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Capitalism is corrupt; Projet Montreal must fight the bosses

Municipal elections across Quebec are coming up at the beginning of November, following a roller coaster ride of scandal and corruption for municipal elections across the province. In Montreal, mayor Gérald Tremblay and his successor, Michael Applebaum, were both forced to resign in the past 12 months on charges of corruption and ties to the Mafia. This opens up large possibilities for Projet Montreal, but only if it presents a program that can break with the status quo and addresses the aspirations of workers and youth of today. Projet Montreal cannot fight the bosses’ corruption without fighting for the interests of workers and youth.

The grand distraction: The charter of Quebec “values”

After weeks of rumours, the Parti Québécois government has finally released the details of their proposed “Charter of Quebec Values”. According to the PQ government, the charter is needed to continue the traditions established during the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s, ensuring a proper separation of church and state and defending Quebec society from the dangers of religious indoctrination.  However, for many in Quebec, the charter is correctly seen as an attempt to target ethnic and religious minorities for the crisis that plagues Quebec society, and to set one sector of the working class against the other.

The Lac-Mégantic disaster — Who is to blame?

The train derailment in the small Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic on Friday 5th July has come as a huge shock. With 37 confirmed dead, and another 13 people still missing, this is turning out to be the worst train accident in North America since a 1989 train crash in Mexico, which left 112 dead and a further 200 injured. Anguish and grief has started to turn into anger as people are learning the reasons for the accident — massive cutbacks in railways and the particularly callous remarks of the CEO of Rail World Inc., Ed Burkhardt. The Lac-Mégantic disaster shows how, in the present period, capitalism is killing us.

BC NDP election disaster: What went wrong?

bc ndp adrian dixIt wasn't supposed to happen this way. After 12 years of BC Liberal rule, the scandal-plagued right-wing government was set to take a beating. The NDP entered this race with a 20-point lead in the polls; they were unstoppable! But that's not what happened on election night.  Instead, it was the NDP that took a beating, actually losing seats and strengthening the Liberal majority.  Amidst the stunned NDP activists at the “victory party”, one question was written across the face of everyone in the room — “How could this happen?”

 

Canadian health care under attack!

One of the most important reforms won by Canadian workers, public medicare, is coming under relentless attack by government austerity programs.  Recent provincial budget decisions in Ontario, for example, have cut $3-billion from health spending, which is putting the health of Canadians at extreme risk — especially those from the most marginalized sectors of society.  For the sake of our own health, we need to put a halt to the austerity agenda.

Mass demonstration in Montreal against EI reform

April 27 marked the first demonstration of the spring season in Montreal. Tens of thousands of people gathered from across Quebec in a protest called by the main workers' unions against the Employment Insurance (EI) reform put forward by the Harper government. The draconian measures are meant to push unemployment recipients back onto the job market at reduced pay. These measures are being resisted by workers across the country, and the weekend’s demonstration in Montreal was a good beginning for the movement. We must extend the fight against austerity at federal and provincial levels, and the student strike last year has shown us that militant action is the only way to win.

Say “No” to Euro free trade (CETA): Agreement would hurt labour, empower corporations

Negotiations for the Canadian-European Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) are being conducted by the Harper government in secret. The agreement, if passed in its current form, would not only be full of the same flaws that have marred previous Canadian free trade agreements, but would introduce a few special problems of its own. The NDP, as the party that represents Canadian workers, must oppose the CETA and oppose capitalist free trade agreements. There is nothing positive in this agreement for Canadian workers.

Abolish the Senate!

The Senate is often an afterthought in the minds of people in Canada, with most writing off this body as inconsequential to the everyday life of the working class. Normally, the extravagant privileges of Canada’s unelected senators are written off by the media and other commentators as an unfortunate quirk of Canada’s parliamentary system.  However, this time around, this sort of tactic is not working; the wave of scandal is sticking and there appears to be a new popular groundswell to finally abolish the Canadian Senate.  What has been the change this time around compared to previous scandals?

Police repression returns to the streets of Montreal

In the past couple of weeks, hundreds of innocent people have been rounded up by the Montreal police, despite the fact that these individuals committed no crimes. It is very clear that this is only the latest attempt by the state to frighten ordinary workers and youth from demonstrating opposition to the ruling class’ agenda. But, in doing so, they are playing a very dangerous game and risk destroying the veil that is bourgeois democracy.

Ontario Liberals have a new face, but same old austerity policies: NDP must vote down Liberals’ budget!

ontario liberals wynne mcguintyThe Ontario Liberals are trying their best to put forward a new face after Kathleen Wynne took over the premier’s office from Dalton McGuinty.  The recent speech from the Throne attempted to present the Liberal government in a softer light, in the hopes that the labour movement would forget the Liberals’ bullying of workers and single-minded drive to impose austerity.  However, labour and the NDP cannot have any illusions that Wynne’s Liberals will be any different than those under McGuinty.  As the famous song goes: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”