority government.  Instead, the election ended with Marois losing her own seat and the PQ capturing its lowest vote total since 1973. Now, there is an ominous feeling amongst Quebec’s workers and youth as memories of Jean Charest’s majority government come to the fore. Yes, the charter has been defeated, but austerity is still on the agenda — more firmly than ever before.

Quebec: On Apr. 3 fight austerity, fight for socialism!

asse demo 3apr2014In reaction to the last budget put forward by the Parti Quebecois, the Association for Student Union Solidarity (ASSE) has decided to take to the street in opposition to the austerity measures being proposed. This will take place in the form of a national demonstration on April 3 at 2pm, at Place Emilie-Gamelin in downtown Montreal.

 

Quebec elections 2014: Defeat austerity and the charter!

quebec election marois peladeauJust 18 months since the last election, voters in Quebec will once again head to the polls on Apr. 7. With a weak minority government and a parliament that has been deadlocked on pretty much everything, the Parti Québécois is looking to secure that majority government they failed to obtain in the fall of 2012. The PQ’s support has increased by about ten percentage points in less than a year, making this goal a possibility. But what does this election mean for workers and youth in Quebec today?

 

On a Knife’s Edge: Canadian society stands at the brink

class struggle canadaOn the surface a calm seems to have settled over Canadian society with an apparent absence of mass movements or major labour struggles. But, it would be incredibly shortsighted to assume that this calm suggests an era of peace or stability. On the contrary; Canadian society rests on a knife’s edge and almost anything could set the class struggle alight. There is a paralysis of leadership on all sides — both from the labour movement and the capitalist class — which means that the underlying contradictions within society continue to build up.

 

Gross overspending enough to sink Harper's battleships?

warships canadian flagA report by Canada’s auditor general now confirms that the plan by the Department of National Defence (DND) to procure contracts to build 15 new warships will cost in excess of $100-billion over the next 30 years. This follows on the F-35 fighter jet cost scandal of 2012, and has Canadians once again asking why they are being asked to sacrifice to the demands of austerity while their government spends extravagantly on its own priorities.

 

Thousands protest cuts to veterans’ services in Nova Scotia

Over 3,000 people in Sydney, Nova Scotia came out to protest the closing down of the Veterans' Affairs office on Cape Breton Island. This decision was justified, in the government’s eyes, by the high death rate of veterans, as well as by the need for austerity and public sacrifice in hard economic times. The veterans of Cape Breton do not need lessons from Ottawa on the importance of sacrifice or the hardships of a struggling economy. This is a colossal slap in the face to tens of thousands of veterans from a government that loves to claim that it supports soldiers.

Rob Ford crack cocaine scandal reveals the weakness of the ruling class

rob ford drunk 2What the hell is going on in Toronto?  This must surely be the response of people around the world as the surreal scandal surrounding Toronto mayor Rob Ford filled newspapers from Britain to Germany to South Africa.  How is it possible that a crack-smoking drunk-driving man who likes to urinate in public parks and go on half-naked vodka-fuelled benders at City Hall still be the mayor of Canada’s largest city?  The fact that he remains in power speaks to the vacuum of leadership present in both the labour movement and within the ruling class.

 

Canada-Brazil Spygate scandal: Imperialism gets caught red-handed

canada imperialism go homeCanada has become the latest country to be caught in the scandal surrounding electronic espionage. In many respects, the fallout from Canada’s spy activities in Brazil could end up being more damaging than the revelations around the NSA and Spygate earlier this year.  The alleged activities by the Communications Security Establishment of Canada (CSEC) reveal the lengths that are being taken to defend Canadian corporate interests, at the expense of the working-class both in Canada and abroad, all in the name of so-called “national security”.