Quebec: Big struggles coming against new CAQ government

Francois Legault (Photo Credit: PAUL CHIASSON / THE CANADIAN PRESS)The victory of the CAQ (Coalition Avenir Québec, or Coalition for the Future of Quebec) in the Oct. 1 elections in Quebec marked the end of an epoch in the province. The Liberal Party and the Parti Québécois (PQ) who had held power interchangeably for nearly half a century were pummeled at the polls, receiving their worst electoral results in history. The political landscape in Quebec is increasingly polarized on the left with Québec solidaire and on the right with the CAQ, while the establishment parties in the “centre” have been punished.

Interview with Derrick O'Keefe, socialist Vancouver city council candidate

COPE council candidate Derrick O'Keefe (Photo Credit: Dan Toulgoet / Vancouver Courier)The Vancouver municipal elections on Oct. 20 saw a big shift. Vision Vancouver, which had ruled for 10 years—a period which saw rents and homelessness skyrocket—was wiped out, and the left-wing Coalition Of Progressive Electors (COPE) had a strong showing. COPE ran a strong anti-establishment left-wing campaign which saw four of the seven candidates they ran elected to the city council, school and park boards.

Austerity meets Anglo-chauvinism: Ford cuts French-language services in Ontario

Protest of Francophones in Ottawa (Photo Credit: Gilles Taillon/Radio-Canada)On Nov. 15, Finance Minister Vic Fideli delivered Ontario’s fall economic statement. Premier Doug Ford likely expected a certain degree of backlash, considering the statement included tax breaks for the rich and ending rent controls on new properties. Indeed, riding out backlash has become routine for the still-fresh Progressive Conservative government. However, there is one front where Ford seems to have been taken off guard by the scale and intensity of the resistance he is facing: cuts affecting Franco-Ontarians.

58,000 students strike against unpaid internships in Québec

On the morning of Monday, Nov. 19, more than 55,000 university and Cégep students in Québec marched out of class in protest against unpaid internships. The central demand of the strike is for internships to be paid like any other job. Many of these internships are mandatory and take up hundreds of hours per semester, for which students receive zero pay. This week marked the breaking point for Québec students, who braved the snow and ice to send a message to the government and university administrations that they would not be slaves any more!

Socialist Fightback Students successfully mobilize against Ford’s anti-protest law

In late September, Fightback launched a campaign against Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s anti-protest law, which aims to provide a safe space for the far-right racists and bigots on campus by banning protests against them in the name of “free speech” (read our in-depth analysis here). This mandate, which threatens to penalize universities and colleges, student unions, clubs, and individual students who do not comply, is in reality an attack on the freedom of expression and assembly of students and faculty.

Socialist Fightback discusses the fight against right-wing populism in Edmonton

Joel Bergman Edmonton populismAround 25 people gathered at the University of Alberta on Nov. 13 to discuss how to fight against right-wing populism. Organized by Socialist Fightback Edmonton, the event explored both the causes behind the growing movement and how we as working class Canadians can stop it. The discussion attracted a diverse group of people, many of whom were concerned about the prospect of the United Conservative Party (UCP) led by Jason Kenney taking power in the upcoming Alberta election.

Fight back against Edmonton transit fare hike!

Edmonton Transit System Bus (Photo Credit: CODIE MCLACHLAN / FOR STARMETRO)Within a few years, the cost of public transportation in Edmonton could be the highest in Canada. The city council has brought forward a plan to increase the price of a single bus ride from $3.25 to $3.50 in 2019, $3.75 in 2020, and $4.00 in 2021. This amounts to a 25 per cent increase in just three years. Such a drastic increase will negatively impact many workers who rely on public transit to commute to and from work and go about their daily activities.

An appeal against sectarianism: Whisper campaign weakens York University left

CUPE3903The campaign against Doug Ford’s anti-protest law has been a huge success. There have been well-attended and enthusiastic forums at McMaster U., University of Waterloo, and UofTThe protest at Ryerson University attracted more than 100 people and received wide press coverage. The campaign even provoked an attack from the National Post. Subsequently, the pressure of mobilization has forced Ryerson Senate into retreat and confusion, while the UofT Student union has adopted a bold resolution that refuses to participate in its implementation, as have the Toronto and York Region Labour Council and various union locals.

Ford guts minimum wage: How to fight him (and how not to)

Doug Ford unveils $106,000 Open for Business sign (Source: months of threats, Premier Doug Ford’s Tory government has at last tabled its central, planned attack on the working class with Bill 47, the Making Ontario Open for Business Act. If passed, it will reverse nearly every legal reform won by the labour movement in the past decade, and it must be fought tooth and nail. 

A Tale of Two Cities: The Toronto and Vancouver municipal elections (2)

Kennedy Stewart winner of the Vancouver Election. (Photo Credit: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… In Vancouver, the right wing NPA was defeated in the mayoralty by a former NDP MP, combined with a strong showing for the left wing Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE). But in Toronto, former Progressive Conservative leader John Tory won a landslide 63%, while white nationalist Faith Goldy came in third with over 3% of the votes. What can the Toronto left learn from Vancouver so this miserable result is not repeated?

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