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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.”

 

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.