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[VIDEO] Bob Rae, Mike Harris, and the fight against Doug Ford (Part Two)

RaeHarrisFordPart2In part two of his history of Ontario in the 1990s, Alex Grant details the experience of the fight against the Mike Harris Conservatives. In response to government poor bashing and massive attacks on organized labour, a series of citywide general strikes, the “Metro Days of Action,” were organized across Ontario. At its height this movement brought out more than one million workers in the 1996 Toronto general strike, and yet this event is almost totally forgotten today. This movement had the potential to bring down the Harris government, but it was sold out by the labour leadership and the opportunity was missed. Facing similar attacks today, militant workers and youth need to assimilate this history in order to build a new movement that does not commit the mistakes of its predecessors.

[VIDEO] Bob Rae, Mike Harris, and the fight against Doug Ford (Part One)

Bob Rae Mike Harris and the fight against Doug FordThose who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The election of the right-populist Doug Ford government in Ontario, as well as the CAQ government in Quebec, share similarities with the experience of class struggle in Ontario in the 1990s. In July of this year Fightback editor Alex Grant spoke on the lessons of the 1990s for the struggles of today. This is a forgotten history that needs to be reclaimed by the movement against the vitriol of the right wing, and the apologism of the reformists and labour bureaucrats.

GM, Canada Post, and the death of the post-war social contract

Protestor at emergency Unifor meeting (Photo credit: EDUARDO LIMA / THE CANADIAN PRESS)On Monday, 26th November, 2018 Canada’s post-war social contract finally died, after a long period of ill health. At her bedside were two who were present at her birth, Oshawa auto workers and striking postal workers. Her passing was due to systematic abuse and abandonment by corporations and government. She is survived by a labour relations regime of naked class war. In lieu of flowers, bring picket signs and burn barrels.

Supreme Court ruling on Indigenous consultation reveals true face of the Canadian state

NDP MP Romeo Saganash  (Photo Credit : SEAN KILPATRICK/CP)Cree NDP MP Romeo Saganash recently made headlines for his declaration in Parliament that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “doesn’t give a fuck” about the rights of Indigenous people. His declamation came in response to Trudeau’s commitment to build the Trans Mountain pipeline “no matter what”, as well as government statements that it, “will not be able to accommodate all Indigenous concerns.”

The Struggle Against Trans Oppression

Fightback At Trans MarchIn recent years, transgender rights and issues have gained widespread public attention with some advances being made as the result of the diligent organizing efforts of trans activists and community organizations. Most provinces in Canada now allow for a change of gender on identification without requiring gender reassignment surgery and have included gender identity and expression in their human rights acts as prohibited grounds of discrimination. Bill C-16 was passed at the federal level in June of 2017, adding protection for gender identity and expression to the Canadian Human Rights Code and the Criminal Code. However, despite these advances transgender people continue to face an alarming degree of discrimination, violence and harassment.

Ontario PCs Attempt to Erase Trans People

Fightback At The Trans MarchJust days before the Trans Day of Remembrance and Trans Awareness Week, the Ontario Tories passed a resolution stating the party’s intent to “remove the teaching and promotion of ‘gender identity theory’ from Ontario schools and its curriculum.” What they actually mean by this statement is that trans people do not exist and are merely a “theory”.

The violence comes from the right

Memorial at Tree of Life Synagogue  (CREDIT: JARED WICKERHAM/EPA-EFE/REX/SHUT)On October 27th, Robert Gregory Bowers, a far-right activist, gunned down 11 people at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh while yelling "All Jews must die!". This was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in US history. A few days before the Pittsburgh attack, pipe bombs were mailed to prominent critics of US president Donald Trump including HIllary Clinton, George Soros and members of CNN’s New York bureau. While these events are shocking, they should not surprise anyone. This is just the most recent on a growing list of atrocities committed by the far-right over the past few years. 

Ten years after the death of Fredy Villanueva: The struggle against poverty and oppression continues

fredyvillanuevaOn August 9, 2008, Fredy Villanueva was shot to death by a police officer in the Montreal neighbourhood of Montréal-Nord. The 18-year-old's murder sparked a riot, which brought to light the poverty, misery, and racism prevalent in the neighbourhood. The police officer who killed Fredy, Jean-Loup Lapointe, has never been held accountable for his actions. Ten years after these events, there is still a heavy police presence in the area, racial profiling has not diminished, and Montréal-Nord remains one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the city. None of the problems which led to the riot have been solved.

Canada’s richest make billions off of low wages and worsening conditions

Wealth Inequality (Photo Credit: nuvolanevicata / Shutterstock)While workers are repeatedly told there is no money for living wages, proper health care, school repairs and the like, the net worth of Canada’s richest 87 families, on average, has risen by $806 million in a period of just four years. The average wealth of these 87 families rose from $2.2 billion to nearly $3 billion from 2012 to 2016, Global News reports. Each of these 87 families are, as a result, 4,448 times wealthier than the average Canadian family. All told, the aggregate wealth of this tiny elite is around $259 billion.

Massive salaries for Sears Canada’s board: Salt in the open wound

Sears Canada (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)This week, we learned that the four members of the Sears board of directors have pocketed a total of $600,000 in salaries and another $600,000 in professional expenses, despite the fact that all stores have been closed since January. You may recall that the company announced on June 22, 2017 that 59 of its Canadian stores would be closed due to restructuring, which led to the loss of 2,900 jobs in a few months. Later that year, on Oct. 13, they made the announcement that they were closing all 130 stores in Canada. According to Radio-Canada, approximately 17,000 employees lost their jobs at Sears.

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