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Massive labour demo confronts Ontario Liberals: Labour leaders must defy illegitimate laws in fight against austerity

As many as 25,000 people, wrapped up in winter coats and scarves, braved the frigid conditions to protest the Ontario Liberal leadership convention and the Liberals’ trampling of workers’ rights — the largest such demo since the 1990s. This is a good beginning, but if the labour movement is going to successfully fight austerity and defend the rights of workers, then it must prepare itself to defy illegitimate laws and use the full might of the working class.

Rob Ford fired as Toronto mayor: Beat back the austerity agenda!

In a stunning and unprecedented move, a Toronto judge has removed Rob Ford from the office of mayor of Canada’s largest city, just two years after Ford swept into power on a campaign of “ending the gravy train”.  Aside from the embarrassment to Ford, the judge’s ruling is also a significant defeat for Bay Street who thought that in Ford, they had found their man to carry out historic cuts to city services.  Ford’s removal can serve as a spark to galvanize the labour movement to decisively beat back the bosses’ austerity agenda.

Ontario Liberal government targets teachers: Defend teachers’ right to strike!

As this article goes to print, Ontario teachers are preparing to battle it out with Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals, in the provincial government’s first major confrontation with labour since the “banker’s budget” in April.  Although the Ontario teachers’ unions supported McGuinty’s Liberals in the last three elections, Dalton has rewarded the teachers by stabbing them in the back — outlawing teachers’ strikes and taking away their rights to collective bargaining by imposing a two-year wage freeze.  If this is what the Liberals have in store for their former friends, we can only imagine what they plan for the rest of the province’s workers.

Ontario Liberals declare class war: NDP must vote “No” to austerity budget

With the recent Ontario provincial budget, many of the illusions surrounding the Ontario Liberals have finally been dashed.  When it comes down to it, they serve the interests of Bay Street, not the interests of workers in the province.  Despite relying heavily on several unions to get themselves elected in the past three elections, Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals have turned their backs on their union support and have declared open class warfare.  Now, the main question has to be whether the Ontario NDP will give a lead to the province’s workers fighting austerity, or whether they will capitulate and support the Liberals in passing this bosses’ budget.

“Doctor” Drummond’s bad medicine: Top banker sees bleak capitalist future for Ontario

“Doctor” Drummond has issued his prescription for Ontario’s economy.  The patient is deeply sick and will not recover his vitality without a prolonged period of painful and debilitating treatment.  Drummond’s bloodletting shows that not even the capitalists have any faith in the viability of their system moving forward.  Workers and their organizations need to come to the realization that, under capitalism, good times are not ahead and this austerity is the only possible future unless we do away with the present system.

City of Toronto union leadership concedes "numerous concessions"; Vote "No" and fight austerity!

Mark Ferguson, the president of CUPE local 416, which represents 6,000 outside municipal workers in Toronto, emerged Sunday morning to announce that his bargaining team and the City of Toronto had reached a tentative settlement, preventing a lockout that was to commence that same day.  Although very little details have yet emerged of the agreement, it appears that the union leadership made "numerous concessions" that may cost thousands of jobs for outside public sector workers, and may weaken the resistance to capitalist austerity.

Historic cuts by Ontario governments: Resistance to austerity must start now

In very quick succession, the bad news continues to rain down from the different layers of government in Ontario.  The Rob Ford municipal government in Toronto is making no effort to hide the fact that they are preparing a long lockout of city workers in January 2012.  Meanwhile, the provincial Liberals’ throne speech outlined historic cuts in provincial spending — even greater than those seen in the Mike Harris days. As 2011 comes to a close, it is appearing that Ontario workers will have the fight of their lives on hand in 2012.

Apathy wins: More than half of Ontario voters tune out provincial election

Judging from last night’s Ontario election results, it would not appear that we are currently living in the most turbulent time in several generations.  The disappointing campaigns of the three political parties — the Liberals, Tories, and NDP — carried through into the election where, for the first time in Ontario history, less than half of eligible voters found a reason to cast a ballot.  The CBC was vindicated in their decision to give preference to the Leafs’ 2-0 shutout of the Habs and punting election coverage to CBC News Network. The ineptness of the Liberals and Tories should come as no surprise; it is hard to build a campaign around cuts and austerity.  However, as we warned earlier, the NDP ruined all of the goodwill built up in the months before and squandered the opportunity to organize an opposition to the capitalist austerity that is to come.

Ontario NDP campaign fails to inspire: Anaemic platform may pave way for coalition with Liberals

At the time of writing, we are past the halfway mark of Ontario’s provincial election.  Many may find it surprising as this has probably been one of the most boring elections in recent memory, and largely ignored by most people.  Given the absence of any real platforms or solutions proposed for the crisis of capitalism, it is no wonder that people are paying more attention to Rob Ford, or even the Leafs’ training camp, than what the provincial party leaders are saying.  This includes the NDP who, up until this point, look like they are going to squander a wonderful opportunity to represent the interests of working-class Ontarians in the fight back against austerity.

Mobilizing against Rob Ford: Which way forward after the Dufferin Grove mass assembly?

On Saturday, 10th September, approximately 500 people attended a gathering at Dufferin Grove Park in Toronto to challenge the austerity cuts being put forward by Mayor Rob Ford. It was an impressive gathering with a large diversity of people, a visible fighting spirit, and a keen interest in politics by those in attendance. The attendance of this meeting shows the great potential and willingness of Toronto residents to fight against the upcoming cuts. We believe, however, that our friends at the Stop the Cuts Network made important mistakes that will seriously weaken the great potential of this gathering, and that an orientation to the workers' mass organizations is crucial in building up to a one-day Toronto general strike to reverse the cuts.