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Transit Crisis in Toronto Reaching a Breaking Point

ttc streetcar no serviceThe sorry state of Toronto’s public transportation system dominated the city’s most recent municipal election campaign. Thus, it didn’t come as much of a surprise that one of the first policy announcements made by the new mayor of Toronto, John Tory, concerned the state of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). However, Tory’s minor reforms don’t come close to addressing the roots of Toronto’s transit crisis or the daily hardships faced by workers and youth who depend upon the system.

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.

 

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?

“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”.

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.

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.

 

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.”