Budget 2019: Wheels coming off the Liberal cart

Justin Trudeau and Bill MorneauCanada’s scandal-plagued Liberal Trudeau government delivered its fourth and possibly final budget on Tuesday.

The new budget retains the soft language (the word “gender” features more than 250 times) and talk about helping the disadvantaged that marked previous budgets. But looking at the numbers, this budget has very little to offer the working class.

In fact, the budget is part of a larger pattern that marks a government in crisis, one desperately spinning to try and distract from the SNC-Lavalin scandal and the general feeling of social malaise.

737 MAX scandal: Boeing putting profits before safety

airplaneBoeing is in trouble. The American aviation giant finds itself in the middle of a storm that has culminated in the worldwide grounding of its latest aircraft model, the 737 MAX. There is an emerging picture of a major manufacturer botching a new aircraft design, with more than 300 people dead as a result. This follows two fatal accidents in the space of five months that seem to have occurred under similar circumstances.

Canadian tax system favours the rich

Income TaxEarlier last year, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) conducted a survey of Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) professionals. The PIPSC found that out of 1,741 workers surveyed, 90% agreed with the statement that, "It is easier for corporations and wealthy individuals to evade and/or avoid tax responsibilities than it is for average Canadians." 

Twenty years since the sale of Highway 407: The failure of privatization

407signThis fall marks 20 years since the Ontario Conservative government of former Premier Mike Harris started the sale of King's Highway 407. When cabinet member Rob Sampson, a career banker, tabled Bill 70 in the Ontario Legislature on Oct. 10, 1998, the Government stated that it was to be “an Act to engage the private sector in improving transportation infrastructure, reducing traffic congestion, creating jobs, and stimulating economic activity through the sale of Highway 407.”

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.

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.

Greyhound puts profits before people

Greyhound cancels Western Canada routesOn Monday July 9th, Greyhound announced that in October of this year, they will be shutting down all routes in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, with the exception of one last route in BC going from Vancouver to Seattle. Ontario bus routes will also be canceled west of Sudbury. These cuts have been causing a great deal of concern for the safety and wellbeing of Northwestern rural communities in general, as many people rely on these buses to reach urban areas.

Canada-US trade war: Don’t trust Trudeau to fight Trump!

Donald Trump And Justin Trudeau (Photo Credit: Greg Nash)The trade war between the United States and Canada has begun. On July 1, the tariffs that Donald Trump announced against steel and aluminum came into effect. In response, the Canadian government has put counter tariffs in place. The rise in protectionism threatens to drag the already fragile world economy into a deep slump. In this war in which big capitalist powers fight over who has the largest piece of the pie, the workers will be the first victims.

Trump’s war on globalisation

Donald Trump at the podium in front of a "Buy America" bannerOn Thursday the deadline passed for an agreement between Trump and Canada, Japan, Mexico and the EU on trade. Failure to reach an agreement meant that the steel and aluminium tariffs threatened by Trump came into force. With this, Trump has begun the process of unravelling globalisation. On Saturday, the G-7 finance ministers met and the 6 non-US ministers came together against the US, expressing their “unanimous concern and disappointment” over the US decision.

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