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Record profits for the banks; Austerity for the rest of us

In the fall of 2008, as the financial crisis was just starting to impact the United States, the Harper government was lauding Canadian banks as the “soundest in the world.” This was to become a well-rehearsed and well-worn talking point for government and corporate mouthpieces throughout the duration of the 2008-10 recession. However, a recent study released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) reveals a staunchly different picture. Massive government bailouts were dolled out to the country's largest banks to the tune of $114-billion of public money being pumped into the financial institutions.

Welcome to the new security state: Conservatives' omnibus crime bill criminalizes youth and workers

The relentless austerity measures currently being visited upon the Canadian working class are typically justified by the mantra, “There is no money.”  We are constantly told that all levels of government are broke, spending cuts are needed, and that workers must tighten their belts and permanently accept a lower standard of living. But for the state security apparatus, things are very different. Despite an apparently desperate need to cut public spending, the Conservative government plans to massively increase spending on domestic and foreign defence.  None of this security spending will aid working-class people; instead, it is very likely that our own money will be used against us in our attempts to fight austerity.

Stephen Harper outlines corporate agenda at the World Economic Forum

Maybe it was the high Swiss altitude, or perhaps the high of being amongst the world’s most successful capitalists, that caused Prime Minister Stephen Harper to give some uncharacteristically candid reflections on his agenda for 2012 in his address to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. After several minutes of trumpeting Canada’s relative economic success compared to other G20 countries, a comparison similar to being the thinnest person at fat camp, Harper got down to business.

Robocalls scandal further exposes façade of bourgeois democracy

The Harper government has come under fire after Elections Canada’s announcement in February that it had traced fraudulent phone calls made during the last federal election to an Edmonton-based call centre that worked for the Conservative Party in ridings across the country.  The "robocalls" scandal is only the latest symptom of the bankruptcy of capitalism and bourgeois democracy.  An ever increasing number of workers and youth are beginning to realize that we need to change more than just the electoral system.

Canada's 2011 Election: Historic NDP breakthrough; Liberals and Bloc Quebecois decimated

The political landscape of Canada has changed, potentially in an irrevocable way. The Liberal Party, formerly Canada’s “natural governing party”, has been reduced to a rump of 34 seats, having received only 19% of the vote. The separatist Bloc Quebecois, which has dominated Quebec since the party’s foundation 20 years ago, has been swept aside by the NDP’s “orange wave” and has been left with only four seats. The New Democratic Party, Canada’s labour party, has leapt into second place with a record-breaking 103 seats, and 31% of the vote.

Federal election: Kick out the Conservatives!

Canada is entering its fourth federal election in seven years. In that time, we have veered from minority Liberal to minority Conservative regimes. What has remained constant is the erosion of the standard of living of workers and youth, and the transfer of wealth to the rich and the corporations. We need to use this election to kick out the Conservatives and build support for socialist ideas.

How many more need to die before we have a national childcare program?

The recent death of Duy-An Nguyen, a 14 month-old Mississauga toddler, at the hands of an unlicensed day-care operator, is only the latest case of negligence against young children in private day-care.  We need to ask ourselves how much more are we willing to tolerate before we demand a national childcare program?

Harper government wastes $16-billion on military jets

While workers are forced to prepare for the coming austerity agenda imposed by the world’s leading capitalist states—threatening to reverse reforms gained through struggle over the last half-century—the Harper Conservative government announced the purchase of 65 F-35 Joint Strike fighter planes, estimated to cost over $16-billion. This only highlights the priorities of the ruling class. Just as governments are demanding workers pay for the economic crisis, they find enough money to dump billions of dollars in the name of future imperialist adventures.

Toronto G20: The brutal face of capitalist reaction

The mood leading up to this weekend’s G20 summit and the protest against it became increasingly tense throughout the week. The police and the state spent plenty of time informing the public of its vast arsenal, troop numbers, facilities, and readiness to defend the fence—itself a graphic symbol of the growing class divide not only here in Canada, but around the world.

G20: The democratic limits of capitalism on display in Toronto

On June 2nd, the Ontario Liberal cabinet of Premier Dalton McGunity secretly passed, without any input from parliament and certainly no notice to the working people of Canada, sweeping expansions to the Public Works Act. The changes to the act give police forces sweeping new powers of search and arrest on a totally arbitrary basis. The public learned about these legislative changes only on the eve of the largest protest of the G20 summits.

 

[Note, this article was written Friday 25th June, before the events of Saturday 26th. Watch this space for a full report on the tumultous events of the 26th and Fightback's participation]