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Austerity threatens to unleash the power of the working class in Quebec

Philippe Couillard and the Liberals were elected just six months ago, but in that time, they have already trashed all of the promises that they made to Quebeckers. From an election that was won on the theme of “the economy, jobs, healthcare, and eduction,” the Liberals have instead gone to work hacking away at pensions, healthcare, daycare, public sector jobs, and education funding. Union leaders in the province are talking about massive mobilizations and a “New Quebecois Spring” for 2015. What does this movement need to do to win?

John Tory is Toronto’s mayor: Bay Street sharpens its knives

There will be no “Ford more years” in Toronto as John Tory has been elected the city’s mayor, ending the four-year drug-fuelled party that was Rob Ford’s mayoralty. Doug Ford, Rob’s older brother, finished with a surprisingly-strong second place result while former NDP MP Olivia Chow came a distant third. With Tory’s victory, Bay Street now has their man at the head of Toronto City Council, who will likely implement the cuts and measures that Ford failed to as he became increasingly distracted by his drug use scandal.

 

Parliament Hill shooting is a symptom of a rotten system

Ottawa was rocked on Wednesday by news that a lone gunman shot, and killed, a Canadian Forces reservist on Parliament Hill, before storming Parliament itself. This attack came just two days after a similar incident in Quebec. The mainstream media has been very quick to raise the spectre of a wave of Islamist terrorist attacks striking Canada, based on the fact that these two individuals recently converted to a fundamentalist form of Islam, and apparently expressed support for ISIS.

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Harper goes to war in Iraq: No to imperialist intervention!

On Friday, the Conservatives announced their plan to send six CF-18 fighter jets for up to six months to join the United States and other Western powers in a new bombing campaign in Iraq. Canadians have now been dragged into the colossal mess in Iraq that was caused by Western military intervention in the first place, and which seems to have no end in sight. 

Toronto mayoral election: Stop the Tory/Ford agenda!

As we enter the last month of Toronto’s never-ending mayoral race, it appears that Olivia Chow, the former NDP MP and widow to ex-NDP leader Jack Layton, has fallen to third place after entering the election as the favourite. Ahead of her are Bay Street darling John Tory and right-wing city councillor Doug Ford, the brother of the current disgraced mayor. Given the anger and disgust around Rob Ford and his policies, why has Chow’s campaign been unable to pick up the desire for change from Toronto youth and workers?

Quebec Liberals target pension funds: Solidarity with the municipal workers!

On 18th August, firefighters stormed Montreal City Hall, chasing the mayor from room to room and protesting against the recently announced cuts to their pensions. The police officers, whose pensions will also be affected, let the workers enter City Hall and looked the other way as the building was ransacked. Municipalities in Quebec are at war with city employees and this action shows the looming storm in the struggle against austerity.

“Anybody But Conservative” campaign weakens fight against Liberal austerity

As summer draws to an end, it appears that so is the Liberals’ generosity towards Ontario’s public-sector workers.  In order to maintain their hold on power at Queen’s Park earlier this summer, Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals made all sorts of overtures to the province’s labour movement, promising that the new Liberal government would treat labour with respect and raise workers’ standards of living, unlike Tim Hudak and the Conservatives — and unlike the Liberal governments of the past 11 years.

Ontario voters reject Conservative austerity, but NDP fails to capitalize

As the dust settles from the 2014 Ontario election, the province’s voters have soundly rejected Tim Hudak’s Conservatives and their anti-labour austerity program, rewarding the Liberals with a majority government.  The Liberals’ victory had less to do with enthusiasm for their program and more to do with keeping Hudak and the Tories out of office at all costs.  Unfortunately, the NDP has missed a grand opportunity to present itself as the anti-Hudak voice, which means that Ontarians will now face the hidden austerity of the Wynne Liberals. Although Hudak’s mass public-sector layoffs have been defeated, labour needs to begin mobilizing against Wynne’s attacks now.

Stop Hudak!... But Liberals are no better

As the provincial election crawls along, Ontario workers fear the prospect of a Tim Hudak-led Conservative government winning power at Queen’s Park.  Hudak has made it crystal clear that his government would slash jobs and program spending in order to balance the province’s books.  This has led many in the labour movement, and even in the so-called “left”, to push Ontario workers to re-elect the Liberals in order to stop Hudak’s advance.  However, this “advice” will only disorient the labour movement and ill-prepare workers for the coming attacks and austerity, which will occur regardless of whether the Tories or Liberals are elected.  

Toronto Community Housing bureaucrats embroiled in scandal — once again

tchc-gene-jonesThe Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) is back in news headlines. On Friday, Apr. 25, the resignation of TCHC chief executive Gene Jones was announced, in his absence, by the board of directors of the TCHC. This scandal at top levels of management comes just three years after a previous scandal led to a series of dismissals and resignations in 2011-2012. In less than 18 months since Jones took control, some 88 staff left the TCHC, most of them due to firings. Crean asserted that Jones and other top management ran the TCHC “like their own personal fiefdom”.