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The 1949 Asbestos strike: Prelude to the Quiet Revolution

Workers hangin outSeventy years ago, the small town of Asbestos, in the Eastern Townships, was the scene of one of the most important strikes in the history of the workers’ movement in Quebec. Engulfing the province for a number of months, it was one of the major events leading up to the Quiet Revolution. Pierre Elliott Trudeau described the strike as “the violent announcement that a new era had begun.” Although the strike ended in defeat, the workers showed that it was possible to struggle against the despotic Duplessis regime and the yoke of the bosses.

Far-right targets Fightback: An injury to one is an injury to all!

A couple fascists making a youtube videoFightback is being targeted by the far-right. On April 20, two individuals associated with the Yellow Vests Canada movement and the Canadian chapter of PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident), Rick Boswick and Derek Storie, posted a livestream to social media in which they make explicit threats against our organization. Filmed right outside of the Fightback national office in Toronto, Boswick and Storie announce threateningly that “we have a plan for this place”. They go on to broadcast the address of the Fightback office to their online supporters and appeal to their audience to harass and disrupt our activists.

Durham: Rainbow crosswalk vandalism shows need for workers’ defence

Vandalized pride flagOn Tuesday, May 21, Bowmanville, Ont. unveiled the first rainbow crosswalk in Durham Region as a symbol of support for the LGBTQ community. Within hours of its installation, the crosswalk had been vandalized with black streaks from a vehicle spinning its tires. A few hours later, the crosswalk was again vandalized with tire marks. A video taken at the time appeared to show a truck causing the damage. In response, members of the community rallied by writing messages of support in chalk on the street beside the crosswalk, such as “Love Wins” and “Bowmanville Loves You.” On Saturday, however, the crosswalk was vandalized a third time, this time with the words "Fagot [sic] Flag".

Fifty Years Later: The Rise and Fall of the Parti Québécois - Part Three

The oppression of the francophones and the francophone working class especially was one of the most egregious elements of the colonial domination of Canada over Quebec. English was the language of business and the language of work and francophone workers received some of the lowest wages in the province. Almost all of the big businesses were owned by anglophone imperialists from English Canada or the United States. This question had an enormous impact on Quebec politics throughout the 1960s and ’70s in particular.

Ford shutters overdose prevention sites amid opioid crisis

Doug Ford & sign from safe injection site rallyIn late March, the Ford government announced cuts to provincial funding for lifesaving overdose prevention sites. These cuts come amid an opioid epidemic in Ontario that continues to take hundreds of lives every year. Ford has so far rejected approval for six supervised injection sites in Ontario, denying them provincial funds and making it near impossible for them to continue operating. Their closure will inevitably result in an influx of opioid-related deaths.

Kenney, Ford, Legault: Stop the right wing in its tracks!

Legault and Ford with matching hockey jerseysLooking at recent electoral results in Canada and Quebec, it is not just in the Game of Thrones universe that winter has come. Following the election of Doug Ford’s Conservatives in Ontario in June last year, the United Conservative Party of Jason Kenney took power in Alberta this past April 17. In the Maritimes, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island also saw the Conservatives recently form minority governments. And Quebec is no different with the election of its home-grown conservatives, the CAQ, in the election last fall. At the federal level, the polls place the Conservatives and Andrew Scheer ahead of the federal Liberals with the elections just around the corner in October of this year

GM leaves behind 2,300 Oshawa workers, Dias caves

Dudes handshaking at Unifor eventOn May 8, GM and Unifor jointly announced the loss of 2,300 out of the 2,600 unionized jobs at the Oshawa Assembly Plant. After five months of negotiating, GM will not reverse its decision to end vehicle manufacturing at the plant by the end of 2019, promising only a $170 million investment after that. This is a slap in the face to 2,600 skilled unionized workers who produced billions in profits for the company over the years.

The rise of the Greens: what it means

PaulManly2Ignored for 36 years, Canada’s Greens may now have reason to celebrate. On May 6, Green Party candidate Paul Manly swept the by-election in Nanaimo, BC, placing 12 points ahead of the second place Tories. Manly now joins Green Party leader Elizabeth May in Ottawa, until now the sole Green MP since 2011.

Ford moves to privatize health care as thousands protest

Ontario Health Coalition On April 18, Bill 74 passed in the Ontario legislature. This bill will dissolve existing local health councils in favour of a central “super-agency”. This super-agency will consist of 15 board members, appointed by the Ford administration. These board members will have sweeping abilities to integrate or dissolve health-care services across the province, deciding whether they are delivered to patients by public or private providers. In other words, Doug Ford’s friends running this new agency will have the ability to implement massive privatization across the health-care system.

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